Last year when the Jefferson Falcons played High Point, the game has been decided by a touchdown. This year’s game saw another hard-fought battle, with victory going to the Falcons by a 26-22 margin.
The Falcons got off to a rough start, as High Point quickly drove down the field and punched in a rushing touchdown courtesy of their quarterback, Alex Buchwald. J-Town answered with a long drive capped off by a Mike Gould rushing touchdown.
The Falcons continued to play tough against the Wildcats, especially on High Point’s next drive, when junior Andrew Weber intercepted a Buchwald pass to regain possession for the Falcons. The Falcons wouldn’t disappoint as the turnover led to yet another Mike Gould touchdown.
The next two drives would both be scores. For High Point it was Buchwald again, who scored a 42-yard touchdown run. For the Falcons it was another rushing touchdown but from a more surprising source. The touchdown was a short run from quarterback Bam Johnson. “I was joking about being a running QB this year, but I guess I am one now,” Johnson said after the game.
At halftime, the Falcons led by a score of 20-14.
Jefferson started the second half by converting many tough third downs, courtesy of Mike Gould, and getting the ball down inside the five where Gould would yet again punch it in himself. “I was happy Coach V (Venturino) continued to put the ball in my hands and was even happier I did my job for the team,” Gould said on his big rushing day.
The score would sit at 26-14 until the game had just four minutes remaining, when Buchwald connected to Landis French for a deep touchdown. High Point would also tack on a two-point conversion to make the score 26-22. After a punt, High Point had an opportunity to win it with just 1:30 to go, as they started marching down the field. However, on second down, junior Mike Studnick had different plans when he recorded a huge sack, giving the Wildcats third down and a mile which eventually forced a turnover on downs and the end of the ball game.
“We talked all week about finishing… I’m proud of our guys when they buckled down and sealed the win,” Coach Venturino said on the win. “He is gritty and he’s tough. It’s a good thing to know we can rely on our running back when needed,” Venturino added on Gould’s big night.
The 2-0 Falcons will make their way to Mount Olive for their next matchup, as J-Town hopes to keep their good vibes going.