Middle school football: London, West Jeff split
By JIM SMITH
For The Madison Press
The London Middle School seventh-grade football team opened its season Wednesday with a close 12-8 loss to the West Jefferson Roughriders.
West Jeff opened the scoring with a 56-yard scoring pass from Shane Gray to James Lightfoot. The ’Riders then scored in the second quarter when Brennan Schopp stole the ball from a London runner and raced 70 yards for West Jeff’s final score.
London closed the gap with 3:20 left in the fourth quarter when Josh Handley sneaked in from the 1. Alonzo Detty scored the two-point conversion to make the final score. London threatened when Hayden Huff recovered a ’Rider fumble with 2:41 remaining, but the Raiders could not mount a final drive.
The offensive leaders for London were Dallas Kimbler with 60 yards and Alonzo Detty with a 57-yard run on his only carry. Ethan Higgins led West Jeff with 39 rushing yards. Gray threw for 87 yards and a TD. Jalen Russell caught a pass for 15 yards for the Red Raiders and Lightfoot and Caleb Vanhook caught two each for the Brown and Gold.
The Raider and ’Rider defenses were led respectively by Huff and Nathan Benedum with five tackles apiece, while Lightfoot, Higgins and Vanhook with four tackles each.
London plays next at home on Wednesday, Sept. 12, against Miami Trace.
• In the season opening eighth-grade game, London prevailed 28-12.
London scored first on a 46-yard run by Tobey Ratliff. The ’Riders countered with a 23-yard scoring pass from Tyler Clark to James Lightfoot. Ratliff then ran 16 yards for his second TD.
Later in the second quarter, Gage Peyton raced 79 yards for a score. West Jeff closed the gap to 22-12 with a pass from Clark to Ian Langermeier. A 39-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cordle to JT Martin ended the London scoring.
Offensive leaders for London were Ratliff with 127 yards rushing and Peyton with 106. West Jeff’s Jake Burns and Clark each rushed for 38 yards. Clark passed for 135 yards for West Jefferson. Langermeier caught two passes for ’Riders and Martin’s TD was London’s only completion. Defensive leaders for London were Colton Winters with six tackles and Peyton with five.
The ’Riders were led by Burns with six tackles.