James Wood takes on undefeated Jefferson

The Jefferson (W.Va.) football team has already beaten Millbrook for the first time since 2015 and Sherando for the first time since 2005.
Tonight, the red-hot Cougars (6-0) go for the Frederick County sweep and their first-ever win against James Wood (4-1) when the Colonels travel to Shenandoah Junction for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The two schools have not played since the Colonels beat Jefferson four straight times from 1976-79. James Wood will be seeing a Jefferson team that appears to be much more complete than anyone has seen in a long time.
The Cougars are unbeaten through six games for the first time since their perfect 10-0 regular season in 2005. Jefferson is outscoring its opponents by an average of 49.5 to 11.5, has scored at least 34 points in every game and no one has come within 27 points. Jefferson is coming off a 64-0 win against South Hagerstown, Md.
James Wood hopes it has what it takes to knock the Cougars from the ranks of the unbeaten. They’re the most successful team Jefferson has played. The Colonels are coming off a 52-0 win North Hagerstown, the same team that Jefferson beat 56-13 the week before.
James Wood coach Ryan Morgan said the biggest thing the Colonels need to do is quickly recognize what Jefferson is doing on offense.
“We’ve got to get lined up quickly and make sure that we’re understanding their formations,” Morgan said. “They run a lot of different formations and personnel packages and those kinds of things, so we need to be a little bit more aware this week. [North] Hagerstown [only] ran a couple [personnel packages].”
Jefferson brings a balanced offense into tonight’s contest. An example is when the Cougars passed for 208 yards and ran for 202 in a 41-14 win over Sherando in Week 2.
Jefferson is led by quarterback Sammy Roberts (83 of 140, 1,184 yards, 17 touchdowns, two interceptions), running back Evan Tewell (97 carries, 630 yards, 10 TDs) and wide receiver Spencer Powell (26 catches, 411 yards, six TDs).
“They have athletes all over,” Morgan said. “Their three starting receivers and starting tight end are all dangerous. Their running back is dangerous. Their quarterback has a really strong arm. It’s really hard to key in on one particular thing. We just have to make sure that we’re playing solid, gap-sound defense.”
James Wood is coming off a stellar defensive performance in which the Colonels held North Hagerstown to 136 yards. The Colonels had four interceptions, 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. Defensive back Ryan King has 56 tackles, defensive end Caleb Keefer has 52 tackles (13 for loss) and 5.5 sacks and linebacker Zach Smith has 50 tackles.
The Cougars are led on defense by honorable mention All-State sophomore linebacker Nolan Meehleib (58 tackles).
James Wood will counter with an offense averaging 37 points per game, with a at least 28 scored in very contest, and 363.3 yards per game.
Wide receiver Jaden Ashby leads the area with 16 touchdowns (seven receiving, four rushing, two kickoffs, two punts, one interception) and had 22 catches for 257 yards and 28 carries for 203 yards. He tied a school record with five TDs last week.
Quarterback Jared Neal has completed 55 of 96 passes for 852 yards and 12 touchdowns (including a school record-tying five last week) and four interceptions. Running back Wes Brondos has 98 carries for 649 yards (6.6 average) and three TDs.
“The quarterback has to make the right reads in the passing game,” Morgan said. “And when we get the ball, we have to get north-south, because they have a lot of fast players who track us to the sideline.
“We’ve got a couple of good athletes, too, but if we try and go east-west on them, they’re going to rally to the football. They’re pretty physical tacklers as well, pretty aggressive, so we’ve got to make sure we’re hanging on to the football.”
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