Raiders have a happy homecoming


Associate editor

Rogers drove to JeffersonŽ’s 20-yard line with less than two minutes left in the game, but the Raiders kept the Rams out of the end zone on four downs to hold on for a 20-14 homecoming win Friday at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

Ž“WeŽ’ll take it and get out of here before they change the scoreboard,Ž” Jefferson coach Kevin Hanis said.

Jefferson improved to 2-2 on the season, while Rogers dropped to 1-3

Jefferson senior running back Michael Smith ran for 129 yards on 26 carries, despite the absence of skilled senior lineman Aaron Gilbert, who was out with an injury.

Ž“HeŽ’s a big leader, but the kids stepped up and our offensive line did an outstanding job,Ž” Hanis said.

Ž“We knew we were strong up front,Ž” Smith said. Ž“We got good blocking from the line, especially on the sweeps. Our line did a great job. It was tough because Aaron Gilbert was out. When I heard he wasnŽ’t going to be able to play I was concerned. But his back up Jason Baker did a great job. Our team plays together and I knew someone would step up.Ž”

Jefferson trailed 14-3, its only points coming from a 25-yard Steve Mohn field goal. But the Raiders made it a 14-11 game going into halftime on a 3-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Jared Bronson. Smith ran for a two point conversion.

Ž“At halftime we talked about keeping our heads up and keep fighting,Ž” Bronson said. Ž“We knew we could win this game.Ž”

Jefferson took a 17-14 lead on its first play in the third quarter on SmithŽ’s 53-yard touchdown run.

Ž“I saw a crease and I knew I had the speed to get through it,Ž” Smith said. Ž“So I exploded and ran as fast as I could.Ž”

Mohn added a 43-yard field goal to give Jefferson a 20-14 advantage, which ended up being crucial as Rogers drove down to the Jefferson 20 yard line, but had try for the touchdown on fourth down.

Senior Sean Haywood had two interceptions, including one with 3:11 left in the fourth quarter to help Jefferson maintain the lead.

Jefferson plays against defending state champions and No. 5 ranked team in the state, Kentwood, in a non-league game at 7 p.m. Friday at Kentwood.

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