Jefferson sophomore Colby Wood was able to take people by surprise this season. 

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back and cornerback had nearly 30 carries in the Dragons’ season-opener against Rabun County, and he torched the Wildcats for nearly 260 yards and three touchdowns. 

And as the season went on and opponents adjusted, he kept pace. Behind a stellar offensive line, Wood accounted for 2,322 yards of total offense - more than half of what Jefferson produced this season. He rushed for 2,119 yards and 32 touchdowns on 322 carries with just one fumble, and snagged 17 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown. The Dragons (10-2) reached the second of the Class 3A play-offs.

“We lost a lot of players (from the 2014 team) and no one believed in us and thought we’d make it this far,” Wood said. “It turned out to be a great season. We just bought into what the coaches told us to do.”

The scary part for future opponents? Jefferson coach Ben Hall thinks Wood still has a way to go. 

“He’s a guy that played every snap for us for the most part, offensively and defensively, “ Hall said. “He never complains. He just steps in. He’s a humble kid that knows he’s not a great player yet. He’s a good player on a good team with a lot of good players surrounding him.”

Wood’s been on the field since he was young. He started playing flag football at 5 and switched to tackle at 6. But rec team success doesn’t always translate to varsity dominance.

“You don’t get real excited about middle school heroes, rec school heroes because you never know how they’re going to pan out,” Hall said. “We knew he was good going through rec and middle school. You don’t know how those kids that have had success early, how they’ll develop and he sure has done that. He’s hungry to get better.”

College coaches have taken notice. A few have reached out to Hall. Wood said he took a visit to Tennessee. He’s trying to get stronger in the weight room and improve his speed. 

“It would be easy for a kid his age to be satisfied with a 2,000-yard rushing season and think he’s there,” Hall said. “Colby knows he’s not there.”

But Wood is hoping that this is just the beginning.

“Coach, friends, they were all proud of me, telling me don’t lose focus. We still have a long way to go,” Wood said. “Everyone just believes in me, and I guess just working hard pays off. Hopefully it will happen again next season.”


Blessed Trinity 38, Jefferson 12: Titans dominate fourth quarter to eliminate Dragons


Blessed Trinity knocks Dragons from AAA playoffs.

Access Northeast Georgia - Gainesville, Georgia - November 21,  2015

ROSWELL — Jefferson football was left wondering what might have been on Friday.

The Dragons watched turnovers, missed assignments and a stout Blessed Trinity defense combine to keep the visitors' offense at bay for much of the night in a 38-12 win for the Titans in a Class AAA playoff showdown in Roswell.

Blessed Trinity also had chances to stumble but simply refused -- despite losing its starting quarterback and running back to first quarter injuries. When Conor Davis and Milton Shilton went down -- both seniors -- plenty of other players stepped in to fill the gaps, including freshman quarterback Jake Smith and senior running back Garrett Dupuis.

Jefferson (10-2) actually took a 3-0 lead before falling behind 17 - 3 -- only to storm back within 17-12. But the Titans (11-0-1) absorbed the shot and charged right back behind Smith and Dupuis, the pair creating three fourth quarter touchdowns to seal the win. Dupuis finished the game with 107 yards rushing and four scores on 18 carries, while Smith completed 12 of 14 passes for 204 yards and a score.

Their performances helped carry the Titans into the state quarterfinals, where they will take on first-time quarterfinalist Dawson County -- the site of the contest is to be determined by coin flip on Saturday.

The Dragons season, meanwhile, is now complete -- though Jefferson's seniors leave as the winningest class in program history after compiling a 46-7 mark during their four seasons, including the 2012 Class AA title.

"I'm proud of my seniors and the way they led this season when no one really gave them a shot before the year," Jefferson coach Ben Hall said. "They have had tremendous careers here, and this is where the program is at now -- but nobody is satisfied with this."

Jefferson looked set to respond to Blessed Trinity's 10-3 halftime lead with something spectacular, using a 13-yard Zack Boobas touchdown run and a 25-yard Hayden Kilgore field goal (one of two on the night for Kilgore) to pull within 17-12 with just 39 seconds left in the third quarter.

But the Blessed Trinity responded emphatically, marching 85 yards on five plays to regain a 24-12 cushion on a three-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Dupuis. The Titans then forced a turnover on downs from the Dragons near midfield and scored on the ensuing possession thanks to a 10-yard scamper from Dupuis to begin pulling away.

"We had opportunities in the first half to grab more momentum, but we had some drive-killing penalties and some missed assignments, and when you play a team like that little things get magnified," Hall said. "I'm proud of our effort, but there were just too many mistakes."

The Titans defense also played a significant role, largely keeping standout running back Colby Wood in check, as the sophomore managed 83 yards on 23 carries. Quarterback Bryce Moore completed 17 of 29 passes for 155 yards but was also intercepted twice.

Meanwhile, Blessed Trinity's Ryan Davis also provided some key moments for the hosts, hauling in six passes for 112 yards.

JEFFERSON..............3....0....9.....0 -- 12
BLESSED TRINITY....7....3....7....21 -- 38

First Quarter
JHS -- Kilgore 26 field goal, 4:09, 3-0
BT -- Dupuis 8 run (Hosea kick) :25, 3-7

Second Quarter
BT -- Hosea 37 field goal, 3:19, 3-10

Third Quarter
BT -- Hamilton 6 run (Hosea kick) 8:55, 3-17
JHS -- Boobas 13 run (kick failed) 5:33, 9-17
JHS -- Kilgore 25 field goal, :39, 12-17

Fourth Quarter
BT -- Dupuis 3 pass from Smith (Hosea kick) 9:54, 12-24
BT -- Dupuis 10 run (Hosea kick) 5:36, 12-31
BT -- Dupuis 12 run (Hosea kick) :52, 12-38


Jefferson Offensive Line set's the pace for Dragon's offense.

Access Northeast Georgia - Gainesville, Georgia - November 19, 2015 

JEFFERSON — As Alex Corbett recalls, the normally boisterous Memorial Stadium became nearly silent after last season’s overtime loss to Blessed Trinity.

Only one feeling remained: A small vibration in the back of Corbett’s helmet as Blessed Trinity fans loudly celebrated their victory, which knocked the Dragons out of the Class AAA state playoffs.

This year, with the chance of redemption on the line, the center said he was dedicated to flipping the script.

“It was a sense of shock,” said Corbett after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s something that’s stuck with me ever since then. We saw them on our side of the bracket when we first got to the playoffs this year, and we wanted to play them ever since.”

The fifth-ranked Dragons (10-1) got their wish, and will face the undefeated No. 2 Titans (10-0-1) in the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs this Friday at Blessed Trinity Stadium in Roswell.

Jefferson’s offense is powered by standout sophomore running back Colby Wood (2,027 yards so far this season), who leads the state in touchdowns (32). Part of his success, according to Wood, has been his experienced offensive line, which returned four starters over the offseason.

The line has paved the way for the Dragons to put up an average of 274 rushing yards per game so far this season.

Wood has already broken the school’s single-season rushing record (1950 yards, held by Curtis Segars since 1950).

“The line always does their job,” said Wood. “They can give me 5 yards, or a break, and I can use my vision. I like running behind these guys. I think they’re some of the best in the state. I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world.”

Some of Jefferson’s veteran linemen have played together since middle school, according to junior right tackle Caleb Chandler, who said “the stars have aligned” for Jefferson and Blessed Trinity to meet up again.

Wood’s vision, Chandler said, makes the line’s job easier because they communicate well with the sophomore in order for him to break through for big yardage.

The team typically hits its stride late in games, according to Corbett, with the offense able to relay information back and forth quickly between snaps.

“It depends on how the defense is slanting, we can give him a good idea of whether to cut outside or stick inside,” said Chandler. “Colby has amazing vision.”

While Wood will likely receive the most touches against Blessed Trinity, the offensive line can also block for Jefferson’s other offensive threats, including Zack Boobas, who ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 49-0 first-round win against Pepperell.

Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Bryce Moore is nearing 1,000 yards through the air this season, and spent several reps Tuesday afternoon working through long passing situations. In 2014, the Dragons attempted four straight passes in its overtime possession before falling 28-21 to the Titans.

“We’re not going in looking for revenge,” said Jefferson coach Ben Hall. “We’re just looking for a smart game, execution in all phases. It was a hard-fought battle last year, so we expect nothing less this week.”

Last season’s loss has become this year’s motivation for the offensive line, according to Corbett. The senior likened his unit to “one big machine,” which works together if all of the pieces are together.

He said Jefferson will have to play its best game yet to progress to the state quarterfinals. Blessed Trinity has given up just 9 points per game, and has never conceded more than two touchdowns in a game so far this season.

“Something stuck with me last year,” Corbett said. “Every single week, we’ve been working harder to get to this point.”



Jefferson wins over the Pepperell Dragons 49 - 0.  Blessed Trinity up next Friday in Roswell.

JEFFERSON — Coming into Friday night, Jefferson senior defensive tackle Deshon Lester had never scored a touchdown in his high school career. That made the first play from scrimmage at Jefferson Memorial Stadium all the more memorable.

Lester set the tone for the game when he forced a fumble by Pepperell quarterback Trevor Thomas on a sack, scooped up the ball and carried it into the end zone, and Jefferson cruised to a 49-0 victory in the opening round of the Class AAA state playoffs.

“It felt really good,” Lester said. “All my teammates were celebrating with me. It was a big deal.”

Jefferson (10-1) will travel to Roswell next Friday to face the Blessed Trinity Titans (10-0-1) in a rematch of the 2014 state quarterfinals. The Titans defeated the Dragons 28-21 in overtime last season. Blessed Trinity knocked off Cook 40-14 Friday night.

Jefferson finished with 377 yards of total offense, while limiting Pepperell (7-4) to 166.

Dragons star running back Colby Wood was held to 60 rushing yards on 16 carries, but the sophomore surpassed 2,000 rushing yards ( 2,025 ) for the season.  He also rushed for two touchdowns and scored another via a pick-six interception return on defense.  Wood now has 34 touchdowns during the season.  His 204 points lead the state in scoring.

Junior Zack Boobas did most of the Dragons’ damage on offense with 194 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

“Zack is a competitor and has been for us all year,” Jefferson third-year coach Ben Hall said. “He proved over the last couple weeks that he was a solid back running the ball, so we gave him opportunities tonight and he came through.

“I was proud of the way he played. Going forward we’re going to need more than one guy to carry the load.”

“We started the game fast and I think we had a little case of early success syndrome where we kind of had a lull in the first half, made some mistakes but we overcame that,” Jefferson coach Ben Hall said. “We didn’t execute well offensively in the first half, but we regrouped at halftime and played a solid third quarter and second half to finish the ball game,” Hall said. “It was great to get a win in the first round and we’ll get ready for the next one.”
I’m proud of the kids and their effort.”

Boobas delivered Jefferson’s second touchdown of the night on a 7-yard run with 2:42 remaining in the first quarter. He later broke off a 52-yard run to set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Wood early in the second quarter.

Jefferson remained ahead 21-0 going into halftime.

The Dragons marched 58 yards for another 1-yard touchdown run by Wood on the first possession of the third quarter, and Boobas added a 3-yard score with 1:39 remaining in the period.

Wood intercepted a pass by Thomas and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with 30 seconds left in the third quarter to increase the lead to 42-0.

Jefferson turned to its reserves for the fourth quarter, which was played under a running clock. Justin Cole tacked on the final touchdown on a 1-yard run with 5:56 remaining.

Now the Dragons must shift their attention to Blessed Trinity.

“It’s going to be a tough one, but I think we’re going to bring it to Blessed Trinity,” Lester said. “We’re going to have a good battle out there.”


Dragons move forward into playoff's after 43 - 27 win over Hart County

JEFFERSON — Jefferson could not repeat as Region 8-AAA champs on Friday.

But it wasn't from a lack of trying.

The Dragons pulled away from Hart County for a 43-27 win on Friday in Jefferson, but they finished with the second seed in 8-AAA thanks to Oconee County's defeat of Elbert County on the same night.

Color the Dragons unconcerned.

"Well we're fine with that (finishing with the No. 2 seed). If we wanted to be the first seed we should have won the game last week. We dropped that thing in double overtime and I'm proud for Oconee County and Travis Noland and the job he's done. This is a tough region -- 8-AAA region championship, that's a prize and they deserve it," Jefferson coach Ben Hall said. "Our kids responded tonight. So all we can do is play the games that are on the schedule and gotta try to take care of business and things that we can control. We can't worry about anything that's happened in the past. I'm proud of our guys for winning the game tonight."

There was also plenty of pride in the accomplishments of Dragons running back Colby Wood, who broke the school's season rushing record on the night, gaining 249 yards on 39 carries, to finish the regular season with 1,965 yards. It broke the long-standing  mark of 1,881 set by Curtis Segars in 1950. Wood also scored four touchdowns on the night giving him another Jefferson record of 31 for the season.  His 186 points broke another Segars record of 185 points in a season also established back in 1950. It was quite a night for the Jefferson sophomore running back. His work also included a dazzling 65 yard touchdown run early in the third period that pulled him within one yard of the school record.  A 6-yard run on the Dragons next possession put him in the record books.

"You know, that's one that kind of snuck up on us. It's not like we give him carries to get yards; he carries the ball for us so we can win ball games," Hall said. "The offensive line deserves a lot of credit. Colby's a sophomore running back, and he's still learning. He's a good player and he's gonna be a really good player down the road. Our offensive line, our tight ends and our receivers, there's a lot of moving parts with our offense and those guys deserve a lot of that credit. He should have a lot of yards; he's had a lot of carries. I'm very proud of him and his effort, and the guys up front deserve some credit too."

Zack Boobas also scored two touchdowns while rushing for 145 yards for Jefferson, which rolled up 443 total yards on the night.

The Dragons (9-1, 5-1 Region 8-AAA ) will play host to Pepperell next week at Memorial Stadium in the first round of the class AAA playoffs. 

JEFFERSON — Jefferson football absorbed some tough lessons on Friday.

The Dragons will have to apply those lessons almost immediately.

Jefferson suffered its first defeat of the campaign last week -- thanks to an opportunistic and determined Oconee County squad. And with just one contest remaining in the regular season, the Dragons know they need to make it a one-time occurrence, especially if they are to net their second straight Region 8-AAA crown and charge into the postseason with full momentum.

For his part, Jefferson coach Ben Hall believes his team is ready for a bounce back.

“We played a fine football team last week, and when you lose close like that, every mistake is magnified,” said Hall, who watched his team fall 36-35 in double overtime in Watkinsville after allowing just 49 points in its previous eight contests. “The kids know that now. When you haven’t really experienced something like that it’s hard to understand. But it set in with the kids on Friday. They were upset. But we talked about it, and they have responded. They have come back focused and ready to get better.”

The Dragons (8-1, 4-1 Region 8-AAA) also understand that they cannot afford mistakes again this Friday -- not against a Hart County team that, like Jefferson, is still in the thick of the 8-AAA championship race. 

“I believe Hart County is the most explosive team in the region,” Hall said. “We’re going to have play some of our best football this Friday.”

The Bulldogs (7-2, 4-1) feature a balanced attack that is passing for 208 yards per game, while also rushing for 215. Quarterback Robert Allen has spread the ball around this season, with three players catching double digit numbers of passes -- senior Zach Maldonado is by far the most consistent threat, hauling in 43 receptions for 933 yards and 6 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Trae Stowers (673 yards rushing, 5 TDs) and Trey Clark (547 yards, 7 TDs) pace the Hart ground attack.

“They’ve also got the most athletic defensive line we’ve seen,” Hall said. “Our kids know they’re going to be out-matched athletically, so we’re going to have to be fundamentally sound and execute.”

After last week, the Dragons believe they will be ready to do just that.

“They’re champing at the bit to get back on the field,” Hall said. “This team has had a chip on its shoulder since spring, when nobody really picked us to do much because of who we graduated from last season.”

For much of this campaign Jefferson’s new crop of stars have shown they are ready for the spotlight, relying on a punishing ground attack anchored by a veteran and imposing offensive line -- one that is clearing the way for sophomore running back Colby Wood, who's 1,711 yards rushing is amongst the top five totals in the state. He also has 26 touchdowns.

Yet Oconee sold out to slow the Dragons rush attack, and, by grabbing a two-touchdown lead, forced the visitors to go to the air more -- a shift that still provided key plays for Jefferson, as quarterback Bryce Moore put up his first 200-plus yard passing game of the season.

"We had almost 400 total yards of offense, so we were moving the ball; we just had some missed opportunities that hurt us -- of couse Oconee had missed opportunities too; it was a very even game," Hall said. "We knew we'd face a game like that at some point this season, and Bryce gave us a chance to win throwing the ball. We'd like to be 50-50 run-pass right now, but that's not where our strengths are at the moment -- but we're still developing there."

Both teams will be looking for any edge on Friday, as a loss could relegate either to the No. 4 seed from Region 8-AAA. In fact the same scenario is also in play for Oconee County and Elbert County, who will battle on Friday in Watkinsville.

All four teams are already qualified for the playoffs and alive in the region title hunt, but the pecking order is still to be determined. Jefferson’s path the championship requires a victory over Hart County as well as a win for Elbert County over Oconee. Yet if the Dragons fall to the Bulldogs and Elbert wins, Jefferson would take fourth.

“I’ve never been in a situation quite like this,” Hall said. “I was an assistant on the 2008 Flowery Branch team that lost one region game but finished as the No. 4 seed in the region -- because we were subdivided and that’s how it played out. That team went on to the state championship game that year. 

“Right now we’re just focusing on us; everything else will take care of itself.”


Oconee Co. 36, Jefferson 35 (2OT) : Dragons lose in

double overtime on two-point play


Posted by Ben Munro of the Jackson Herald

 Saturday, October 31. 2015 
A Jefferson team unaccustomed to regular season losses will have to regroup

from a heartbreaking one.

The Dragons (8-1, 4-1) fell to Oconee County 36-35 Friday night after the

Warriors (7-2, 4-1) scored a touchdown in double overtime, then gambled on a

two-point play and converted it.

“We made some errors in the first half — and they capitalized — and we were

behind at halftime, and our kids responded in the second half, and battled, and

we got beat by a fine football team,” Jefferson coach Ben Hall said.

The visiting Dragons led 35-28 in the second overtime, but Warriors’

quarterback Zeb Noland scored on a two-yard keeper to pull Oconee County

within a point, 35-34.

Opting to go for a two-point conversion and the win, the Warriors ran an

end-around to Cooper Saunders, who sprinted untouched into the end zone to

end this Region 8-AAA standoff.

Jefferson’s region title hopes are not dead, but it no longer controls its own

destiny. The Dragons have to beat Hart County next week and Elbert County

must beat Ocone County for Jefferson to claim its second-straight 8-AAA


Hall sought to keep the mood upbeat in the postgame huddle in the aftermath

of a rare loss for his program, which came into the contest as winners of 27 of

its last 29 games.

The loss ended a streak of 23 consecutive regular season victories and a run

of 15 consecutive wins in region play. The Dragons hadn’t dropped a regular

season or region game since Oct. 4, 2013 when they fell to Washington-Wilkes

21-14 as members of Region 8-AA.

“We just have to go back, and regroup and get ready for Hart County,” Hall

said. “That’s all we can do.”

The teams ended regulation in a 21-21 stalemate, and traded touchdowns

in the first overtime. Noland scored from 15 yards out, while Colby Wood

answered with a two-yard touchdown for Jefferson to tie the game at 28.

Wood then scored on a 15-yard run to start the second overtime. Noland

carried the ball three times on Oconee County’s subsequent possession, and

scored on a two-yardrun, setting up Saunders’ game-winner.

A trio of Jefferson players put-up big offensive numbers in the loss.

Wood logged his second 40-plus carry night of the year, running for 198

yards on 44 attempts and scoring all five of Jefferson’s touchdowns.

Wood added 54 yards receiving on five catches.

Bryce Moore finished with a career-high 205 yards on 16-of-25 passing with

no interceptions. His main target was Chaz Evans, who finished with 116

yards on eight catches.

An Oconee County defensive scheme that often called for nine defenders in

the box necessitated more passing out of the Dragons and their young

quarterback, Moore.

“We knew going into this one, we were going to have to loosen their box, and

they still stayed true to their low safeties, so we had to throw the ball,” Hall


The Halloween Eve game got off to an ominous start for Jefferson with

Oconee County ’s Gavin Adcock returning a first-quarter fumble 61 yards for

a score and a 7-0 lead.

The Dragons answered with a one-yard touchdown from Wood — set up by a

46-yard reception from Zack Boobas — to tie the game at seven. But Oconee

County reclaimed the lead in the second quarter with a 13-yard pass from

Noland to Saunders. Noland, who has committed to Appalachian State,

finished with 208 yards through the air and two touchdowns passing. His

other scoring strike was a 70-yarder to Ty Paschal in the third quarter to put

the Warriors up 21-7.

“Zeb Noland is one of the best quarterbacks in the state, and he was on

tonight,” Hall said. “He hit his throws.”

But Jefferson rallied behind two touchdowns from Wood — a five-yard run in

the third quarter and a three-yard score in the fourth — to force overtime.

“Like I told the team, I’m proud of the way they responded in the second half

and didn’t now any quit,” Hall said. “No quit whatsoever.”

Hall looks for his team to be more battle-tested as a result of this game, even

though it lost.

“This team is not used to dropping ball games,” Hall said. “But a lot of times

a young football team can learn more from losing a close ball game like this

than they can from going undefeated (in the regular season).

“I’d hate to go undefeated through the regular season and be put in a pressure

situation in the playoffs, and then drop a pressure game. These kids battled in

a pressure game. They just made one more play.”

Hall gave full credit to Oconee County.

“My hats off to them,” Hall said. “They did a great job. They had us schemed up,

and they executed their game plan.”




Jefferson, Oconee County set to clash in Watkinsville      

After a 41-20 loss to Hart County last week, Oconee County went back to

Watkinsville and regrouped.

“We sat down and thought about everything we still want to accomplish,

” Oconee County linebacker Jaleel Laguins said. “... We can still accomplish

everything we want to accomplish. We were down at first and we’re just out

here trying to get back to work and come back here stronger and more

united as a brotherhood.”

The Warriors (6-2, 3-1 in Region 8-AAA) are midway through a tough

four-game run in loaded Region 8-AAA. They clinched a playoff spot

with a 26-13 victory against Morgan County before heading to Hartwell.

Oconee County hosts third-ranked Jefferson (8-0, 4-0) at 7:30 tonight in its

first home game since Sept. 25. They cap the regular season with a visit

from fifth-ranked Elbert County (7-1, 3-1).

“We know it doesn’t get any easier,” Oconee County coach Travis Noland

said. “We’ve got the number three team and the number five team in the

state left to play. All we can control is us, and hopefully we can play better

as a team and not make as many mistakes.”

In the loss to Hart County, the Bulldogs scored more points in the second

quarter — 27 — than Oconee County allowed all year, and most of those

scores came on big plays.

“Several of those big plays, we played as good as we could play them,”

Noland said. “They just made great catches and great throws and we

moved the ball all over, but we didn’t generate enough points. That

second quarter got away from us.”

Oconee County allowed just 39 points, along with two shutouts, heading

into the game against Hart County. Through eight games, they’ve allowed

80 points, second in the region to Jefferson’s 50. The Dragons have notched

three shutouts.

The game pits three preseason Terrific 10 selections against each other in

Georgia commit Laguins, Oconee County quarterback and Appalachian State

signee Zeb Noland and Jefferson lineman Caleb Chandler. Chandler leads a

dominating offensive line that has led the way for sophomore running back

Colby Wood. Wood has racked up 1,513 yards and 21 rushing scores on 203


“They’re the real deal,” Noland said. “You don’t get ranked the way they are

and win games as they’ve won and not be the real deal. It’s going to be a

very tough challenge for us.”


NOTE--  In region 8-AAA -- Jefferson has the clear lead as the only undefeated

team, but the Dragons will face Oconee County and Hart County in successive


Those two squads are currently tied with Elbert County in second with one

region loss each; Elbert must also face Oconee. Seeding will all shake out in

the next two weeks. 



Athens-area high school football stats (Oct. 29)



Name; School; Att; Yds; Avg; TD

Colby Wood; Jefferson; 203; 1,513; 7.5; 22

CeCe Green; Winder-Barrow; 138; 1,006; 7.3; 9

Christian Casey; Oconee County; 151; 890; 5.9; 4

Will Thomas; Commerce; 84; 736; 8.8; 4

JaQua Daniels; Clarke Central; 116; 705; 6.0; 5

Kevon Hudson; Prince Avenue; 63; 624; 9.9; 11*

Drew Richardson; Athens Academy; 103; 620; 6.0; 12

Cole Chancey; Commerce; 89; 602; 6.8; 3

Jerphari Colbert; Cedar Shoals; 112; 528; 4.7; 5

Will Corry; Athens Academy; 86; 485; 5.6; 7



Name; School; Att; Comp; Yds; TD

Cody Lee; Athens Christian; 136; 84; 1,249; 8

Sam Middlebrooks; North Oconee; 143; 64; 1,121; 9

Zeb Noland; Oconee County; 126; 56; 1,107; 11

Jack Mangel; Clarke Central; 159; 83; 1,092; 10

Drew Richardson; Athens Academy; 142; 83; 1,066; 6

Noah Chapman; Winder-Barrow; 115; 67; 791; 6

Bryce Moore; Jefferson; 75; 43; 599; 2

Brock Landis; Winder-Barrow; 98; 45; 569; 3

Caleb Brooks; Commerce; 28; 14; 273; 7

Rodney Dillard; Cedar Shoals; 50; 18; 246; 1



Name; School; Rec.; Yds; Avg; TD

DaMarco Canty; North Oconee; 21; 463; 22.0; 5

Ty Paschal; Oconee County; 17; 413; 24.3; 5

Andre Jackson; Winder-Barrow; 24; 384; 16.0; 2

Cale Horne; Winder-Barrow; 23; 375; 16.3; 1

Richard Jibunor; Athens Christian; 25; 487; 19.5; 6

Roques Dowdy; Oconee County; 18; 367; 20.4; 2

Terrell Mattox; Athens Christian; 21; 322; 15.3; 1*

Khyrie Moore; North Oconee; 15; 270; 18.0; 3

JaQua Daniels; Clarke Central; 24; 244; 10.2; 2

J’Varius Wood; Commerce; 11; 230; 20.9; 6



Name; School; Total

Mason White; Winder-Barrow; 108

Will Newman; North Oconee; 108

Nathan Millwood; Winder-Barrow; 105

Joey Junius; Winder-Barrow; 83

Nathan Elrod; East Jackson; 80

Sajaan Patel; North Oconee; 75

Zack Boobas; Jefferson; 62

Connor Allen; North Oconee; 60

Deon Williams; Winder-Barrow; 57

Andrew Scott; East Jackson; 54



The Gainesville Times

Jefferson rolls past East Jackson 49 - 0 ~ Now 8 - 0

for season

COMMERCE — It was a short night for the Jefferson varsity squad Friday night

against East Jackson.

The Dragons varsity scored 42 of the team’s 49 points en route to an emphatic

49-0 win.

Jefferson (8-0, 4-0) outgained East Jackson 364 yards to 61 in the game and

only failed to score on three possessions. The junior varsity players ended the

first half and played the entire second half for the Dragons.

“I’m proud of our guys especially the young guys who got to come in and get

some significant reps tonight,” Jefferson head coach Ben Hall said. “We

challenge our young players when they have an opportunity. There is no

mop-up duty; they are all auditioning for future reps.

“Our young guys take pride in that opportunity and gave their best effort.

They were mismatched against older guys but they fought when they were in


The Dragons began with a 73-yard opening drive capped by an 11-yard run by

Colby Wood, that was their longest drive of the game. Wood left the game

between the first and second quarters, he finished with 114 yards on only five


Zack Boobas scored the Dragons next three touchdowns, first with a 20-yard

interception return on East Jackson’s first offensive play from scrimmage.

Boobas then ended a 65-yard drive with an 11-yard run and a short 30-yard drive

with a 5-yard run to extend the Dragons led to 28-0.

“Going into the game we knew our opponent and what they had done in the past

but we didn’t take that for granted,” Boobas said. “We knew what we were

coming into and we prepared the same way we do every week.

“It was cold so we tried to get out of here, we wanted to score fast so we could

put other people in to see the field if they haven’t and then go home and warm


Darrien Hill had a 28-yard run to start the second quarter and a 22-yard run on

the next possession to end the varsity’s night with a 42-0 lead. Hill left the

game soon after with 80 yards on six carries.

Zac Corbin ended the scoring for the Dragons with a 3-yard run to bring the lead

to 49-0 and insure the clock would not stop running in the second half. Before

his score, Corbin had a 37-yard run to place the ball at the 3-yard line.

With a running clock in the second half, Jefferson only had two drives both

ending without points. The Dragons defense made up of mostly junior varsity

players stopped the Eagles offense for minus-4 yards in the second half, sealing

the 49-0 shutout victory.

Jefferson goes into an off week giving them a chance to prepare for Oconee

County and Hart County the week after. Both teams are near the top of the

Region 8-AAA standings with Jefferson in the lead.

“When you have an off week prior to game nine you just want to stay sharp and

get an early jump on some future game plans,” Hall said. “With an off week this

late in the season you don’t want to do too much, we’re not going to try to

reinvent the wheel.”


WDUN Access

Jefferson routs East Jackson 49 - 0

COMMERCE — Class AAA No. 3 Jefferson remained unbeaten after taking a

49-0 win over East Jackson Friday in Region 8-AAA action.

The Dragons (8-0, 4-0 Region 8-AAA) started fast with 35 first quarter points en

route to the big win.

Sophomore running back Colby Wood played just seven offensive plays for the

Dragons but was more than effective carrying the five times for 113 yards and a

touchdown. Zach Boobas had two rushing touchdowns and added a pick-6 on


Darian Hill had two touchdowns and quarterback Zach Corbin had one score for

Jefferson, which piled up 321 total yards of offense.

The Dragons defense held East Jackson (1-7, 0-4) to just 61 total yards of


Jefferson will have a bye week next Friday before taking on Oconee County in

Watkinsville in two weeks in what is expected to be a battle for first place in

the region.


WDUN Access

Jefferson shuts out Morgan County 17 - 0 in Memorial Stadium 


JEFFERSON -- The Jefferson defense held Morgan County to just 136 total

yards and pitched its second shutout of the season Friday night in a 17-0 win

at Memorial Stadium.

Colby Wood outgained the entire Bulldogs offense rushing for 153 yards and

scored twice to lead the Dragons (7-0, 3-0 Region 8-AA) to a key region win.

Wood scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter and added a 2-yard scoring run

in the second quarter. Freshman Hayden Kilgore booted a 34-yard field goal in

the second quarter to give Jefferson a 17-0 halftime lead.


JEFFERSON | Colby Wood rushed 23 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns

as Jefferson – ranked No. 3 in Class AAA – defeated Morgan County 17-0 in

Region 8-AAA play.

Wood, who had 72 yards at halftime, scored on a 1-yard run with 8:38 left in the

first quarter and on a 2-yard rush with 10:50 remaining before halftime.

Hayden Kilgore added a 34-yard field goal with 6:02 left in the second quarter.

The Dragons (7-0, 3-0) will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at East Jackson. Morgan

County (3-3, 1-1), which has not been shut out since October 2013, will host

Oconee County at 7:30 p.m. Friday.


From the Gainesville Times

Wood a throwback to an earlier time.

In the popular climate of pass-happy offenses and hurry-up tempos, Jefferson

High’s Colby Wood is something of a throwback.

His signature “north-south” style, combined by what one coach deemed as

“incredible” vision, allowed Wood to rack up 285 yards and four touchdowns

on 45 carries in a convincing 27-8 region win over No. 4 Elbert County Friday


“I just see things through my peripheral vision,” said Wood (VIDEO). “It’s more

about vision than anything.”

The result makes the third-ranked Dragons (6-0, 2-0 Region 8-AAA) the

front-runner to wrap up a second straight region title, which could guarantee an

easier road through the Class AAA playoffs.

According to Maxpreps, Wood currently leads the state in rushing touchdowns

(18) and ranks second in the state in total rushing yards (1,246), behind senior

Dakota Reese of GISA Briarwood Academy (Warrenton).

Wood and his head coach, Ben Hall, both said Monday that the running back

typically has clean holes to run through, thanks to Jefferson’s experienced

offensive line. Five offensive linemen are either juniors or seniors with starting


Wood, who also starts on defense and special teams, rarely sees a play he

doesn’t want to get in on, according to Hall.

After starting his freshman year at 155 pounds, Wood bulked up over the

offseason, and can now use his strength to bowl over defenders.

“The weight program has helped him as much as anything,” said Hall. “He’s

bigger and stronger, he’ll be the first to tell you that. He does what he’s

supposed to do, and he does what he can when he’s called.”

Wood spent his freshman year learning under the tutelage of graduated senior

Sammy Williams, who led Jefferson to an appearance in the state quarterfinals

in his final year. This year, Wood is now the main offensive threat, a

responsibility he says he’s taking in stride.

He’s already proven that he can produce, no matter what his class rank says.

“Everyone says I’m just a sophomore, but anyone can do it if they put their mind

to it,” said Wood. “I just stay humble.”

Wood, who wants to add even more muscle by his junior year, often helps

decipher defensive coverage with running backs coach Rod Dollar on the


The two will often discuss where the sophomore can break through the

defense, which gives coaches like Dollar an extra set of eyes on the field. As

Wood matures each year as a rusher, Dollar said, he’ll become a better all-

around player.

“He has incredible vision,” said Dollar. “Probably better than anybody I’ve ever

seen. He doesn’t have the crazy top speed or size, but that vision, you

can’t teach."              

Hall said Wood’s ability to rise to the occasion shone through in the Elbert

County victory, where the sophomore had to tote the rock nearly 50 times.

Through six games this season, Wood has accounted for 63 percent of

Jefferson’s offensive yardage.

Jefferson hosts Morgan County on Friday at Memorial Stadium.

“Every Friday night is going to be a challenge, because teams are gunning for

us,” said Wood, who said the Dragons have a target on their back from other

region teams. “We feel like we might be able to do it again, but we have to

take care of business.”


October 6th Georgia state ranking for the Jefferson Dragons


Jefferson (6-0, 2-0 in Region 8-AAA) is ranked third in Class AAA after

posting a 27-8 win over Elbert County (5-1, 1-1) Friday. Elbert County

was ranked fourth heading into the pivotal region game with Jefferson, and

dropped to seventh this week following the loss. Jefferson will host

Morgan County at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Oconee County is also receiving votes.


WDUN Morning morning ( October 5th ) commentary ( Only Jefferson

referral is shown )


Here’s a look at five things we learned from Week 6 of the high school football


1. Jefferson is setting itself up for something special.

Nothing is set yet, and there is still plenty to play for, but from what the

Dragons have shown us so far this season, we’re all-in on Jefferson football.

A dominant line of scrimmage on both sides will take a team far, and Jefferson

may just have the best group in northeast Georgia -- though Buford could also

lay claim to that mantle. Blessed with size, experience and talent, the Dragons

continued their mauling ways on Friday, largely shutting down Elbert County’s

explosive attack both by stuffing the Blue Devils on defense and churning out

long drives on offense (keeping Elbert County quarterback Mecole Hardman

away from the ball). When you combine that with a special running back talent

in sophomore Colby Wood, who rushed for 284 yards and four touchdowns on 47

carries in Friday’s win, you have the formula for a deep playoff run. Certainly

there are obstacles in the way -- Oconee County is looking tough indeed -- but

Jefferson certainly looks equipped to deal with any of them.




Jefferson runs by Elbert County ~ Still controls

their own destiny after 27 - 8 win in Elberton.


ELBERTON -- It may have been advertised as the Colby Wood vs. Mecole

Hardman showdown. But it was the Dragons offensive line that deserved

top-billing Friday night.

The group of Caleb Chandler, Dontae Wilson, Alex Corbett, Hunter Griffith,

and Nick Holman controlled the line of scrimmage and opened huge holes for

Wood, who pounded out 284 yards on 47 carries and four touchdowns to lead

Class AAA third-ranked Jefferson to a 27-8 victory over No. 4 Elbert County at

The Granite Bowl.   The slashing sophomore running back has now rushed for

1246 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in six games this season.

The win put Jefferson (6-0, 2-0 Region 8-AAA) in firm control for the moment

atop the region standings. Elbert County (5-1, 1-1) is essentially two games

back with the head-to-head loss and Hart County also has a loss in the region.

The Dragons and the Bulldogs close out the regular season next month in


“This was a big win for us,” Jefferson coach Ben Hall said. “I thought the guys

did a great job from the beginning. We didn’t turn the ball over and Colby just

did a great job of finding the holes.”

Wood finished with more carries than Elbert County ran plays (41) on the night.

The Dragons defensive line was able to neutralize the Blue Devils potent

offense most of the game.

“The guys did a great job all night,” Hall said. “They controlled the line and we

were able to put some long drives together to control the ball and keep them off

the field. That was the key to the game.”

Senior center Alex Corbett said they knew coming in their play may decide the


“Both teams have great players and both lines are good,” Corbett said. “We just

tried to come out and take control and get our ground game going. It feels good

to be able to have the kind of game we did.”

Hardman finished with 107 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries, but most of

that came on the Blue Devils’ only scoring drive early in the fourth quarter after

the Dragons had already built a 21-0 lead.

All four of the Jefferson scoring drives consumed big chunks of time and were

at least 10 plays and 61-yards in length. Jefferson finished with 308 yards

rushing on 56 attempts, with 161 coming in the second half on 39 rushes. The

Dragons did not throw a pass in the second half.

The teams traded punts to open the game as both defenses forced quick three

-and-outs. The Blue Devils appeared to grab the early momentum on their next

drive as Hardman broke several tackles on the way to a 35-yard touchdown run.

But the score was called back on a penalty and they were forced to punt.

They traded punts again before Jefferson finally mounted its first drive of the

game. The Dragons started at their own 20 and threw just one pass while

moving to the Blue Devils 26. They faced a 4th-and 2 and Wood capped the

drive with a 26-yard touchdown blast up the middle after a timeout for a 7-0

lead with 10:34 left in the second quarter.

Other than Hardman’s one run that was called back, the Dragons defense did a

masterful job on Hardman. They held the shifty quarterback to just 35 yards on 

four carries and 2-for-8 passing in the first half.

On the next Elbert County possession following Wood’s fourth-down run, the

Jefferson defense forced a 3rd-and-31 with a sack, a tackle for loss, and a

penalty to force another Blue Devils punt.

Wood would do a little of everything on the Dragons next drive. He caught a

screen pass on 3rd-and-18 and serpentined for 21 yards to keep the drive alive.

Later, he rumbled 25 yards on a 3rd-and-3 at the Elbert 43. He capped that drive

with a 1-yard scoring with 12 seconds left in the half for a 14-0 lead.

The half fittingly ended for both teams as the Jefferson defense sacked

Hardman on the final play.

Wood had 24 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone.

The Jefferson defense held Hardman to just 35 yards on four carries and just

28 yards passing. The Blue Devils had 39 yards rushing on 10 carries in the first


Things were much the same to start the second half. After trading punts to

open the third quarter, Jefferson marched 55-yards, capped by Wood’s second

1-yard scoring run, for a 21-0 lead with 54 seconds left in the quarter.

The Blue Devils finally got their running game going on the next drive. Hardman

broke loose for a 26-yard run and then Latravious Barnett followed with 16-yard

run to move the ball to the Jefferson 30 to end the third quarter.

Hardman later capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run and added a

2-point conversion run to cut the lead to 21-8 with 9:54 left in the game.

After Jefferson extended the lead to 27-8, Elbert County drove down inside the

Jefferson 20 but Hardman was picked off at the Dragons 3 to essentially seal

the game.

One guess on who had the interception: Wood, of course.  He now has two

on the season from his cornerback position on the Jefferson defensive team.

Now the Dragons await a homecoming tilt with Morgan County next Friday

night at Jefferson Memorial Stadium at 7:30 pm.

The Elbert County Blue Devils will welcome Jackson County to Hartwell at

7:30 pm next Friday as they attempt to get back on a winning track. 

 Jefferson......0....14....7....6 -- 27
 Elbert Co......0.....0....0....8 -- 8

Second Quarter
 JEF -- Wood 26 run (Kilgore kick) 7-0, 10:34
 JEF -- Wood 1 run (Kilgore kick) 14-0, 0:12

Third Quarter
 JEF -- Wood 1 run (Kilgore kick) 21-0, 0:54

Fourth Quarter
 EC -- Hardman 4 run (Hardman run) 21-8, 9:54
 JEF -- Wood 10 run (kick failed) 27-8, 5:22



Jefferson - Elbert County Pre-game preview


ELBERTON — Sid Fritts gave it his best “coach-speak” -- but he still couldn’t

dampen the anticipation in his voice.

Ben Hall didn’t even try.

The Elbert County and Jefferson High football coaches know the build up to

their teams’ showdown on Friday in Elberton is mammoth -- and while they

aren’t getting swept away in it, they understand why plenty of fans are already

completely engulfed in the hype.

“Regardless of how you try to approach it, since early in the season people

have had this game circled,” said Dragons coach Hall, “and Elbert County’s a

top-notch team. They have great players and one of the premier guys in the

nation in Mecole Hardman. We’ve had a good week of practice, and I feel like

we’re focused. But we’re going to have to have our best effort without a doubt.”

The third-ranked Dragons (5-0, 1-0 Region 8-AAA) and fourth-ranked Blue

Devils (5-0. 1-0) expect a war when they face off in a battle of the only

undefeated teams left in Region 8-AAA (though Oconee County is undefeated

in league play). 

“We’re excited; our community’s excited, and we expect to see a big crowd in

the Granite Bowl Friday night,” Fritts said.

It’s understandable with the quality on display from both sides.

The explosive Hardman is -- according to some recruiting services -- the No. 1

athlete in the state, and his play at quarterback is undoubtedly a

difference-maker for the Blue Devils.

“Mecole’s a tremendous player -- people ask if he’s the best I’ve ever coached;

he may be the best I’ve ever seen,” said Fritts of the senior, who has rushed for

797 yards (8.1 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns, as well as passed for 308

yards and three scores, along with four interceptions.

And while Jefferson missed out on facing the signal caller last season --

Hardman was injured and did not play in a 52-6 Dragons win -- the visitors know

they must not allow the senior to take over this year's contest.

“You have to contain him the best you can. You’re not going to stop him. He’s

going to get his, and you just have to limit the opportunity for explosive plays

he has,” Hall said of Hardman. 

Fritts spoke in similar terms of Jefferson running back Colby Wood.

The sophomore has made the most of running behind a veteran and talented

offensive line but has an extra gear and field vision that has helped him to rush

for 961 yards (192.2 yards per game) and 14 touchdowns.“

"We’ve got to try to get the Wood kid hit before he gets started,” Fritts said.

“You let a running back get into the second/third level, with his skill set, then

you’re going to be in trouble.”

Getting to Wood has proven a tall task indeed, as opponents struggle to cut a

swathe through the Dragons’ men in the trenches. Similarly, the Dragons’

defensive line has also mauled opponents this season -- both units wearing

down and/or overpowering foes as evidenced by the fact that Jefferson is

allowing just 86 yards rushing per game while rushing for 258 itself. 

And while Elbert County has already battled one sizable offensive line in

Stephens County (a 34-30 win against a team anchored by Georgia-bound

lineman Ben Cleveland), Fritts says Jefferson’s front is the biggest test yet.

“We’ve had such a difficult schedule. Everybody we play has at some point been

in the top 10. But this one presents a whole new set of problems because

they’re so good up front, both offensive line and defensive line,” Fritts said.

“(Against Stephens County) we didn’t stop them very much; we just outscored

them. And I don’t know if we can do that very much, as good as they (Jefferson)

are defensively. They’re going to control the line of scrimmage, so we’ve got to

be able to hang in there and take some shots.”

Jefferson certainly expects a few shots from the Blue Devils -- who are, despite

Hardman’s eye-popping stats, far from a one-man show.

“(Running back) Tra Barnett’s an exceptional football player. He was the MVP

of the Hart County game,” Fritts said. “La’kel Hood, our B back is a guy that

takes a lot of pressure off. And Mecole’s gotten to where he can throw the ball

efficiently over the summer, and we’ve got some guys that can go get it --

Joseph Johnson, Montavious Tinch, Turner Banks... There’s a number of guys

that can help him.”

Jefferson, meanwhile, is also looking out for more hands to help on offense.

“We’re going to have to be more balanced than we have been in recent weeks

and take some pressure off the line of scrimmage,” Hall said. “We’ve done a

consistent job up front, but we have to take pressure off them with the passing

game, play-action and so forth. They have been able to handle the load, but as

we get into the region season and tougher games down the road we have to be

more balanced, and the kids realize that.”

Jefferson quarterback Bryce Moore enters the contest with 460 yards passing

and two touchdowns, compared with three interceptions.

“We’re to a point where our skill guys have developed, and we can ask them to

do more each game, and that’s been nice,” Hall said. “And it says a lot about the

guys up front that allowed us to put the stress on them. And we have stressed

those linemen and the backfield, and now those receivers and quarterback are

coming along nicely.”

Perhaps there’s no better way to see just how much they have developed than

in a top five showdown in an atmosphere that will match what teams will likely

see come postseason.

“We’re expecting a playoff atmosphere,” Hall said. “It’s going to be an intense

game; it’s going to be a hardfought ballgame, and the team that limits turnovers

and explosive plays is going to come out on top.”

And the program that does that on Friday might well be in prime position for the

postseason because of it.


Class AAA Top Ten Ranking

1. Calhoun (14)    149    1
2. Blessed Trinity (1)    134    2
3. Jefferson    117    3
4. Elbert County    107    4
5. Central-Carrollton    87    5
6. Cedar Grove    65    6
7. Peach County    63    7
8. Westside-Macon    47    9
9. Adairsville    26    T10
10. Dodge County    10    T10


Jefferson Defeats Jackson County 24 - 7

JEFFERSON — If you want to stand a chance at beating the Jefferson Dragons this
season, you better get your points and yards early.

Good luck on doing anything against the Dragons late.

Jefferson showed again on Friday that it's power ground game and defense was
enough to grind down a motivated foe, as the Dragons scored 17 unanswered second
half points en route to a 24-7 defeat of Jackson County in Jefferson.

The Panthers fought every step of the way and were tied 7-7 at the half, but
managed just 18 second-half yards, as the Dragons (5-0, 1-0 Region 8-AAA) pulled
away thanks to touchdown runs from Colby Wood (170 yards rushing) and Darrian
Hill (54 yards rushing) -- who helped roll up 217 yards on the ground.

"We established the ground game in the second half, and 'm proud of Darrian for
coming in in the second half and running hard," Jefferson coach Ben Hall said. "Colby
ran hard too, and he's just a steady player for us. Jackson County limited our
possessions early and made it tough for us."

Jefferson made life tough on the Panthers (3-2, 0-1) in the second half -- and made
rushing next to impossible for Jackson County, which managed just 20 yards on the

Quarterbacks Caleb Matthews and Jace Latty combined for 113 yards passing --
including Latty's 15-yard scoring toss to Tuck that made it 7-7 with 6:42 left in the
second quarter.

"We had some blown assignments in the secondary, and we have to eliminate our
errors on defense," Hall said.

Jefferson certainly did that in the second half, paving the way for a huge showdown
next week against 5-0 Elbert County in Elberton.

Jackson County, meanwhile, will look to bounce back next week against Oconee
County in Jefferson.

JACKSON CO....0....7....0.....0 -- 7
JEFFERSON......7....0....3...14 -- 24

First Quarter
 JEF -- Wood 2 run (Kilgore kick) :15, 7-0

Second Quarter
 JC -- Tuck 15 pass from Latty (kick) 6:42, 7-7

Third Quarter
 JEF -- Kilgore 25 field goal, 2:14, 10-7

Fourth Quarter
 JEF -- Wood 5 run (Kilgore kick) 9:28, 17-7
 JEF -- Hill 4 run (Kilgore kick) 2:49, 24-7
Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
Associated Tags: High school football, Jackson County football, Jefferson football

JEFFERSON — Wet and soggy conditions tend to produce unpredictability in football
games but no one could have predicted that Jackson County and Jefferson would
only be separated by three points after three quarters Friday night.

Yet Jefferson showed why it is the No. 3 team in Class AAA, scoring 14 points in the
fourth quarter to beat the Panthers 24-7 for their 20th straight regular season win.

“Give them (Jackson County) credit, they limited our possessions in the first half,”
said Jefferson head coach Ben Hall. “I’m not going to blame the conditions, there is
nothing to blame Jackson County just did a great job.”

The Dragons (5-0, 1-0) dominated Jackson County (3-2, 0-1) in time of possession in
the first quarter but could only muster one touchdown on a 2-yard run by Wood. He
ended the game with 162 and two touchdowns.

“He (Colby Wood) was a little slow getting going tonight, Jackson County did a good
job disguising how they were stacking the box,” he said. “Wood ran hard, and he is
just a steady player for us that continues to get better.”

The Panthers did not stay down long. They drove 65 yards with a pair of third-down
conversions on the arm of Caleb Matthews. The one third down they did not convert
led to a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jace Latty to Malik Tuck on fourth-and-6 to tie
the game 7-7.

Jefferson and Jackson both had some success on their next possessions, but because
of penalties they backed themselves up to third-and-20 plus situations that stalled

The first 10 minutes of the third quarter were a stalemate between both teams, that
ended when Hayden Kilgo made a 25-yard field goal to give Jefferson a 10-7 lead.

A 41-yard punt return by Zach Boobas set up the Dragons at the Panthers’ 9-yard line.
All Wood needed was a couple of handoffs to find the end zone and increase the lead to
17-7 with 9:24 left in the game.

“In the off week coach was telling us to not let it be a four quarter game, but they
(Jackson County) improved a lot from last year,” said Wood. “It was just a battle
between us and them. We started clicking in the second half and started executing.”

Jefferson stopped Jackson County on just three plays on the ensuing possession.
Hill carried the load on the next drive, finishing with a 5-yard touchdown run to set
score at 24-7.

“I think we got better tonight. We played our tails off and my hat is off to these kids,
they fought for four quarters” Jackson County head coach Brandon Worley said. “We
made a couple of mistakes late, gave up a punt return and we couldn’t get off their side
of the field. It’s tough, but I’m proud of our kids.

“We stood up and went toe-to-toe with the No. 3 team in the state and never flinched.
That’s what I wanted to do coming out here, that’s what I told the kids and they did.”

After compiling 347 yards last week, Tuck was held to just 18 yards against the Dragons.
Most of the Panthers’ yards came from the passing game. Matthews and Latty combined
completed 7 of 9 passes for 113 yards.

Besides Wood’s 168 rushing yards, Hill tallied 54 yards on 10 carries while Brace Moore
completed 4 of 7 passes for 63 yards.

Jefferson travels to Elbert County next week in a region battle between top 10 teams.
Jackson County hosts Oconee County looking for their first region win of 2015.


Jefferson 34 - Commerce 10

COMMERCE — Jefferson football always cherishes a victory over rival Commerce --

but the Dragons are lovinga 4-0 start even more.

Jefferson powered its way past its oldest foe on Friday night, claiming its

eighth win in nine years over the Tigers, 34-10 in Commerce.

"It’s huge to be undefeated, and we fought a gritty team tonight," Dragons

coach Ben Hall said. "(Commerce) came out and battled us tooth and nail just

like we knew they would. But I really love the way our kids responded and

battled when it didn’t go easy for us."

The Dragons (4-0) responded to a 3-0 first quarter deficit with 34 straight points,

running back Colby Wood leading the way, as the sophomore scored three

touchdowns and finished with 183 yards on the ground.

Running behind an offensive line that seemed to get stronger as the game

developed, Wood took his season rushing total to 802 -- an impressive number

as Jefferson looks toward its bye and the start of the Region 8-AAA schedule in

two weeks.

"I feel good about this team," Hall said. "We’ve got guys growing up, a

sophomore quarterback, a sophomore running back. And having an off week to

rest up is really going to benefit us."

The sophomore quarterback, Bryce Moore, finished the night 7 of 14 for 133

yards, a touchdown and an interception -- a night that included a handful of key

third down completions -- including a 21-yard rope to Wood.

He also hooked up with receiver Caleb Cooley (3 receptions, 53 yards) for a

seven-yard touchdown that pushed Jefferson in front for good at 6-3.

The Tigers (2-1) hurt their own cause with five fumbles, losing two of them.

And while Commerce did manage 122 yards rushing --led by 56 yards from Cole

Chancey -- they could not maintain their early momentum against a powerful

Jefferson front.

"I don’t know that we ground them down. Our kids are tired too," Hall said. "It

wasn’t fluid or as strong as we would like it to be, but I’m proud of the way

we fought it out."

It was the Tigers that started impressively, quarterback Caleb Brooks

connecting with J’Varius Wood for a 40-yard pass immediately after kickoff

to set up a 34-yard field goal from Andres Salgado for a 3-0 Commerce lead.

The long play proved one of the few offensive highlights in the early going,

however, as two tenacious defenses combined with drive-killing penalties

to stifle the offensive rhythm of both teams.

The Tigers defense helped them escape unharmed from a fumble recovered

deep in their own territory late in the first quarter -- but Commerce could not

keep the Dragons quiet for the entire half, andJefferson began to get its claws

into the game before the half.

Receiving a punt at its own 18, Jefferson marched down the field on the

strength of big plays from Colby Wood and Darrian Hill -- Wood ripping off a long

run and catching a 20-yard pass to set up first down at the Commerce 18.

Dragons quarterback Bryce Moore also connected with Kaleb Cooley to put

Jefferson on the board -- the seven yard strike giving the visitors a 6-3 lead with

3:01 left in the half (the point after attempt failed).

Jefferson wasn’t finished, however, knocking the ballfrom Will Thomas’ grasp

for Zack Boobas to recover at the Commerce 39.

Three plays later Colby Wood rumbled into the end zone, spinning off tackles en

route to a 15-yard touchdown and a 13-3 advantage with 1:34 left in the half.

And the sophomore was far from finished. Wood capped the Dragons’ second

possession of the second half with a 10-yard scamper for a 20-3 lead that gave

the visitors some breathing room. Five minutes later, Wood picked up his third

score of the night, rumbling in from nine yards for a 27-3 advantage, as the

Dragons continued pulling away.

Darrian Hill capped the scoring on a 4-yard plunge with 6:46 remaining for a

34-3 lead.

Commerce fashioned a late response with a scoring pass from Brooks to pull

within 34-10, but it was much too late for the Tigers, who will look to bounce

back next week at Athens Academy.

Jefferson will take a bye next week before facing Jackson County on Sept. 25

to kickoff 8-AAA play.


JEFFERSON....0...13...14....7 -- 34

COMMERCE....3.....0.....0....7 -- 10

First Quarter

CHS -- Salgado 34 field goal, 7:30, 3-0

Second Quarter

JHS -- Cooley 7 pass from Moore (kick failed) 3:01,


JHS -- Wood 15 run (Kilgore kick) 1:34, 3-13

Third Quarter

JHS -- Wood 10 run (Kilgore kick) 6:37, 3-20

JHS -- Wood 9 run (Kilgore kick) 1:59, 3-27

Fourth Quarter

JHS -- Hill 4 run (Kilgore kick) 6:46, 3-34

CHS -- Wood 10 pass from Brooks (Salgado kick) 3:44,



COMMERCE — The Jefferson Dragons started slower than they have all season

Friday night against the Commerce Tigers in the 70th annual River War. But

by game’s end, they were faster and more physicalas the Dragons’ ground game

wore down the in-county rival and resulted in a 34-10 victory.

Jefferson has won eight of the last nine games in the


Jefferson (4-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAA) was led by sophomore Colby Wood’s 181 yards

on 27 carries.

He also pulled the hat trick in touchdowns, scoring on runs of 15, 10 and 9 yards,


Wood’s senior counterpart, Darrian Hill, added 61 yards on nine carries and

scored one touchdown.

"We fought a gritty team tonight," Jefferson head coach Ben Hall said. "That

group right there (Commerce), they came out and they battled us tooth and nail

just like we knew they would. We knew they would battle.

"I’m proud of the way of our kids responded. I’m proud of the way they responded

when it didn’t go the easy way."

Sophomore quarterback Bryce Moore threw for 123 yards, one score and one


"The interception was a little bit of an underthrow. He wishes he had that one

back," Hall said. "He moved the chains for us a couple of times tonight. He’s

growing into the position and we’re proud of him (Moore)."

The Dragons’ defense did its job as well, recovering two of three forced

fumbles, including one that led to seven points, extending the Dragons’ lead

from 6-3 to 13-3.

"I think that might have been the turning point if you had to pinpoint one,"

Hall explained. "It allowed us to go into the half with 10-point lead instead

of a 6-3 ball game. We benefitted there from the turnover."

Commerce (2-1, 1-0 Region 8-A) was led by Cole Chancey’s 51 rushing yards.

Will Thomas added 48 yards on the ground. Quarterback Caleb Brooks

completed two passes for 57 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver J’varius

Wood was on the receiving end of both passes.

After Commerce converted a 35-yard field goal on the opening drive (3-0), the

Dragons saw a game-tyingattempt get blocked late in the first quarter. After an

exchange of punts, Jefferson gained the lead when Moore struck wide receiver

Caleb Cooley on a 7-yard pass play. Cooley finished the game three catches for

53 yards. The Dragons led 6-3.

Commerce fumbled on its next play from scrimmage, setting Jefferson up in great

field position. Five plays later, Wood pounded through the Tigers’ defense for a

bruising 15-yard touchdown to give the Dragons a 13-3 advantage at halftime.

Wood continued his stellar play in the second, capping off another five-play drive

with a 10-yard touchdown run, bumping the Dragons’ lead to 20-3 with 6:37 left

in the third quarter. The next Dragons’ possession, Wood carried the ball six of

the eight plays for 53 yards, ending with his 9-yard touchdown run. The Dragons

led 27-3.

Hill scored the Dragons’ final touchdown on a 4-yard run with 6:46 left in the

game (34-3).

Commerce’s final touchdown came with 3:44 left in the game as Brooks hit Wood

on a 17-yard strike to bring the score to 34-10.

Jefferson is off next week. Commerce travels to

Athens Academy.


North Hall no match for the Jefferson Dragons

Jefferson 35 - North Hall 0

JEFFERSON - Jefferson looked very much like a team in its third game of the

season on Friday. That wasn't great news for North Hall, as the Trojans

embarked on their opening contest of the campaign, falling to the Dragons

35-0 in Jefferson.

The Dragons (3-0) pounded out 216 yards rushing and held North Hall to 55

total yards, setting up an enticing contest next week with its oldest and

bitterest rival Commerce -- which is 2-0 on the season.

"I think our defense did a nice job responding tonight and changing after

going against two spread teams.

Our defense played lights out," Jefferson coach Ben Hall said. "Offensively

we still have to find our rhythm; we're not there yet."

The Dragons did enough behind their mammoth offensiveline, as Colby Wood

finished the contest with 109 yards rushing and two scores on just 13 carries.

Darrian Hill also added 51 yards and two scored on nine carries. Yet

Jefferson showed its passing game can also make hay, as quarterback Bryce

Moore opened the scoring witha two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Joseph

Randolph late in the first quarter. Wood and Hill then traded touchdowns -- each

scoring once in the second quarter -- as Jefferson pushed its advantage to 21-0

at the half.

Wood maintained the Dragons' momentum after halftime, exploding for a 51

-yard scoring run and a 28-0 advantage. "We just wanted to finish the game,"

Hall said.

North Hall, still growing back into the wing-T offense that once trademarked

its attack, split carries between nine different rushers, led by Cutter

Sanford's 21 yards on five carries.

The Trojans (0-1) will play host to West Hall next week, looking to bounce


Jefferson, meanwhile, prepares for its showdown at Commerce.


Jefferson Pounds North Hall 35 - 0

JEFFERSON — Ground and pound with a brick wall of defense was the

formula for the Jefferson Dragons on Friday night.

Jefferson (3-0, 0-0) used 114 rushing yards by Colby Wood and 52 yards by

Darrien Hill along with adefense that only surrendered 49 total yards to beat

North Hall (0-1,0-0), 35-0.

"I’m proud of the way we came out to win," said Jefferson head coach Ben Hall.

The defense had to change gears from previous games to adjust to the Trojans’

wing-T offense.

"You can’t say enough about the defense to stop an offense that we haven’t

seen in a while," Hall said.

The Dragons opened the game with a with a seven-minute drive which ended in

a 3-yard pass from Bryce Moore to Joseph Randolph.

After a quick three-and-out on defense, Jefferson made the first mistake of the

game when Moore threw a pass which was picked off at the 1-yard line and

returned to the 30.

Another three-and-out gave the Dragons the ball at their own 47-yard line and

they quickly made their way to the 11 with a pass from Moore to Chaz Evans.

Two plays later, Wood found the end zone on a 6-yard run.

After a pair of stops on defense, the Dragons kept theTrojans from getting a

first down in the entire first half.

The offense ended the half with one last scoring drive and a 2-yard run by Hill

to increase the lead to 21-0.

Wood opened up the second half with an emphatic 49-yard run to the end zone

to give the Dragons a 28-0 lead.

Before Hall pulled the starters, Hill added another touchdown to set the final

score at 35-0 with a 1-yard run. The Dragons benefited from 60 penalty yards on

that drive, including 45 on one play from three personal foul calls.

Moore ended the game with a six pass completions on 13 attempts with 119

yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Seventeen of North Hall’s 49 total yards came from Kyle Bacus, 14 came from

Colby Miller. The Trojans ended the game with 15 total penalties

"I don’t know what to say when it comes to penalties, I don’t care if it’s a good

team or bad team, you aren’t going to beat anyone with that many flags," North

Hall head coach David Bishop said.

"Our biggest problem right now is that we have a new offense and we are

struggling to execute it. We’ve had to do some things with the quarterbacks

until we get our starter back, the backups have done a good job but we’ve

got to execute our basic stuff."



WDUN Report

JEFFERSON — Note to the rest of northeast Georgia: Colby Wood and the

Jefferson rushing attack are most definitely for real.

Last week, the sophomore running back went for 264 yards; this week it was

239 -- and five touchdowns -- as he helped lead Jefferson to a 32-17 win over

Winder-Barrow in Jefferson.

Not only that, Wood also recorded a fumble recovery, interception and a tackle

for loss on defense. Meanwhile, the Dragons' defense did its best to slow

Bulldoggs standout running back Cece Green -- especially in the second half.

Green broke lose in the first half, ripping off a 55-yard touchdown run as part of

195 yards for the visitors. Yet Winder managed just one first down in the second

half, as Jefferson (2-0) pulled away for the win.

Wood, in particular, went wild after the interval, piling up 187 of his yards in the

second half. He finished the night with 33 carries. Four of his scores came on

the ground, while he also hauled in a 21-yard scoring pass from quarterback

Bryce Moore.

Teammate Darrian Hill also finished with 11 carries for 70 yards, while Moore

completed 5 of 10 passes for 62 yards.

The Dragons will play host to North Hall next Friday.

Winder, which finished with 151 yards rushing, will travel to Apalachee next

week for the start of Region 8-AAAAA play.


Athens Newspaper report

JEFFERSON | Jefferson’s Colby Wood turned in his second impressive

performance of the young season Friday night as the Dragons – ranked No. 4 in

Class AAA – defeated visiting Winder-Barrow 32-17.

Wood rushed for 239 yards – 187 in the second half – and four touchdowns; he

also caught a 21-yard touchdown pass and while he wasn’t busy running into

the Bulldoggs’ end zone, he also posted an interception, a fumble recovery and

a tackle for loss.

The Dragons rolled up nearly 400 yards of offense, with 333 yards coming on

the ground and 62 yards in the air. Bryce Moore completed 5-of-10 passes for

62 yards and a touchdown.

CeCe Green scored on a 55-yard run in the third quarter for Winder-Barrow

and Noah Chapman tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Green in the first half

for the Bulldoggs’ first score.

Wood rushed for 260 yards and three touchdowns in the Dragons’ season-

opening 19-7 win over Rabun County last week.

Jefferson (2-0) will host North Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Winder-Barrow (0-1) will

play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Apalachee.

Class AAA Rankings

 1. Calhoun (11)    0-0    119    1
 2. Blessed Trinity (1)    0-0    107    2
 3. Westminster    0-0    89    3
 4. Jefferson    1-0    72    4
 5. Elbert County    0-0    71    5
 6. Washington County    0-0    42    6
 (tie) Cedar Grove    1-0    42    8
 8. Peach County    0-0    40    7
 9. Hart County    0-0    26    9
 10. Pierce County    0-0    17    10
 Others receiving votes: Central-Carrollton 12, West Hall 10, Cook 7, Jackson 5.


TIGER — There is absolutely no secret about what Jefferson football wants to do in the

early stages of the 2015 campaign: Run. The. Ball.  Good luck stopping it, however.

Rabun County gave it a shot on Friday but could not hold out versus the Dragons’

combination of a mammoth offensive line and running back Colby Wood, as the

sophomore ripped off three Touchdown runs en route to 264 yards rushing in a 19-7

victory during both teams’ season opener in Tiger.

“We were able to run the ball really well at times, but they also got us a few times --

hats off to Rabun County; they made us work for everything,” Jefferson coach Ben Hall

said. “I’m just proud of the way our kids fought.”

The Dragons (1-0) -- and Wood -- proved most dangerous just when the Wildcats

appeared to have them cornered. Still scoreless in the second quarter, Rabun County

utilized a 58-yard punt to pin Jefferson on its own 9-yard line.  Cue a 42-yard run from

Wood -- one of his six rushes of 10 yards or more during the night -- that set up his own

38-yard touchdown run just moments later.

New Dragons starting quarterback Bryce Moore (8 of 9 passing for 97 yards on the

night) also got in on the act in the third quarter, lofting a 49-yard pass to Kaleb

Cooley (5 receptions, 68 yards) after the Wildcats (0-1) again pinned Jefferson

deep, this time on the Dragons’ 5-yard line. Wood took it from there, exploding on

a 47-yard touchdown run -- part of 112 yards rushing in the third quarter alone.

The sophomore also added a 37-yard run late in the third quarter to set up a

1-yard plunge that made it 19-7, immediately answering Rabun County’s own


“It was a tough game, but it was a great game to play in,” said a modest Wood

afterward.  “I don’t care about the (rushing yardage) numbers; I’m just glad we

won. Of course I have to give credit to my offensive line. I love those boys. All of

them played well tonight.”

Rabun County made Jefferson battle throughout and, despite not finding the end

zone until the third quarter, stayed within striking distance via a gritty defensive


“We fought all night versus a really good team. Our linemen are going to grow up

in a hurry after that one because I’m not sure we’ll play against a better group of

linemen this season,  ” Wildcats coach Lee Shaw said.

“We held them there for most of the first half, but they dialed us in there a little bit

in the third quarter. “But we also had too many dropped passes and missed some

key opportunities.  We knew against a team like that we had to make the most of our

early opportunities.”

Rabun twice marched into Jefferson territory in the first half but punted on each

possession -- including after watching a 35-yard scramble and touchdown pass from

Bailey Fisher to Noah Cannon negated by a holding penalty. Yet the Wildcats found

tough going against a Jefferson defense that held Rabun’s big-play ability in check

and yielded just 213 total yards. Fisher led the way with 120 yards passing, completing

14 of 24 attempts to nine different receivers --  he also rushed for 44 yards. Only

Charlie Woerner caught more than two passes, but the University of Georgia commit

never truly torched the Dragons, finishing with five catches for 49 yards.

Rabun found its traction late in the third quarter, marching 8- yards on 14 plays before

Cal Drummond tightened the contest -- plunging into the end zone on fourth and one

with 3:08 left in the third quarter to make it 13-7.

Jefferson wasn’t in the mood to let the contest get any closer, however, and Wood took

off on a 37-yard run on the first play from scrimmage following the Rabun kickoff. His

own 1-yard plunge just minutes later restored Jefferson’s two-score advantage and sent

the Dragons on their way.

“I’m proud of the guys for being able to finish in a ballgame that didn’t really go our way

early,  ” Hall said.  “We were on the practice field for about 30 minutes this week (due

to inclement weather), so for us to come out and perform says something about our


Jefferson will play host to Winder-Barrow next Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Rabun County, meanwhile, will look to regroup as it travels to face Habersham Central

next Friday.

“I’m disappointed but not discouraged,” Shaw said. “Our guys will respond to this

game, just like they did last year. We’ve just got to get back to work.”


JEFFERSON....0....7...12....0 -- 19
RABUN CO.......0....0....7....0 -- 7

Second Quarter
 JEF -- Wood 38 run (Carreno kick) 6:36, 7-0

Third Quarter
 JEF -- Wood 47 run (kick failed) 6:45, 13-0
 RC -- Drummond 1 run (Phillips kick) 3:08, 13-7
 JEF -- Wood 1 run (kick failed) 1:10, 19-7






Bryce Moore ( top photo ) and Colby Wood ( lower photo ) at work for the Jefferson Dragons.