Aaron Moore's two interceptions clinch a game generally dominated by offense.
By DON JENSEN
Published November 20, 2004
TAMPA - Offense: 809 yards. First downs: 41. Punts: 0.
Jefferson and Palmetto combined to pile up huge offensive numbers Friday night at Sam Horton Field.
But a defensive player helped ensure a victory for the Dragons.
Senior defensive back Aaron Moore intercepted two passes, both leading to touchdowns at key points in the game, as Jefferson advanced with a 42-21 win.
Jefferson (9-3) will host Jesuit, a 51-14 loser to the Dragons during the season.
"Whatever happened before has no bearing on what's going to happen next week," Jefferson coach Mike Simmonds said. "We know it's a whole different game. It's high stakes poker. All the money's in the pot and we're coming to play."
Sophomore quarterback Stephen Garcia threw for 191 yards and four touchdowns, two to Miles Anderson, and senior running back Alex Suber returned from a back injury to rush for 161 yards on 22 carries for Jefferson.
But Moore stepped up in each half as Palmetto (7-4) tried to rally. His first interception and 34-yard return of a Jessie Bundrage pass in the second quarter led to a Garcia-to-Anderson 13-yard scoring pass, giving the Dragons a 14-0 lead.
In the fourth, Palmetto was on the move again as Jefferson led 35-21. Moore intercepted his second pass, leading to a Tertavian Ingram 45-yard touchdown run.
"We played a heck of a game," Moore said. It was the first time that Moore had intercepted two passes in a game in his career.
The Jefferson defense forced four turnovers. Josh Walker also came up with a timely interception in the final minute of the first half. With Palmetto deep in Jefferson territory, Walker returned an interception 37 yards to the Tiger 47. On the next play, Garcia connected with Anderson for a 47-yard scoring pass with 27 seconds left to give the Dragons a 21-7 lead.
Jefferson's offense piled up 466 yards and 23 first downs.