Maybe the powers that be just don’t want Jonathan Alder and West Jefferson to end their high school football series.
Maybe that would explain two days of weather-related delays in order to play one non-league football game.
A full 24 hours after it started, the Jonathan Alder and West Jefferson high school football teams returned to Alder’s Volunteer Field to finish their Week 2 contest. The two teams played a half Thursday evening, but lightning from a nearby storm prevented the game from being continued, Alder led 22-12 when it was called.
But once again stormy weather forced a series of delays in the game and forced the teams to play a waiting game. The start of the contest Friday was delayed by more than a half hour thanks to heavy rain and more lightning in the skies over Plains City. But when the skies finally settled down, it was Alder which came away with a satisfying, yet tiring 43-26 victory.
Once the game was finally able to get underway, Alder put together a long drive to open the quarter which ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Preston Eisnaugle to Austin Fooce. It was Fooce’s second score of the game. A successful PAT try gave the home team a 29-12 lead.
West Jeff (0-2) began to answer back with a long drive of its own. The Roughriders put together an 80-yard drive that ended with a Conor Powell scoring run from 10-yards out. The PAT kick closed the deficit to 29-19 Alder.
The game rolled into the fourth quarter and the scoring continued Eisnaugle scored on a quarterback sneak. The play was set up by a strong run inside the 5-yard line by Sean Sullivan. After the extra point, the Pioneers were ahead 36-19.
The visitors however refused to go away. Big runs by DJ Braithwaite and Powell got West Jeff deep into Alder territory. The Roughriders found the end zone again when Powell hit Ian Langermeier on a screen pass that went the distance for the score.
The game was 36-26 with 7:36 to play in the game when West Jeff attempted an on sides kick that went out of bounds. Taking advantage of the short field, Alder marched into the end zone, getting a 25-yard scoring strike to tight end Trey Pugh to close out the scoring 43-26.
The first half of the game was played Thursday and Pioneers (1-1) took a 22-12 lead to the locker room. But lightning in the area delayed the contest for nearly two hours.
At right around 10 p.m. Thursday night, both teams emerged from the locker room with the intent of finishing the Madison County clash. But just as teams started their warm-ups, a lighting flash in the area forced the postponement.
The conclusion of the game marks the end of the on-the-field-rivalry between Madison County’s most successful football programs. The two schools have decided to go their separate ways after playing for the last two seasons.
Jonathan Alder will not have a game against a Madison County school on the schedule next season. West Jefferson will still play Madison-Plains and London as all three will still be members of the Mid-State League Ohio Division.
Chris Miles can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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