Gators slog past TJ, 21-9

Rain and fog couldn’t stop Decatur from beating Jefferson 21-9 Friday at Federal Way Memorial Field. But the wet conditions did prevent both teams from holding on to the football.

The Gators scored three touchdowns before the fog rolled in at halftime, then hung on in the second half to win.

“This is Gator weather,” said Decatur senior lineman J.C. Ronnfeldt, soaked after the game. “We have our best practices when its raining. It’s the most fun.”

Decatur took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when senior running back Jason Bressler pounded into the end zone from two-yards out.

The Gators broke the game open when senior defensive back Nick McCluskey scooped up a Jefferson fumble and raced 44 yards for a touchdown. McCluskey later intercepted a pass.

Decatur put the game out of reach in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Darin Harris scored on a 5-yard touchdown run.

Jefferson finally put points on the board after an 80-yard drive in the third quarter. Raiders junior quarterback Jared Bronson threw a 34-yard pass to wide receiver Jeff Johnson, who was tackled at the 2-yard line. Senior running back Kamarr Evans finished the job with a 2-yard touchdown run with 43 seconds left in the third quarter.

Evans was the bulk of the Jefferson offense. He rushed for 110 yards on 24 carries.

Jefferson continued to knock on the door in the fourth quarter, but never got in.

The Raiders recovered the ensuing kickoff after it was dropped on the Decatur 27 yard line. The Jefferson offense advanced to the Decatur 17 before failing to convert on fourth down.

Jefferson retook possession after Decatur fumbled again, but the Raiders fumbled it back on the very next play. As if two consecutive fumbles weren’t enough, Decatur’s next play was a pitch that ended up in the hands of Jefferson junior defensive back Sean Haywood.

Jefferson advanced to the 1 yard line on a 13-yard run by Evans, but two dropped snaps and a tough Gator defensive line turned away the threat. The Decatur defense held Jefferson to just 144 yards.

“This win was incredible,” Ronnfeldt said. “Especially for seniors. This was our last home game.”

Jefferson scored a safety with just 19 seconds left in the game when Decatur punter McCluskey was forced to run out the back of the end zone.

Decatur increased its record to 3-4 in the league and 3-5 overall. Jefferson fell to 2-5 in the league and 2-6 overall.

Decatur plays at 7 p.m. tonight at Puyallup in a Halloween showdown for the final game of the regular season. Jefferson plays at 7 p.m. Thursday at Curtis.

Both Jefferson and Decatur have been eliminated from playoff contention.

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