BRYANT Shirreffs played a little pitch-and-catch with his receivers and the result was another blowout scrimmage win for Jefferson.
The senior quarterback scorched Morgan County’s secondary for 227 yards and three touchdowns in a mere half of play as the Dragons beat the Bulldogs Thursday 37-14. Click here for pictures.
Jefferson, which is coming off an 8-3 season, won its scrimmage 48-15 last year over Lumpkin County.
Morgan County is coming off an eight-win season.
“Overall, I’m really pleased,” Jefferson coach T. McFerrin said of the lopsided victory. “I’m sort of relieved because I thought it could be the other way around.”
Unofficially, the margin of victory was even more convincing.
No tally was kept in the second half, but Jefferson’s second-teamers and junior varsity players tacked on three more touchdowns as the Dragons actually prevailed 55-26.
Shirreffs finished 9-of-13 on the night and added 33 yards on six carries and one touchdown (eight yards). Shirreffs’ favorite deep-ball target was fellow senior McKay Dickens, who hauled in three receptions for 136 yards.
“Bryant Shirreffs played great and McKay played great,” McFerrin said.
Dickens caught scoring strikes of 73 and 40 yards. He finished with an average of 45 yards a catch.
“It was amazing,” Dickens said. “Words can’t really describe it. I know it’s just a scrimmage but it still feels good scoring touchdowns.”
It was a back-and-forth scrimmage early on with plenty of big plays.
Capitalizing on turnovers, Jefferson jumped out to a 14-0 lead with Shirreffs’ eight-yard touchdown run and a two-yard score from Tyler Bowen.
Morgan County answered with a 60-yard touchdown pass, only to watch Shirreffs hit a wide-open Dickens for a 73-yard touchdown on the subsequent possession.
The Bulldogs pulled to within 20-14 with a four-yard touchdown run, but Dickens’ 40-yard touchdown grab gave Jefferson a 27-14 lead.
Micah Carpenter caught Shirreffs’ final touchdown pass of the night — an eight yarder — to punctuate a big evening for the Jefferson receivers.
“That (the receiving corps) needs to be the strength, because we’ve got more of them than anything else,” McFerrin said.
Chandler Schlutow added a 23-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to cap Jefferson’s high-powered first half.
McFerrin was pleasantly surprised by his team’s 37 first-half points.
“With a team like this — so inexperienced and we’ve got so many new starters — I did not know,” McFerrin said. “I had no idea. I was afraid it was going to be the other way.”
It was also a big night for Jefferson’s reserves.
Second-team quarterback Evan Shirreffs hit Rodney Carr for a 30-yard touchdown and Antonio Strickland ran for two touchdowns in the second half (20 and 29 yards).
Now, Jefferson has two weeks to prepare for archrival Commerce.
“We’ve still got some preparing to do, but we’ve been doing the passing league all summer,” Dickens said. “We know it. We’ve just got to go out there and do it. And our defense has to get ready for what they run.”