Butter finger ball strikes Jefferson County

Published 2:01 am Saturday, October 11, 2008

NATCHEZ — It’s pretty tough to win a game when you fumble five times and lose three and when you allow two kickoff returns for scores.

That’s what Jefferson County found out against Tylertown on Friday, when the Tigers went down 35-0.

Despite bursts of strong defense that allowed 206 total yards, key blocks and tackles were missed and miscommunication abounded.

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And on offense, although quarterback Jeffery Collins completed 10 passes, 11 more were dropped or not catchable and one was intercepted, giving Collins 87 yards in the air.

“They just got to catch the ball,” Collins said. “The only thing I can do is just deliver the pass.”

The Tigers only got near the red zone once — to the 26-yard line in the second quarter before Collins’ pass was intercepted by Brandon Thompson for a 95-yard touchdown return.

Jefferson County’s last chance to tackle Thompson was at the Tigers’ 40 yard line, where the tackler was hit hard by a Tylertown blocker.

“Overall the defense played rather good, even though the offense didn’t get a chance to get going,” said Jefferson County coach James Herrington. “We did give up a few big plays. A lot of missed tackles, and a lot of misreads.”

Herrington was not totally displeased with the game. The Chiefs were held to 13 points in the first half.

But Jawon Jackson ran the kickoff to start the second half back 80 yards for a score, totally deflating the Tigers for the rest of the game.

“They do have a lot of speed,” Herrington said of Chiefs. “Unfortunately we had a lot of miscommunications that just put us in a bind. After that kickoff it seemed like their whole momentum just went down.”

Direques Smith scored first, on a fourth-down, one-yard run with 5:55 left in the first quarter.

Thompson’s pick-six came next, followed by the half-opening return.

In the fourth Thompson caught an 18-yard pass from Jameon Lewis on fourth-down and 13 with just over 8 minutes to play, and Ken Brown followed with a 10-yard run four minutes later.

The Tigers play Lawrence County next week, followed by two must-win games.

“We have three more games left — two more district games — and we’ve got to win those two to get into the playoffs,” Herrington said. “Hopefully we’ll bounce back and get into the playoffs as a No. 4-seed.”