By Jim Laise - firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHENS CITY -- Taylor Loudan ran, Reid Entsminger passed and the Sherando defense punished visiting Jefferson (W.Va.) 50-7 on homecoming night Friday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Loudan continued to torpedo enemy defenses as he rushed an unofficial 14 times for 211 yards. Meanwhile quarterback Entsminger torched the Jefferson secondary for 127 yards and three touchdown passes.
But the defense, which allowed no offensive touchdowns and just 102 yards of total offense, presented a gift for those celebrating their alma mater.
With a bye week upcoming, coach Bill Hall's defense:
• Allowed Jefferson into negative territory only four times all night, and one of them came on an interception that the Cougars carried into the end zone;
• Allowed 24 Jefferson rushing yards;
• Sacked Jefferson quarterback Andrew King three times;
• Recovered a fumble;
• Intercepted a pass;
• Partially blocked a punt.
Punter-kicker-fullback Tylar Clowser sealed off the fourth quarter with 75 yards and a touchdown.
It was that kind of night.
"When your defense and special teams are improving, it's a good sign. I've been proud of the defense all year because they work hard on being consistent," Sherando coach Bill Hall said.
Loudan scored on a run of 10 yards, dashed with a screen for a 38-yard touchdown reception and returned a punt for a 50-yard TD. He never mentioned any of it.
"I want to thank [lineman] Adam Nordling for stepping up in a big way this week; my fullback, Tylar Clowser, who made holes for me, and John Bentley [a wide receiver] for his blocking outside," said Loudan, a senior.
He quickly added praise for the defense.
On the first offensive series for Jefferson (1-4), the Cougars' best player, Rynal Newman, got socked out-of-bounds.
The senior lay on the turf and took the rest of the series on the sidelines. And, though he would return, the Cougars never seemed the same.
Newman rushed for 20 yards in the first half, almost two-thirds of Jefferson's total offensive output in that span.
The crushing blow symbolized a night when Sherando (2-3) sacked, intercepted, and forced a multitude of punts.
On Jefferson's second series, two-way standout Entsminger intercepted King's pass.
The sophomore King spent the half running away from Sherando's pursuit, throwing the ball out-of-bounds or to receivers who dropped too many balls.
King completed 2 of 6 passes for 6 yards and finished 7 of 17 for 77 yards.
Jefferson earned its seven points when Cornell Holt intercepted a pass at the Warriors' 5 late in the second quarter for the visitor's only visit to the end zone all night. Sherando still led 27-7.
And just for good measure, Entsminger rushed for 16 and, two plays later, flared a pass to Loudan, who broke a tackle then dashed into the end zone from 38 yards. Clowser followed with one of six extra points. The score with 35 seconds until intermission put Sherando ahead, 34-7.
Two Loudan runs and a Jefferson personal foul moved the ball to the Cougar 22-yard line after another Jefferson punt.
Entsminger found a lonely Adam Whitacre with a 22-yard scoring toss that opened the night's scoring. Clowser made it 7-0 with 1:19 left in the first quarter.
A sack on third down forced a Jefferson punt. With the ball, the Warriors needed just three plays to crease the end zone with just less than 11 minutes remaining in the half. A George Aston 1-yard dive gave Sherando a 13-0 pad.
After another punt, Sherando needed just six plays to move 73 yards. Again, Entsminger found his man to complete the drive. He connected with Joshua Wagner from eight yards out. Clowser made it 20-0 with 7:07 left.
Another punt helped lead to another touchdown. Loudan hurdled himself for two 10-yard rushes in the red zone, the last of which was another six-pointer. Clowser made it 27-0 with 4:23 to go.
A safety and Clowser's touchdown rounded out the scoring.