SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — Jefferson fired the game’s first successful salvo. But then Musselman fired back at the Cougars, scoring the first three times it had possession. Jefferson then moved within a touchdown of the lead.
Musselman ripped off touchdowns with its next three possessions, taking a 27-point lead by halftime. And then the Applemen breezed away to a 55-21 win after scoring touchdowns on eight of their first 10 possessions of the perfect-weather-for-football night.
The lead had gone from one touchdown at 20-14 in the second quarter to 55-14 in the fourth period.
At one time, the Applemen had achieved three touchdowns in only four plays as Josh Ferguson scored on runs of one and 83 yards and Caleb Dembeck had a one-yard quarterback sneak.
Musselman ripped off long gainers from scrimmage with stunning regularity.
Ferguson had runs of 22, 83, 14, and 39 yards while Cody Spinks turned in runs of 35 (a touchdown) and 10 yards, Maverick Keller clicked off runs of 14, 17, 11, and 11 yards, and Dembeck completed passes that went for 13, 29, 28, 11, 19, 11, and 14 yards. All of those Musselman starters were retired in the third quarter and joined the team’s defensive starters on the sidelines.
Jefferson had delivered an early scoring punch, crisply moving 52 yards in nine plays to a nine-yard scoring pass from Andrew King to Darrod Doleman.
That’s when Musselman scored three straight times.
A 16-yard King to Tanner Cantrell pass gave Jefferson its second score. That’s when Musselman answered with its second barrage of three straight scores.
After Ferguson had scored to close Musselman’s first two drives of the second half, it was a 55-14 game.
The last portion of the game was spiced by Jefferson’s regulars working against Musselman’s reserves.
When it was ended, Musselman had a 4-2 overall record and remained in the thick of the Class AAA playoff picture. Jefferson went to 1-5 and had played the game without head coach Richard Mills. Craig Hunter was the acting head coach against the Applemen, but Musselman had the weapons and the constantly on-the-move offense to dominate play for three quarters.