LOUISVILLE, Ga. — Backed up close to its own goal line again, Evans was looking ahead at a dominant defense and a 99-yard gap to a touchdown.
But the Knights went backward – again.
The Jefferson County defense posted two safeties and held Evans to less than 130 yards of offense in a 17-3 win Friday night. With the win, the Warriors, ranked No. 6 in Class AAA, move to 4-0.
“We lean on them,” Jefferson County coach J.B. Arnold said about his defense. “The defense is the deal.”
With players like Daylan Williams making tackles behind the line of scrimmage, the Warriors’ defense kept making stops. Jefferson County recorded its two safeties about two minutes apart in the fourth quarter.
The strength of the defense helped mask problems on offense, where Jefferson County had turnover issues close to Evans’ end zone. They also had more than 100 penalty yards.
The Warriors came up empty on four drives inside the Knights’ 20, blowing a second-and-goal from the 1, missing two field goals and losing a fumble.
Jefferson County lost three fumbles in the game, with one giving Evans the ball back in the final minute.
The Knights thought they had a chance for a defensive score on the turnover, but the play was negated on a penalty during the return.
Jefferson County, which saw quarterback Will Jordan suffer a leg injury during the second half, controlled a quick-moving first half, holding Evans to less than 70 yards while also doing enough on offense to open up a two-score cushion.
The Warriors’ defense kept the lead safe on a clutch stand inside its 10. After a long kickoff return, the Knights (2-1) couldn’t get closer than the 5 and had to settle for a short field goal to get on the board.
Jefferson County got its first lead after it was intercepted on fourth-and-long in Evans territory. The Knights fumbled on the ensuing return to gift-wrap a short touchdown drive capped off by a Car’Tabius Quarterman run. Quarterman later scored on a 1-yard surge to make it 13-3 at the half. He was one of three Warriors to pick up at least 59 yards on the ground.
“We didn’t execute. And they were flying to the ball,” Evans coach Marty Jackson said about Jefferson County’s defense.