Dominant second half from West Jefferson propels Roughriders over Cadets

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LANCASTER, Ohio (WOUB) – West Jefferson and Fort Frye met at Fulton Field in a Division VI Region 23 semifinal matchup full of fireworks, and the Roughriders’ offense proved to be more explosive and they won 49-30. 

The Cadets got things going early in the ground game, as quarterback Sebastian Huck took the ball 53 yards to get Fort Frye to the Roughriders’ 26-yard line on the second play from scrimmage. West Jefferson’s defense held strong in the red zone though, and the Cadets had 52 seconds to settle for a field goal to go up 3-0 with 7:52 left in the first quarter. 

Fort Frye’s defense shut down the Roughriders’ passing game on the next drive, forcing a three-and-out. The Cadets continued to dominate with their rushing attack, and Bryndan Riddle capped off the drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown to extend their lead to 10-0 with 2:28 left in the opening quarter.  

West Jefferson’s aerial attack finally took off on the next drive, as quarterback Austin Buescher dished the ball out to players like Mason Book and Owen Warner all the way down the field. Buescher found Book for an incredible passing touchdown from 24 yards out to cut the Cadet lead to 10-7 with 19 seconds remaining in the first quarter. 

On the next drive, West Jefferson’s defense stepped up big time and forced a fumble, and defensive lineman Braxton Stone took it 45 yards to paydirt to take the lead at 14-10 with 11:42 to go in the second quarter. 

The next play from scrimmage the Roughriders forced another fumble and took possession on the Cadets’ 32-yard line. 

West Jefferson was driving down the field, and made it all the way to the 9-yard line, but a botched handoff rolled wildly across the turf, and linebacker Matthias Kesselring scooped it up and ran it 91 yards to the house for the Cadets to take the lead back. With 9:20 left in the first half, Fort Frye led 17-14. 

Buescher continued to nickel and dime it down the field for the Roughriders and fooled the Cadets’ defense by taking a quarterback draw 25 yards to the end zone. With 5:59 left in the second quarter, West Jefferson led 21-17. 

After stopping the Cadets on fourth-and-5, the Roughriders took over in their own territory. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Buescher launched it deep to Book, who caught the ball directly over the head of a Fort Frye defender and took it 70 yards to paydirt, extending the lead to 28-17 with 2:43 left in the first half. 

The Cadets responded quickly, as Grady Hesson made an incredible catch in the end zone with just 14 seconds left in the first half to make the score 28-24. 

West Jefferson continued to dominate through the air in the second half, as Book got wide open and took a pass nearly 50 yards for his third touchdown of the ball game to put the Roughriders up 35-24 with 10:04 left in the third quarter. 

The Roughriders’ Wyatt Keyt juked out several defenders en route to another West Jefferson touchdown, to make the score 42-24 with 2:25 left in the third quarter. 

Fort Frye was able to respond, though, running their way down the field with Huck finishing the drive with a one yard rushing touchdown. 

West Jefferson was able to continue to hold off Fort Frye from scoring, though, scoring another touchdown before the clock hit 0:00, and taking the game by a score of 49-30.