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September 14, 2013

H.S. FOOTBALL: Jeff starts 4-0 with 34-11 win over Madison

Devil D holds Cubs to 127 yards

MADISON — The string of 60-point performances came to its conclusion Friday night at Madison for the Jeffersonville football team.

The string of wins didn’t.

A hard-nosed Cubs defense clamped down on the high-octane Red Devils’ offense until touchdown-machine Austin Hines, who didn’t cross the goal line in the first half, ripped off a long scoring run early in the third quarter. A vintage Hines outing, coupled with a few long passes, highlighted Jeff’s production for the night in a 34-11 win in Hoosier Hills Conference action.

This victory was all about the defense, which consistently gave Jeff (4-0, 3-0 HHC) excellent field position and never allowed Madison (2-2, 0-2) to threaten. The Cubs didn’t find the end zone until deep in the fourth quarter when relentless running back Mitchell Sandlin scored from 8 yards out.

Jeff’s defense — coming off a shutout of Bedford North Lawrence — had made its statement already. The Devils allowed a mere 127 yards of total offense, with Sandlin gaining 117 of that by himself on the ground.

Considering Jeff had scored at least 60 points in each of its first three games, Madison certainly delivered a commendable effort on defense. The Cubs managed to keep Hines from scoring in the first half, although a nifty touchdown run in which he made a beautiful stutter step to evade a defender was called back due to a penalty.

Madison couldn’t keep Hines away from paydirt all night. He scored three touchdowns in the second half and finished with 220 yards on 24 carries.

With Jeff leading just 14-3 at halftime, Hines opened the third quarter with a 19-yard run after a previous long run was wiped out because of holding. Two plays later, Hines made a shifty run that resulted in a 59-yard touchdown. He would add a 5-yard TD run to start the fourth quarter and a 9-yard TD run on the next possession as Jeff built a 34-3 lead.

As often befits a youthful quarterback, sophomore signal-caller Jamal Britt had an up-and-down game. He was intercepted twice and struggled with accuracy but played much sounder after halftime to finish 13 of 28 for 219 yards and one touchdown.

Early on, it looked like Jeff was well on its way to a fourth straight game with at least 60 points. It took the Devils only three plays to score their first touchdown, as two plays after sophomore Isaiah Blanton turned a wide receiver screen into a 43-yard gain senior Dionte Allen scored from 1 yard out. On the next possession, though, Madison’s Carson Compton intercepted Britt the first of his two times, and the Jeff offense in the first half rarely ran with efficiency leading into the break.

In the second quarter, Allen made a brilliant one-handed catch on fourth-and-3 to keep a drive alive. On the very next play, Britt rolled right and uncorked a 28-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wideout Brandon Coleman near the right pylon and just out of the extended reach of a Madison defensive back for a 14-3 lead with 10:21 left before intermission.

That was it for Jeff’s offense in the first half, although the Devils did outgain the Cubs 230-91. Madison’s only points came on a 22-yard field goal by Hunter Sego after Compton’s first interception.

Sandlin was the epitome of a workhorse running back. He carried 22 times in the first half alone or all but nine of the Cubs’ plays, which featured just three passes

Madison quarterback Kody Boles was 1 for 5 for 16 yards. Sandlin was the only Cubs’ rusher to gain positive yards.

Blanton had three catches for 92 yards for Jeff. Allen and Coleman had four catches apiece.

Jeff outgained Madison 483-127 on the night.

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