> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Until last Friday’s 37-27 Class 5A Sectional 8 semifinal win over Evansville North, Jeffersonville hadn’t played in a game that was decided in the fourth quarter since a season-opening 29-25 loss to Louisville Eastern.
Except for a 41-6 loss to Columbus East in Week 8, the Red Devils (8-3) hadn’t even been challenged in the second half since beating Bedford North Lawrence 41-26 in the third week of the season.
Jeff scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter and the game-clincher with six minutes left, giving the Red Devils their first real tough win of the season.
“We didn’t panic,” Devils’ coach Lonnie Oldham said. “We just stayed with the game plan and was able to retake the lead.”
After trailing 7-3 after the first quarter, Jeff was able to take advantage of two North turnovers and put three scores on the board in less than two minutes to take a 24-7 lead.
“The key was the turnover margin,” Oldham said. “We obviously came out ahead. You have to play field position in a game like that. We were punting and playing defense and trying to make them make mistakes. They made mistakes right there back-to-back and that was the difference.”
In the muddy conditions, the Red Devils ran more and threw less. Jeff ran 37 times for 260 yards, led by Austin Hines’ 173 yards, and threw just 30 times for 165.
“We became a mud team because we had to,” Oldham said. “In the playoffs, you’re going to have to run the ball at times. That’s really not what we do best and we know that’s not what we do best. We performed well enough to win.”
JEFF RESCINDS APPEAL
Jeffersonville High School decided last week not to pursue the appeal of a forfeit game against Madison. Jeff was given the loss — despite the Red Devils beating the Cubs on the field, 36-7 — when Oldham apparently played an ineligible player.
“[Greater Clark Schools superintendent] Dr. [Andrew] Melin decided not go ahead [with the appeal],” Oldham said. “I haven’t heard from him personally, but I have heard from [Jeff athletic director Lisa Stemler] that they’re not going to pursue the appeal.”
Although clearly upset by the decision of the administration, Oldham declined further comment.