Jefferson won its first district football championship in school history by defeating New Madrid County Central 42-20 on Friday night.
The Class 2 District 1 champion Blue Jays (8-2), the No. 3 seed, outscored three district opponents 115-27 and travel to St. Charles to play Duchesne (9-1) in the state quarterfinals on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. The Pioneers (No. 2 seed) beat Lutheran St. Charles (No. 1) 16-13 in the District 2 championship on Friday.
Jefferson senior running back Colby Ott scored five touchdowns against the Eagles and gained 156 yards rushing and 75 receiving. Ott scored the game’s first touchdown on a 59-yard pass from quarterback Drew Breeze. Ott had touchdown runs of 2, 1, 44 and 36 yards. He also had a 33-yard punt return into New Madrid territory that launched a TD drive he capped with a 1-yard plunge.
Cousins Dylan and Will Schnitzler combined for 267 yards rushing in the Blue Jays 40-7 win over Kelly in the district semifinals. Dylan Schnitzler scored Jefferson’s final TD against the Eagles on a 15-yard run with 8:02 left in the game. Will Schnitzler intercepted New Madrid quarterback Matt Riley which turned into Ott’s 36-yard TD gallop in the third quarter.
Hulking New Madrid running back Quazavion Jackson was held to three yards on the Eagles’ first possession and Jefferson lineman Ethan Deal and linebacker Dawson Jakoubek set the line of scrimmage in the Blue Jays’ favor early in the game with run-stuffing plays.
After Jefferson played I-55 Conference rival Herculaneum on Sept. 11, positive COVID-19 tests on the Blackcats forced the Blue Jays to quarantine for two weeks. They resumed play with a loss to conference champion Valle Catholic, but have won six straight games since then. St. Vincent was the only team Jefferson beat in that stretch that lost by a touchdown or less.
Festus beat North County 27-6 to win the Class 4 District 1 championship. The Tigers, the No. 1 seed, improved to 10-1 under first-year head coach A.J. Ofodile and have allowed just 23 points in the last four games.
Running back Cayden Glaze scored on running plays of 64 and 8 yards in the first half for the Tigers, and Collin Doyel caught touchdown passes of 32 and 28 yards from QB Cole Rickermann in the fourth quarter against the Raiders, who Festus beat 39-35 in a Mississippi Area Football Conference Red Division game in October.
Fox (9-1) sat idle on Friday awaiting the outcome of the De Smet vs. Francis Howell Class 6 District 2 championship. The Spartans, 5-0 this season and the defending Class 6 state champions, beat the Vikings 28-7 and will host the Warriors on Nov. 20 in the state semifinals.
Follow the Leader throughout the state football playoffs and read more in detail about the wins by Jefferson and Festus in Thursday’s edition.
Jefferson 42, New Madrid County Central 20
New Madrid 6 0 0 14 – 20
Jefferson 7 14 14 7 – 42
J: Colby Ott 59 pass from Drew Breeze (Will Breeze kick), 6:07
N: Quazavion Jackson 1 run (run failed), 3:21
J: Ott 2 run (Will Breeze kick), 11:15
J: Ott 1 run (Will Breeze kick), 4:29
J: Ott 44 run (Will Breeze kick), 10:29
J: Ott 36 run (Will Breeze kick), 7:22
N: Shamar Williamson 23 pass from Matt Riley (run failed), 11:51
J: Dylan Schnitzler 15 run (Will Breeze kick), 8:02
N: Williamson 50 pass from Riley (Jackson run), 4:00