Friday Night Lights: Jefferson vs. Armwood

In this weeks installment of Friday Night Lights we feature two of the top teams in the Bay Area, Jefferson and Armwood. Jefferson is led by top recruits Daron Rose and Trent Pupello, while Armwood has two great running backs in Eric Smith and Marquise Branton. Read on for all the action from Friday night.

There is nothing more exciting than when two powerhouse teams meet on a Friday night. This is exactly what happen when Armwood (2-1), met Jefferson (2-0). It even had the build-up of a big time game.

Armwood linebacker Donald Rivers was quoted in the Tampa Tribune as saying, "I expect a blowout, I really expect a blowout. They don't have their star running back from last year and I don't think they are going to do much." He didn't stop there either, adding, "We should score 40,50,60 points. Somewhere around there."

The excitement didn't stop there, about 6 minutes into the game Jefferson High assistant coach Mike Fenton was ejected for arguing a non late hit call in front of the Jefferson bench. Fenton was visibly upset after the ejection while leaving the field. However, there are rumors that he was seen across the street for the rest of the game on his cell phone. Which would be a violation of the Florida High School Athletic Association Rules if he was talking to anyone on the Jefferson bench.

As for the action on the field, Armwood took an early lead when Eric Smith scored on a 5 yard run. The entire drive and the rest of the game for that matter was dominated by the Armwood running attack. Eric Smith rushed 15 times for 129 yards and three scores, while teammate Marquise Branton carried the ball 25 times for 96 yards and one score. Not only could Jefferson not stop the run, but in crucial situations Armwood was able to throw with ease because Jefferson was expecting run.

After a Jefferson INT and two more rushing touchdowns Jefferson finally got on the board with a field goal before the half. Although it looked like Donald Rivers' prediction might be right, Jefferson was not that far out of it. Jefferson receivers dropped three sure touchdowns in the first half, which frustrated the offense and stalled drives.

In the second half Jefferson was able to slow the Armwood ball carriers, but mid-way through the third quarter, Jefferson QB Stephen Garcia was injured and taken to the hospital. The injury appeared to be head or neck related. Garcia walked off the field but was in pain on the bench and then taken by ambulance to the hospital about fifteen minutes later.

Jefferson was then forced to go to quarterback-by-committee, which worked out pretty well and they scored on the first drive after Garcia went out. They would miss the extra point and enter the fourth quarter down 21-9.

In the final quarter the Armwood running game wore out Jefferson's defense, tacking on another Eric Smith 20 yard TD run. Armwood went on to win 28-9 improving their record to 3-1 going into a bye week. Jefferson suffered their first defeat putting them also at 3-1. Next week they have another big showdown against Hillsborough who beat Armwood in the first week of the season.

Trent Pupello

Daron Rose


Eric Smith

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