Jefferson County squeezes by Wesson

Published 12:52 am Saturday, October 17, 2015

FAYETTE — Jefferson County senior quarterback James Claiborne broke a scoreless ball game with a long touchdown pass to Jaquarious Blake early in the third quarter as the Tigers went on to defeat the Wesson Cobras 14-6 Friday night in an MHSAA Division 7-3A game.

Claiborne’s 42-yard scoring pass to Blake and his ensuing two-point conversion run with 9:08 to go in the third quarter gave Jefferson County an 8-0 lead. It was one of the very few offensive highlights by either team in this game.

“It was a defensive struggle early. We were penalized heavily throughout the game,” Tigers head coach James Herrington said. “We would be moving the ball and then we go backwards. We stop them on third down and they keep the ball moving. It wasn’t a clean game.”

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But it was the steady-under-pressure performance of Claiborne as well as the running of Jalen Herrington to along with a strong showing from the defense that allowed the Tigers to come away with the victory.

“Much-needed. First home win this season,” coach Herrington said. “Everybody did what they needed to do to get the win. James played a solid game. He took care of the ball. Didn’t turn the ball over. Made key throws down the stretch. Blake made key catches for us.”

Jalen Herrington scored on a 35-yard touchdown run with just 37 second remaining in the game. But the Tigers were not able to shut out Wesson (3-6, 0-3) as the Cobras scored with 18 seconds left.

Claiborne completed nine of 18 passes for 174 yards while Blake had five receptions for 153 yards.

Jefferson County (3-5, 2-1) travels to undefeated and third-ranked Hazlehurst next Friday with the kickoff at 7 p.m.