Jefferson County unable to hang on to lead

Published 1:38 am Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fayette — With Percy Turner out for Jefferson County’s first-ever home playoff game, Jeffery Collins had to step up at quarterback for the Tigers to prevail against Perry Central Friday night.

Unfortunately, Jefferson County could not hold an eight-point lead after three quarters of play as Perry Central scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to rally for a 24-20 win in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs.

Jefferson County, the runner-up in Region 7-3A, ran the ball well and finished with 231 yards on the ground. But the Tigers (8-3) were plagued by five costly turnovers. They fumbled three times and lost all three of them and Collins threw two interceptions.

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Cornelius Smith had a hand in all three of Jefferson County’s touchdowns. First, he hauled in a 62-yard touchdown pass from Collins with 11:04 to go in the first quarter.

Then he gave the Tigers the lead once again on an 11-yard run just past the midway mark of the third quarter for a 12-6 lead.

After Antwain Bolton scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run to tie the game at 12-12 with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter, Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and Collins’ two-point conversion pass to Dorian Gray gave Jefferson County a 20-12 lead with 1:42 to go in the quarter.

Then Perry Central’s Jerrion Johnson took over in the fourth quarter. He scored on a 4-yard run with 5:27 remaining, but the two-point conversion run was no good, leaving the Bulldogs down 20-18.