tampabay.com

Terriers' offense struggles again

Both Jefferson and Hillsbourgh fail to score a touchdown in the Dragons' 9-2 victory.

By SCOTT PURKS
Published September 23, 2006


TAMPA - Jefferson and Hillsborough failed to score a touchdown Friday night, but only one coach, Hillsborough's Earl Garcia, left the field perturbed.

Garcia is usually frustrated when he loses, but this loss - 9-2 - stung more because his offense accounted for zero points.

"You don't score, you don't win," Garcia said. "You have to hand it to Jefferson's defense, though, they really stuck it to us."

Hillsborough gained only 151 yards, was intercepted three times and only once got farther than Jefferson's 45-yard line.

All of this made Jefferson's coaches - particularly head coach Mike Fenton and defensive coordinator Lee Meitzler (a Hillsborough assistant last year) - grin and hug ... and jump up and down like cheerleaders.

"It was a little ugly, but that's because both sides were getting after it," Fenton said. "Our defense were like wild dogs. When you can play defense like that, you have to be happy."

As for not scoring a touchdown for the second consecutive game (Jefferson lost 13-6 to Armwood), Fenton said: "I'm not that concerned because we have been moving the ball. It's just that when we've gotten in the red zone, we've made some mistakes."

To be exact, Jefferson has pushed inside the red zone seven times the past two games, and if not for the kicking of Tito Zumbado, the Dragons might have scored nothing.

On Friday, Zumbado converted field goals of 38, 51 and 34 yards and missed on 37- and 50-yarders.

The Dragons (4-1) have now held three of their five opponents' offenses scoreless, and they can add this to their list of gold stars: Friday marked the first time in more than three years a team has held Hillsborough's offense out of the end zone.

The only score the Terriers (3-2) earned Friday was 3 minutes into the game when its defense, lining up on Hillsborough's 1-yard line, piled on a Jefferson running back 3 yards deep in end zone.

Hillsborough's defense was tough in its own right, holding Jefferson quarterback Stephen Garcia to 14-of-21 for 157 yards.

"I can't say enough about our defense," Garcia said. "But I'm irritated with our offense, and you know, I'm the offensive coordinator so I take full responsibility. We have to score touchdowns or we're not going to be in too good a shape (for districts/playoffs)."