Watson, Shelvy help Jefferson County hold off Magee; Tigers advance to MHSAA Class 3A South State Semifinals

Published 11:13 pm Friday, November 10, 2023

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FAYETTE — Led by the dynamic duo of Jabari Watson and Royale Shelvy, the Jefferson County High School Tigers finally got past the Magee High School Trojans, their postseason nemesis the previous two years, 30-27 last Friday night in the quarterfinals of the MHSAA Class 3A South State Playoffs.

Jefferson County led Magee 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, but the Region 6-3A No. 2 seed Trojans scored in the second quarter to send the game into halftime tied at 14-all. But the Region 7-3A No. 1 seed Tigers responded by outscoring Magee 16-6 in the third quarter for a 30-20 advantage.

“We just highlighted some things they were giving up. We go the ball first to start the third quarter and we capitalized off the adjustment we made at halftime,” Tigers head coach Roderick Holmes said.

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That wasn’t the only key to Jefferson County’s victory. So were good quarterback play by Watson as well as big plays by Shelvy on both sides of the ball when the Tigers needed them.

“No interceptions (by Watson). Game management. We stuck to the game plan. We rolled with the hot hand, which was Royale Shelvy. Defense made a couple of fourth-down stops. On Magee’s last drive, we put Royale in to play defense and he intercepted a pass.”

As for Watson’s overall performance in less-than-ideal weather conditions, Holmes said, “Jabari had a superb game. He controlled the game from start to finish. He didn’t let the moment get bigger than himself.”

Magee (4-8) did score a touchdown in the fourth quarter to make it a three-point game, but the Trojans would not score again.

Jefferson County (8-3) next plays at Seminary High School in the Class 3A South State Semifinals at 7 p.m. next Friday.