PERRY TOWNSHIP — Jefferson got its running game clicking again behind the 2-headed tandem of senior tailback Drew Kortokrax and senior fullback Quinten Wessell as the Wildcats overwhelmed Perry 47-10 in non-conference gridiron action Friday night at Bob Lee Stadium.
Kortokrax, subbing for injured 1,000-yard rusher Zavier Buzard, amassed 159 yards rushing on 15 totes and two scores, while Wessell added 11 carries for 106 yards and four touchdowns. Junior quarterback Austin Jettinghoff threw in seven carries for 73 yards; he completed 1-of-3 passes for 40 yards (junior Ross Thompson).
“We felt we could establish the line of scrimmage early, especially running the football, and we did. We had a lull in the second quarter and challenged the kids at halftime to get back the intensity; they did,” Jefferson coach Bub Lindeman. “It came down to the execution of our offensive line. They did a great job up there and we had a lot of running room. It was nice to get all three runners really involved.”
For Perry coach Jesse Kill, it was all about Jefferson.
“That was a very good team we played well against for three quarters. I was very impressed with their lines on both sides of the ball,” Kill noted. “We’re going in the right direction but we’re not as good as Jefferson is. They were too good.”
Perry (3-5) garnered two first downs in their first drives (one via a late hit on the Wildcats) before a fumble recovered by Wildcat senior Zac Bland ended that threat.
The guests (6-2) went on an 8-p lay, 54-yard drive to take advantage, all of it on the ground. At the Perry 3, Wessell burst inside right guard and was wide open to the end zone. Kortokrax tried the extra point but it was blocked by Andrew Gipson for a 6-0 lead with 4:13 left in the opening period.
Delphos forced a 3-and-out. Gipson punted from his 40 and Kortokrax caught the pigskin at his own 35 on the left hash. He originally gave ground but got through the traffic after that, found the near sideline and finished off the 65-yard punt return in the end zone. The 2-point conversion pass was short, leaving the scoreboard at 12-0 with 2:07 left in the first.
Another 3-and-out and 42-yard Gipson punt set the visitors up at their 30. Six plays hence at the Commodore 2, an offsides call set them back and then a fumbled snap led to a recovery by Perry’s Chris Staup at the 10.
After another punt, Jefferson finished off the first-half scoring with a 7-play, 57-yarder, with its only pass completion of the day overcoming an illegal block penalty. At the Perry 3, Wessell hit quick inside left guard to the end zone with 3:27 showing. The conversion pass failed, leaving an 18-0 edge.
That ended up being the score heading into the third period. Junior Tyler Mox returned the second-half kickoff 66 yards to the Commodore 15, where it was the Kortokrax show. On play three at the 9, he took the handoff off left guard and would not be denied the tally. After a 2-pointer off the spread extra-point was called back by a penalty, Jettinghoff found Thompson for the 2-pointer and a 26-0 spread with 10:27 left in the third.
The Wildcats went 54 yards in five plays on its next drive. At the Perry 17, Wessell took a handoff inside and immediately found a wide-open lane to the left sideline and the six. Kortokrax booted the PAT for a 33-0 edge at 5:50 of the stanza.
Senior Chris Trusdale picked off a pass of Perry’s Brandon Neal and was credited with a 15-yard return (after an illegal block moved the ball back) but the Wildcats were rolling. At their 41, Kortokrax took a handoff inside senior left tackle Geoff Ketcham and brushed through the only tackler on his way down the left sideline and the end zone for a 59-yard TD jaunt. Kortokrax added the kick for a 40-0 bulge at 3:15 of the third.
Perry went on its only drive of the night: 12 plays, 75 yards; much thanks due to four flags against the guests (33 yards). It reached the Delphos 8 for a 1st-and-goal but three plays later at the 20, Gipson nailed a 37-yard field goal for a 40-3 deficit with 9:29 left.
Jefferson finished its scoring on the next drive, set up by a Kortokrax 32-yard kickoff return to the 49. Kortokrax ran for four, Wessell for 27 and then Wessell took a handoff inside left guard and bullied his way into the end zone. Kortokrax tacked on the final tally with 8:04 remaining.
Perry finished its scoring with a 2-play, 76-yarder, against the second “D”. At its 18, Quis Woods (18 carries, 146 yards) took a mis-direction back to the left, found a seam and sped to the end zone with 6:50 to go. Gipson added the final point.
The only negatives for Delphos were some fumbles with the snap due to a new center; senior left guard Evan Stant was moved to center Thursday due to an injury to incumbent starter, senior Colin McConnahea; and nine penalties for 78 yards.
“We only found out about the injury Thursday and we had one day of preparation for Evan to get the snaps with Austin. It took some time but they finally got that handled,” Lindeman added. “The penalties, I was not pleased with. Those are things we must get corrected and we will.”
Both teams return to their respective leagues Friday: Jefferson at Ada (NWC) and Perry versus Fairbanks (NWCC).