JEFFERSON — White Oak defeated the Jefferson Bulldogs 44-27 on Friday and earned a trip to the state playoffs.
The Bulldogs scored on their first possession of the game, but White Oak answered with four touchdowns to go into halftime leading 29-7.
Bulldogs quarterback Brayden Varnell passed to Quincy Clements for an 8-yard touchdown and Lane House converted the PAT for a 7-0 Jefferson lead.
The Roughnecks then drove 75 yards in four plays. The score came on a 36-yard pass from Dylan Gale to Gabe Michael. Darion Barr ran for the two-point conversion.
Four plays later, Barr intercepted a Varnell pass and the Roughnecks set up shop on the Bulldogs’ 21-yard line. Two plays later, Hunter Owens’ 3-yard touchdown run and Gale’s PAT made it 15-7.
The Roughnecks’ defense forced Jefferson to punt four plays later, and White Oak moved 89 yards in 13 plays behind the running of Owens and passing of Gale to Jansen McCurdy. Barr ran the final 15 yards, and Tanner Sharp kicked the PAT for a 22-7 lead.
White Oak (8-2, 4-1) scored its fourth touchdown with 9:18 left in the half. White Oak’s kickoff to Jefferson was a short kick, and Barr smartly covered the ball on the Bulldogs 43-yard line and the Roughnecks proceeded to pad their lead.
The score came on a 10-yard pass from Gale to McCurdy. Sharp again converted the PAT. The rest of the first half saw Jefferson try in vain several times to get something going, always to be stuffed by the White Oak defense.
Jefferson scored on its second possession of the second half when it marched 61 yards in five plays. Deion Williams scored on a nifty 53-yard run, and House’s kick was again true. White Oak answered with a 13-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard pass from Gale to Owens. The PAT failed.
Again the Bulldogs answered with their own touchdown drive of six plays, 51 yards. Williams scored, this time from 18 yards out. House again picked the PAT.
The third quarter ended with the score at 35-21, and the Bulldogs had momentum.
Costly holding penalties on the Bulldogs twice killed drives. Jefferson finally got into the end zone again when Varnell threw a 14-yard strike to Clements.
Then the roof fell in.
The PAT kick was blocked, and McCurdy scooped up the ball and raced the length of the field for a two-point score for White Oak. It was again a two-possession game, and the White Oak defense got even tougher.
White Oak took the ensuing kickoff and drove 43 yards in nine plays for a touchdown. Owens ripped off a 25-yard run and was stopped just 1-yard short. Gale took the ball in on the next play, and Sharp kicked the PAT.
The Bulldogs were finished.