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Colonels slay Dragons, advance to second round of state playoffs

The Cass Colonels built a 27-0 lead through the first 17 minutes Saturday night at Region 8-5A champion Jefferson and held on to slay the Dragons, 27-17, in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.

Freshman quarterback Brodie McWhorter tossed three touchdown passes in the first half and the Colonels’ defense came up with several key stops to help secure the victory. Cass also took advantage of four Jefferson turnovers.

Cass started at its own 35-yard line after the opening kickoff sailed out of bounds. On the second play from scrimmage, McWhorter hit a streaking Sacovie White for a 61-yard touchdown giving the Colonels a 7-0 lead just 45 seconds into the game. Saul Viella added the PAT kick.

On the next Cass possession, the Colonels drove 86 yards for a touchdown. The key play of the drive was a 47-yard pass reception by Devin Henderson. Two plays later, McWhorter found an open Jashaun Brown-Whatley for a 9-yard touchdown. The PAT kick failed, but Cass held a 13-0 lead with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter.

The first Jefferson turnover added to the Colonels’ lead.

Kevin Henderson, playing with a cast on his broken hand, batted a Jefferson pass into the air, caught it, and returned it 22 yards for a third Cass touchdown. Viella’s kick had Cass up, 20-0 with 2:07 left in the opening quarter.

McWhorter’s second touchdown pass to Brown-Whatley enabled the Colonels to again score points off a Dragons’ turnover.

Following a Jefferson fumble at their own 26-yard line, it took Cass just three plays to score. An 11-yard pass from McWhorter to Brown-Whatley had Cass up 27-0 with 6:54 remaining in the second quarter.

Jefferson finally got on the scoreboard with their next possession.

Dragons’ quarterback Max Aldridge marched Jefferson 58-yards on 11 plays. A 7-yard touchdown pass from Aldridge to Talan Childress capped the drive with 2:59 remaining in the first half. Owen Butts made the PAT to make the score 27-7 at halftime.

The game evolved into more of a defensive struggle in the second half. The Colonels remained pinned by poor field possession for the bulk of the third quarter.

With 4:16 left in the third quarter, Jefferson got on the scoreboard again with a safety. A punt snap got away from Viella and he was forced to fall on the loose ball in the endzone with 4:16 to go in the third quarter. The miscue reduced the Cass lead to 27-9.

The Dragons added the game’s final points early in the fourth quarter.

Sammy Brown culminated the drive with 10:39 remaining. His 6-yard touchdown run was followed by a Logan Jefferson two-point conversion run that made the score 27-17.

Down the stretch of the fourth quarter there were numerous key plays for the Colonels on both sides of the ball.

Mac Nelson had a pair of crucial runs to keep a drive alive and allowed Cass to take minutes off the clock before turning the ball back over to the Dragons. Brown-Whatley had a catch for a first down in the fourth quarter and — after Jefferson took over on downs with 2:59 to play — sophomore defensive lineman Kaden Ellis had a sack and wreaked havoc in the middle.

The season ends for Jefferson with an 8-3 record.

Cass (5-6) advances to play Mays in the second round. The Raiders eliminated Centennial Saturday night, 44-16.


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