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2020 Game Notes

J-Hawks come close

It was a chilly fall night with the wind that was blowing earlier dying down at kickoff.   J-Hawks kicked off to start the game.  J-Hawks had Ames pinned back but on a 3rd down scramble the Ames QB displayed his quickness and speed on a long TD run.  J-Hawks could not get much going the 1st possession and ended up punting the ball of which the Ames returner fumbled the ball that was recovered by a pair of J-Hawks.  J-Hawks were able to move the ball but not punch it in setting up a short field goal.  J-Hawks D stepped up the next Ames possession forcing a punt.  J-Hawks were on the move and with a long run they were set up within the 10.  J-Hawks run it to the goal line in which the ball was fumbled on the tackle and the call on the field was that the runner did not cross the goal line and Ames recovered the ball.  J-Hawks almost got a safety on the first play and on the second play the Ames QB showed his speed again running from endzone to endzone for the second Ames TD.  J-Hawks got a nice return on the kickoff return and then got a big play of their own in a half back pass hitting the streaking receiver in stride for the long TD.  The fired up J-Hawks D were getting after it when the Ames QB speed strikes again running it in for the third Ames TD to wrap up the 1st scoring at Ames 21 J-Hawks 10. 

2nd quarter Action photos of the Varsity J-Hawks at Ames in the first round playoff game.  J-Hawks are on the drive after the kickoff return.  J-Hawks were mixing up the pass and run with success and before you know it they were able to run it in on a short TD run to pull with 21-17.  Ames was on the move but the J-Hawks were preventing that big play and were able to hold and turn the ball over on downs tackling Ames short of the 1st down.  Now it is the fired up J-Hawks offense turn for another big passing play with a great fingertips catch and long run.  With a celebration penalty on the TD the long Xtra point was good for the J-Hawks first lead 24-21.  J-Hawks continued to bottle up the Ames offense forcing a punt giving the chance another J-Hawks drive.  J-Hawks continued to pass and run the ball down the field setting up one last play before half with 9 seconds left.  Ball on the 41 yard line J-Hawks QB rolls to his right and launches the ball to the endzone as the receiver played center field coming down with the ball with three Ames defenders around him.  Question is did the Ames defender that was wrapped around the J-Hawks receiver steal it away?  J-Hawks receiver emerged with the ball in hand after the rolling over each other in the endzone.  With the Xtra point the J-Hawks lead 31-21 at half.  

3rd quarter Action photos of the Varsity J-Hawks at Ames in the first round playoff game.  J-Hawks are on the drive after the kickoff return which ended with a punt into the endzone.  Ames puts together a very long TD drive to cut the J-Hawks lead 31-28.  J-Hawks are on the drive again, but turn the ball over on an option pitch play setting up Ames with another chance. J-Hawks D holds the Ames offense forcing a punt. J-Hawks offense stalls ending the 3rd quarter J-Hawks holding on to a 31-28 lead. 4th quarter Action photos of the Varsity J-Hawks at Ames in the first round playoff game.  J-Hawks are punting to being the quarter and the Ames QB is at it again this time as the punt returner with a long return that was called back on a penalty.  Ames is moving the ball and eventually the scrambling Ames QB run strikes again for another TD to take the lead back at Ames 35 J-Hawks 31.  J-Hawks end up punting the ball pinning Ames back again.  Ames ended up fumbling the ball and after the pile of players gets unpacked Ames retained the ball to continue their drive.  J-Hawks D steps up and forces a punt.  J-Hawks just could not connect on a couple of pass plays and end up punting the ball back to Ames.  With 3 minutes left Ames was able to run the ball until the clock expired to the final score Ames 35 J-Hawks 31. 

All game photos can be found at:
Varsity game:

photos can be found at:
Sophomore game:

Very windy day with gusts around 40 MPH, but the J-Hawks were still playing football in 2020 and getting some experience for some of the varsity that did play much, plus the sophomores, and some freshmen.

Let’s fast forward to the 3rd quarter after Liberty had a 33-0 lead the J-Hawks started to get things going.  J-Hawks D forced a Lightning punt which did not go far into the wind the J-Hawks offense got a short field.  Couple of running plays got it close and then a TD pass and 2 point conversion got the J-Hawks on the board.  J-Hawks D force another punt and the J-Hawks were on the move but turned it over on downs going for the TD.  Going into the 4th quarter the Lightning got the wind again and got a long TD pass.  J-Hawks turned the ball over on the next possession but the J-Hawks D get it right back with a force fumble and recovery.  J-Hawks were on the move and eventually had a pass intercepted in the endzone.  On the very next play the J-Hawks D get a fumble recovery setting up the offense.  J-Hawks were able to run this one in for the TD and a failed 2 point conversion.  The J-Hawks kickoff team then recovered an onside kick and the J-Hawks were back on offense again.  J-Hawks fumbled the ball as the Lightning were able to run out the clock for the final Lightning 39 J-Hawks 14.

Dubuque Senior hand J-Hawks loss at home

J-Hawks received the kick off to start the game.  J-Hawks punted and the Rams made quick work of a drive for the 7-0 lead.  J-Hawks punted and the Rams moved down the field to make it 14-0.  J-Hawks were driving to end the 1st but ended up punting.  Rams took some shots at the end zone but ended up punting.  After a J-Hawks punt the Rams got things going again for a TD.  Rams pulled off a high pooch kick which they caught on the run and scored a short TD.  After a J-Hawks punt the Rams moved down the field to go up 35-0 toward the end of the 2nd quarter. J-Hawks kicked off to start the half.  With the running clock in effect the Rams moved down the field to score a TD.  J-Hawks punted and with the return the Rams had a short distance to get a TD.  J-Hawks and Rams started to trade punts going into the 4th.  J-Hawks put together a long drive that was capped off with a short TD run.  Final score 45-7.

All game photos can be found at:
Varsity game:

Dubuque Hempstead too much for the J-Hawks

Another beautiful cool fall night for football as the sun was setting over the Dubuque hillsides.. J-Hawks deferred and kicked off to start the game. Mustangs started strong and quickly put together a TD drive. J-Hawks first drive ended up in a punt and the Mustangs put together a long drive to go up 14-0. After a J-Hawks turnover the Mustangs in one play put another TD on the board. After a long J-Hawks kickoff return to J-Hawks went to the air for a one play TD of their own and with the missed Xtra point it was 21-6 still in the 1st quarter. After a long Mustang kick return one play later they answered the J-Hawks TD to go up 28-6. After those 3 one play TDs we thought a track meet was going on as that ended the 1st quarter. J-Hawks were on the drive but the Mustangs D got a turnover TD. After a J-Hawks punt the J-Hawks D got going with a stop forcing a Mustangs punt.
J-Hawks punted and the Mustangs found the one play TD drive again to go up 41-6. J-Hawks put together a drive and with a running clock they had to go thru their timeouts to eventually get a field goal with the 2nd quarter running out on the J-Hawks kickoff. The field goal was key to get out of the running clock again.
J-Hawks received the second half kick off to put a drive together and with a penalty on the field goal attempt the J-Hawks went for it on the 4th down to keep the drive alive.

With a turnover the Mustangs drove down the field to go back up to a running clock. After a J-Hawks punt the J-Hawks D came up with an interception to get some momentum back. After several plays the J-Hawks ran in a long TD on a jet sweep and with the extra point the running clock had been stopped again. The J-Hawks D force a Mustangs punt that appeared to go off a blocker that was trying to keep the J-Hawks rushers away and with the short punt recovery the J-Hawks were set up on a short field. After some crazy J-Hawks plays during the punt the Mustangs were able to recover the ball for a TD. The running clock when took care of the rest of the time for a final of 54-16.

All game photos can be found at:
Varsity game:

J-Hawks fall on road at West Marshall

First half action photos of the varsity J-Hawks at West Marshall played at State Center. Last minute game scheduled on Thursday that replaced Iowa City West as they are not back to fall activities yet.   Beautiful night for football as one of the last warm days the sun was setting in the rural Iowa farm fields with the trains going by.   J-Hawks deferred and kicked off to start the game. Trojans were able to put together a long TD drive that took up most of the 1st but missed the Xtra point kick.  On the first J-Hawks possession they fumbled the ball and Trojans were able to recover, setting up a short TD drive and the J-Hawks D held on the 2 point attempt.   J-Hawks were able to get some plays going but ended up punting the ball.  Trojans put together another TD drive and once again the J-Hawks D denied the 2 point conversion.  J-Hawks were able to get the passing game going on the next drive that was capped off with a wildcat run on a 4th and goal at the 3 and the Xtra point kick was blocked.  With 3 minutes until half the Trojans pieced together another drive with a long pass that was eventually punched in for the TD and Xtra point to end the half Trojans 25 J-Hawks 6. J-Hawks received the kickoff to start the second half.  . After putting together some plays J-Hawks ended up punting the ball in which the Trojans put together a drive that ended in a TD and Xtra point. 

J-Hawks next drive ended in a punt to end the 3rd.  Trojans continued their ways and put together another TD drive and Xtra point.  On the first play of the J-Hawks drive a forced fumble and the Trojans were able to capitalize with a short TD drive and Xtra point to finish the scoring.

All game photos can be found at:
Varsity game:

J-Hawks fall to Waterloo West

J-Hawks received the kick off to start the game. J-Hawks were able to put together some big plays to run it in for a TD and with the Xtra point it was a quick 7-0. On the first Wahawks drive the J-Hawks punched out a fumble and recovered it, but unfortunately did not take advantage and ended up punting the ball. J-Hawks defense pushed the Wahawks back who ended up punting out of the end zone. J-Hawks were able to quickly take advantage of the short field by a long TD run that was beautifully blocked on the outside and downfield to go up 14-0 at the end of the 1st. Wahawks got a drive going and scored a TD shortly into the 2nd to pull up to 14-7. J-Hawks next drive ended up in a punt in which the Wahawks took advantage with a long TD pass, but the J-Hawks blocked the xtra point to stay up 14-13. J-Hawks drive stalled and a nifty avoiding a Wahwks rusher on the punt put a long field in front of the Wahawks. Wahawks were up to the task and scored a TD with some long plays, but once again missed the extra point to go up 19-14. After a J-Hawks punt the Wahawks offense were able to score on another long play to go up 25-14 at half.
J-Hawks kicked off the second half and the Wahawks put together a long drive to go up 31-14 in the 3rd. Wahawks kickoff pinned the J-Hawks back in which they ended up punting out of the endzone thus setting up a short Wahawks TD drive to go up 38-14 to end the scoring in the 3rd. In the 4th each team ending up turning the ball over on downs until the Wahawks were able to get a late 4th score to have the final score of 45-14.

All game photos can be found at:

Sophomore game: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mgyovr8eqoER8rwB6

Varsity game:

Sometimes it is more than just a game. Tonight was one of those nights.

Before the varsity game at Kingston StadiumFriday night the Southeast Polk Community School District presented Jefferson High School with a check for Derecho relief.

The Rams raised just over $5,000 in a few days through a GoFundMe campaign.

The money will be used to provide athletic supplies for families and replace lost items from the August 10th storm.

We have been focusing on finding the silver lining at #Jeffbleedblue. Today SE Polk Rams raised $5000 to help with #Westside derecho relief! Thank you, Southeast Polk Community Schools!

All game photos can be found at:

Sophomore game: https://photos.app.goo.gl/taQttC4yTadxQvZAA

Varsity game: https://photos.app.goo.gl/CxsK9X6gejNZzv1e9

Liberty edges out J-Hawks 7-3

J-Hawks first home game in which they got to run out of the J-Hawks tunnel. J-Hawks kicked off to start the game to this defensive battle of teams playing each other for the first time in the short Liberty HS history. Liberty runs the ball for most of their plays and the J-Hawks D was up to the task of stopping it. With lots of punting back and forth the 1st quarter ended scoreless but Liberty had gotten a turn over and were ready to score.
Early in the 2nd quarter the J-Hawks were able to keep Liberty out of the end zone and the field goal attempt was no good. The defense continued to shine after a J-Hawks punt the J-Hawks D came up with an outstanding leaping interception with the ball marked at the 1 yard line. J-Hawks offense was able to get some breathing room to allow for a punt just outside the end zone. With the shortened field Liberty was able to get thru spread formation wildcat running going and scored with only 1:31 left in the half to go up 7-0. The J-Hawks were able to get a long run on a jet sweep and had several attempts to pass it into the end zone. Just before half the J-Hawks got on the board with a field goal to put the score at 7-3.After the halftime score Liberty 7 J-Hawks 3, the J-Hawks received the opening kickoff. The defensive battle flowed over from the 1st half with teams trading punts with some big plays from the J-Hawks on punt returns and running the ball. Another unfortunate turn over squashed a good J-Hawks drive as the punting game continued into the 4th quarter. On another shortened field the J-Hawks D was able to turn Liberty over on downs to keep the J-Hawks within reach. Liberty's running game was able to grind down the clock in which the game ended on a Liberty punt for a final score Liberty 7 J-Hawks 3.


All game photos can be found at:
Sophomore game: https://photos.app.goo.gl/a9ECKjwtSTmvs1wa7
Varsity game: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ByMgxZNLfbY2QQau9

Jeff falls to Wash in season opener

With the threat of Severe Thunderstorms coming in from the West, the game started on time as the storms moved around Cedar Rapids. This game was all Wash throughout with the halftime score of 35-0 then an early score in the 3rd the running clock made the 2nd half go by quickly. J-Hawks struggled to move the ball and stop Wash running game with some timely passing plays mixed in. This is one to learn from then flush like they put in coaching terms. Wash returning experience showed thru on a shorten 10 day practice preseason.

All game photos can be found at:
Sophomore game: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9HcMQj6av1dcSp5c8
Varsity game: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XnZMrCEwjmE2Yh7eA


2019 Game Reflections by John Hegarty
an Old Coaches' View from the Press-box

Nod to school history with the renewal of the River Dunking Coach Bath!

Click HERE to watch the quick video of
Coach Buesing get the best bath of his life!

Week 9
Jeff vs Dubuque Senior W - 24-10
    Behold, the result of serious attention applied to accomplishing a challenge correctly. Stripped to its bare, the J-Hawks not only defeated playoff bound Dubuque Senior, but in doing so conquered all self-doubt and uncertainty. They stood firm and united in one final time-of-trial…resolute and faithful to each other. The collective blue-brotherhood prevailed.
     With the memory of going-down-by-2-scores in the early going the week before, this time Jeff came out of the chute blazing. They jumped out to a 14-0 advantage and never looked back in securing a 24-10 victory on Senior Night.
     Quarterback Jacob Coyle hit brother Gabe on a 28 yard strike with 2:36 left in the first quarter. Jacob Thompson chipped in with a one yard dive early in the second. There would be no looking-back…the foot never left the accelerator. Late in the third, Jacob Cross nailed a 41 yard FG…his sixth, and longest of the season. Thompson removed all doubt when he capped the scoring with one more 1 yard plunge for the home team. On 48 rushing attempts the victorious J-Hawks cashed in near 300 yards…103 of them courtesy of Ezeki Leggins. Jacob Coyle added an even 100 while Thompson accounted for 71.
     One final time, the defense stood tall, relishing in violence and destruction. They held Senior’s prolific QB (averaging 228 yards passing per game) to just 24.
     And how about this stat- one penalty…one.
Jacob Thompson finished the regular season third in class in 4A in tackles. But consider this: The two individuals who placed ahead of him were on teams from DM North and SC West…both 0-9 teams. Ask yourself how much of the game their defense spent on the field compared to Thompson.. a two-way bulwark and master of collision. He must surely be included in any discussion of the finest linebackers to play for Jefferson… and that list is as distinguished as they come.
     Only one kicker in 4A concluded the season with more FG’s than Jacob Cross, that being Adam Wessels from Dubuque…and he played on the same field with Cross this night. Together they dazzled on behalf of special teams. Cross connecting from 41, Wessels from 44.
     As time goes by, and fall fades into winter, then yields to spring and summer 2020, remember the 2019 Jefferson football team and what they stood for.
     Only 6 teams from eastern Iowa qualified for the 4A playoffs, we played 5 of them. We were a 3-2 team at mid-season that drew votes from the media for a top-ten 4A ranking. But following a three game skid, fighting inner demons, anger and doubt (anyone would have) these J-Hawks entered their season finale pitted against a 5-3 unit desperately needing one more win to secure a playoff spot. But what remained for Jefferson to motivate them?
     The answer was pride and brotherhood. The answer also included honor and respect, with a healthy dose of the mantra- “Finish what you started, while breaking the tape sprinting 110%”. In short, earn the right to look back in the future, and for the remainder of your life honestly claim “no-regrets”.
     There are so many unsung heroes. A man once said the true test of a man (or team) is what they do when-no-one-is-watching. It would have been so tempting to listen and obey the devil on one shoulder, rather than heeding your better angels on the other. Yet this team was repeatedly positive, they did the right things regardless of adversity. They trusted their coaches, their leaders and each other.
     To the team I say: It was a sincere pleasure to watch your bravery, your spirited and determined courage, your nerve, your boldness, your strength in the face of pain or disappointment. By virtue of your 2019 involvement in football, and with this band of brothers, you will forever possess a sense of purpose when facing a future full of demanding situations.
     I heartily congratulate you for embracing “westside-toughness” and serving as inspiration for us all. 
Week 8
Jeff vs Dubuque Hempstead L - 14-16
    Dubuque Hempstead edged the J-Hawks 16-14 on a warm and windy night at Kingston. The first half was claimed by the Mustangs who scored twice on passes of 20 and 3 yards. If you are a Jefferson loyalist, preserve your sanity and please refrain from watching replays of the second TD pass on Hudl. If you are a Hempy fan, by all means, enjoy your good fortune, it is seldom accorded to visiting teams.
     Rather than wallow in a halftime sulk, or mope-“woe-is-me”, the J-Hawks regrouped and redoubled their efforts in deciding a 13-0 deficit was not insurmountable. In true west-side fashion, the comeback was on. Seniors Derik Bunten and Kenny Moore intercepted passes which the offense converted into scores. The first culminated in a one yard scamper by Ezeki Leggins. The second was a 32 yard pass from Jacob Coyle to Jacob Thompson. At that point the J-Hawks led for the first time in the game, 14-13, with the entire 4th quarter remaining.
     Hempstead responded kicking a 25 yard field goal with 2:53 remaining, leaving just enough time for the J-Hawks to score what could be the decisive TD or FG. Stymied at the DH 37, Jacob Cross attempted a 54 yard FG with 20 seconds remaining. It fell short when his plant foot slipped. A third loss in three weeks produced a searing sting in the gut of every player and coach. One game to go…What now? Read on.
     To the fans I say: Recognize the effort your boys displayed in coming back strong. In your own way, however you can, let them know you are proud of their pluck. Make sure they know you are behind them unconditionally. Encourage them to finish strong in their final game. Just as they will undoubtedly leave-it-all-on-the-field, so too, can you as fandom leave-it-all, cheering from the stands.
     To the players I say: Just as the size of someone’s paycheck does not always determine an employee’s worth…A scoreboard does not always provide the final analysis. As hard as it may be right now, try not to get caught up in the shadows of the moment. Turn your face to the light one more time. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the broader perspective. The true test of a FB team is how it responds to adversity and disappointment. Winning? It is oh-so-easy…everyone can do it, effortlessly. Ultimate triumph in any walk of life is measured by harnessing the motivational power of heartbreak, and creating a plan for future preparations that ensure victory. Losers seek to place the blame on others. Winners live life looking through the windshield, not the rearview mirror. Seniors- you have one final chance to play the game you love…think of it as your “playoff-game”. Juniors- send the seniors out with a smile on their face…call it the win streak YOU started- 9 months early. Against Dubuque Senior- cherish each block, and every tackle. I promise, for the remainder of your life you will wish you could pad-up one more time, for just one play, and hit someone again.
Week 7
Jeff vs Cedar Rapids Prairie L - 19-46
     For the second week in a row, one of the best 4A teams in eastern Iowa sought absolution from the previous two weeks’ marginal effort. That team was Prairie, and they righted their ship at the expense of the J-Hawks winning 46-19. In the process, the Orange Hawks took home the inaugural “West-Side-Best-Side” trophy representing the Kolache Bowl.
     Prairie started the game as if shot out of a cannon, leading 33-0 after the first quarter. But after repeatedly being slugged to the canvas, the J-Hawks refused to curl up into the fetal position, outscoring Orange 19-13 in the final three quarters. Kenny Moore and Kastan Kolsto caught TD passes from Jacob Coyle. Gabe Coyle picked up a defensive TD with a scoop-and-score in the final stanza.
     Winners search for the seeds of victory in defeat. Let’s look for some perspective. Our 4 losses came at the hands of TOP teams who are all currently unblemished and lead their Districts in 4A. Each of them is already playoff bound, and along with Bettendorf, likely represent the top five teams in eastern Iowa.
     Consider the big picture and bear in mind, the possibility of a winning season can still be a reality.
     To the fans I say: You have been given a great gift. The final two games of the season are in the friendly confines of the Old-Grey-Lady…Kingston. Embrace the chilly weather and support your team by having all-the-fun-you-have-coming two more times this fall. Football Friday nights under the lights are meant to be fun. Bring your entire family, make as much noise as you can, wear your blue and white and enjoy the Band-O-Blue’s program. It is a long wait until next August!
     To the players I say: High school football teaches lessons of all kinds that serve young men well in their adulthood. You will surely encounter rocky stretches somewhere in the future where circumstances conspire to burden your load. How you will respond depends on having the wherewith-all, and the determination, to fight back against the odds. The last two games have left a sour taste in your mouths, spit it out, and resolve to finish the job you started. If you win-out, and finish 5-4, you will be remembered as one of the top 5 Jefferson football teams in the last 20 years! If you defeat your inner demons (we all have them) and doggedly persevere through less than two more weeks, the pride you will carry with you will indeed last a lifetime. It will also prove, come what may as an adult, you will have proven to yourself that no future challenge is insurmountable.

Ancient Asian Proverb: We all have inner demons. Anger, jealousy, fear and doubt. If one DOES NOT conquer them- the life of a 100 years is a tragedy. But if one does…the life of a single day is a triumph.

Week 6
Jeff vs Cedar Falls L - 0-28
   #2 Cedar Falls visited Kingston on Thursday and showed why they are the highest ranked team in Eastern Iowa. Final verdict: CF 28- Jeff 0. The J-Hawks couldn’t have encountered the Tigers at a worse point in the season. CF was coming off a head-scratching lackluster performance the previous week in the friendly confines of the UNI-Dome. Coach Brad Remmert tactfully said as much in his post game analysis, “We needed to be sharper this week. Last week taught us you have to play every play. I thought we learned a lot from that.”
    Man-oh-man did they ever.
    CF running back Ryan Ostrich recorded a punishing 192 yards on 32 carries for the tradition rich Tigers. That fact alone was evidence the J-Hawk defense rarely left the field all night. At halftime Jeff only had possession of the ball enough to run 14 plays. TOP (time of possession) was the stat-of-the-night. In a 48 minute game CF swallowed the ball for over 32 minutes!
    Unfortunately, Jeff trainer Suzi Guider was the unsung hero once again. Gazette sportswriter Jeff Johnson put it this way…Chris Buesing’s boys “were a beaten up bunch and not just on the scoreboard.” As for the aforementioned Jeff Coach, he didn’t mince words in his assessment, “It was a comedy of errors on our part, and they played really well. I was just disappointed with the way we responded. It’s not complicated, we didn’t defend tonight. Our defense never got a break.”
    Up next is the Kolache Bowl, the annual Jeff-Prairie battle for southwest-side-of-town bragging rights.
    To the fans I say: I heard you often from inside the sealed press box last Thursday. Well Done! Take a large contingent to John Wall Memorial Field this Friday. Proudly wear your Blue and White…and keep being vocal- the players hear you loud and clear.
    To the players: Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” You don’t need an old coach with a lot of snow on the mountain to tell you- you are better than you showed last week. FLUSH that performance and get back to business. Prairie will attempt to out-physical you. Buckle down and get back to “West-Side-Tough”…that is your identity, don’t lose sight of who you are.
    2/3 of the season is behind us…what will become of the final third? This much is certain- A strong finish (in any life challenge) is sometimes painful, but ALWAYS glorious. Choose the pain of discipline over the pain of regret. The first is temporary, the second can last a lifetime.
Week 5
Jeff @ Waterloo West W - 31-21
    It is never easy going on the road, especially far out of town. But the lone excursion out of the metro area for the J-Hawks surely produced a happy bus ride back down 380 from Waterloo. There was also nothing easy about the hard fought 31-21 conquest of a West High unit that had previously been ranked in the 4A top ten. On a rain and lightning interrupted night, with victory hanging in the balance once again, the Boys-in-Blue reached out and secured the game in the fourth quarter.
    The defense swarmed and played at a high level of intensity recovering three Wahawk fumbles, one of which led to a 2nd quarter TD. The other two ended West High drives deep in Jefferson territory. But it was the vaunted triple option running of Jacob Coyle, Ezeki Leggins and Jacob Thompson that set the tone. On 59 carries they toted the rock for 285 yards.
     After the game, a relieved Coach Buesing reflected, “Waterloo, they’re a tough team. We always know we’ll get a tough game from them. I thought this was a really good high school football game. Against a physical team you play to win. The kids did a great job. I’m really proud of them.”
     The J-Hawks also got a 46 yard TD strike when Coyle hit Prosper Kapongo on a sideline GO route. Kicker Jacob Cross added to his sterling resume with a solid 35 yard FG and 4 successful PAT’s. It was the second year in a row the West Side J-HAWKS defeated the West Side WAHAWKS.
     Up next for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew is undefeated and number 2 ranked Cedar Falls on Thursday for the Jeff FB Hall of Fame Night. This year’s inductees are All State guard Bill Lahman ’66, and All State guard and kicker Dale Frank ’77. They will be honored between the sophomore and varsity games.
   To the fans I say: It’ll be good to get back home to the Old Grey Lady (Kingston). Show up in force to support your team. They are on a roll…the forecast is much more football-like. Get out those scarves and gloves; grab some hot chocolate and a blanket. Get rowdy and enjoy the ride at mid-season. You affect the game with your team spirit and vocal support!
     To the players I say: No one, absolutely no one living outside of the west side of town expects you to compete with CF. They are a fine tradition-rich team who will show up ready to play for 4 quarters. BUT, what a singular opportunity for you guys. This is your chance to shock District 3 and take the lead in chasing down a playoff bid. Let me ask you this- Why not us? If you outplay them for 48 minutes it will happen…and you know it.
     A tearful personal note: God welcomed His faithful servant Marilyn Ask into His loving arms on Sunday. Marilyn, and her husband Bob sat side by side at Kingston for J-Hawk games until just recently. God bless her precious memory. God bless the Ask family.
Week 4
Jeff @ Wash  W - 24-7
    Two stars in the night sky twinkled brightly when the J-Hawks defeated Washington 24-7, claiming the Cedar River Rivalry Trophy for the first time. Former coaches Ted Lawrence and Jack Fisk, both deceased, but surely smiling down from above, knew what lay in store for current coach Chris Buesing…a toss into the river Saturday morning, courtesy of his players. Lawrence started the coach dunking tradition in the early 60’s. Reminded of their school history, current day J-Hawks used it as motivation and brought it back. Search around…there are many places video of Buesing’s baptism can be viewed.
     There was nothing easy about this win over a Warrior unit that came ready to play. In fact, Red carried a 7-3 lead into halftime with Blue’s only points coming off a Jacob Cross 29 yard field goal. It was a solid night for the J-Hawk defense who applied constant pressure to Wash’s veteran QB Henry Clymer. Nursing a slim 10-7 lead, an inspired 4th quarter goal line stand opened the flood gates for the west side, spurring the offense to seal-the-deal on a Jacob Coyle 54 yard touchdown scamper, and then a 15 yard scoring strike from QB Coyle to Ashton Schulte.
    “It means so much,” Jacob Coyle said. “This week was huge for us.” His relieved coach focused on the big picture, “I’m proud for them (the players). Proud for the westside of town. It's good to have a rivalry again. Now, it is competitive again. We’ve had close games in the past, but finally our side (of town) got a little bit. It’s about these two teams, these kids.”
     To the fans I say: Great job of “whiting-out” the visiting bleachers. Loved all the BEAT WASH shirts. The players knew you were there! Start making your plans for the only road trip out of town on Friday. It only takes an hour to get to Waterloo…find a way there. Talk it up- your support means more to this team than you can imagine.
     To the the players I say: Thank you for bringing a tear to the eye of many long suffering J-Hawk alumni. We so appreciate your nod to school history with the renewal of the River Dunking Coach Bath. Enjoy the hard fought win- but get right back to work Monday. West side mentality has always been- nose to the grindstone. In case you were unaware, most all the pundits in the press predicted you’d beat Wash. Now, imagine the fun of beating teams you aren’t supposed to.

Week 3
Linn-Mar @ Home L - 6-14
    It was Homecoming, but minus a king and queen, or the Band-O-Blue. It was a Thursday evening contest that oddly started at 5:00, but didn’t end until 9:00. It was in the low 90’s at kick-off, the humidity was stifling. Everyone knew, in the end, the weather would win. Yes, the affair with Linn Mar defied all normal convention. Nothing was in sync…on so many levels.
    What was expected? The hitting was hard, brutal to be honest. J-Hawk trainer Suzi Guider may well have earned the game ball for her heroics. It was a night when both defenses overshadowed their offense. There were turnovers and penalties, loads of punting, but very few trips to the red-zone for either team.
     The Lions struck first and nursed a slim 7-6 lead for the majority of the game. Ezeki Leggins broke free in the second quarter for a 23 yard scoring run, but the PAT kick was blocked. With 8 minutes remaining in the game, lightning and torrential rain halted the contest for 90 minutes. In the end, unlike last week, it was the visitors to Kingston who reached out and grabbed victory as it hung in the balance. Lions 14, J-Hawks 6.
     Jeff’s triple option attack was never able to secure its footing, and yet, with the ball in their hands, and very little time left in the game, there still remained a chance at forcing overtime. But give credit where it is due…the Linn Mar defense was relentless for 48 minutes.
     To the fans I say- Kudos to those who stuck out the delay in the Kingston tunnels or in your cars. (As well as those of you listening on KGYM or watching on cable access) Enjoy the Homecoming festivities, but the team needs your support next week against Washington. Show up in force and let the players know you are behind them 110%.
     To the players I say- Winners search for the seeds of victory in their defeats. With the Cedar River Rivalry trophy on the line this week, don’t let the LM loss beat you twice. Your challenges are many…adapt, improvise, overcome. Heed the oriental proverb- “Fall seven times. Stand up eight.” In the end, that is the wisdom you secure from the pain (and glory) of football. Wallop Wash!
Week 2
Muscatine @ Home W - 23-6
   Both Jacob Thompson and his coach are known for getting to the point. After a week 2 conquest of Muscatine Jake reflected, “Mental toughness is what it comes down to. We knew this game was one we needed to win.” With sour memories of a heartbreaking overtime loss last year to the Muskies, the J-Hawks removed all doubt this time around with a flurry of points in the fourth quarter, breaking a 6-6 stalemate. The final tally was 23-6 in favor of the Boys in Blue, but the final verdict was in jeopardy until Jefferson reached out and decisively snatched the victory during crunch time.
    Head coach Chris Buesing focused on the big picture, “We have a bunch of veteran guys that have been in the system. There are some things out there that they did (tonight) that you just can’t coach, just rising up and having the character. Really proud of them and really happy for them.”
    In that crucial final stanza, a 9 yard touchdown run by Ezeki Leggins was immediately followed up with a 10 yard strike from Jacob Coyle to brother Gabe. Jacob Cross finished the scoring with a 38 yard field goal, his third of the game and fourth on the young season. It was yet another impressive display of kicking power, accuracy and consistency. His first three-pointer of the night was from 41 yards out. No doubt, Cross is a serious threat to erase Nick Rocha’s school record of 46 yards set in 2013.
    There is little time for the J-Hawks to pat themselves on the back as Linn Mar visits Kingston for a Thursday encounter. The Lions were soundly spanked by Kennedy in week two, 46-7.
    To the fans I say: Don’t play the comparative-score-game and assume simply because we gave the Cougars a tougher game in week 1 we will waltz against the Lions. They are a hungry scrappy team that will be out to prove they can rebound from a tough loss. Also, support the Jeff Booster Club by getting your snacks and treats from the J-Hawk-run concession stands. Mr. O’Connor and Mr. Jackson grill a mean burger and when the wind is out of the south I defy you to resist the smell that drifts in front of the press box.
     To the Players I say: Football is a game of motivation and momentum. Keep it going. Keep trusting your coaches and believing in yourselves. Whether you think-you-can or think-you-can’t…either way, you will be right. Outsiders may say Linn Mar is the favorite in this matchup. If so, it is time to beat someone we are not expected to. Do something against Lions you will fondly talk about the rest of your lives. Play in a manner that is a credit to your family, your school, but most importantly yourselves and your practice-mates. Go J-Hawk Gridders!

Week 1
Jeff @ Kennedy L - 10-21
    On an untypical crisp and cool August evening, the J-Hawks gave #9 ranked Kennedy more than they bargained for in a non-district opener on the first Friday of fall competition. After a scoreless first quarter, the boys in blue struck first-blood, when senior tailback Ezeki Leggins swept to his right and instinctively cut back against the grain of an over pursuing Cougar defense for a 36 yard touchdown scamper. Now stung, the highly respected guys in green responded and took a 14-7 lead at the intermission. Jacob Cross connected on a 23 yard field goal to supply the only J-Hawk scoring of the second half. The final was Kennedy 21-Jeff 10.
    But it was crystal clear to everyone watching, the final score does not tell the whole story. Cougar head coach had high praise for the opposition in his postgame comments to the press. "They are a good football team, and if people don't know that, they are going to know it soon. We had our hands full."
    Breaking down the replay on Hudl, it is plain to see this offense is going to be dangerous. The full throttle option attack places the ball in a multitude of playmakers hands. Once in space, all of Jeff's backs and receivers are threats to take it to the house. Offensive coordinator Jermelle Lewis makes good use of every square inch on the field. Leggins, Jacob Thompson and Jacob
Coyle were the leading rushers for the west siders. Gabe Coyle was the leading receiver. Let me repeat: this offense is going to be dangerous. If the defense and special teams up-their-game to match it, good things are in store.
    Not one to embrace moral victories, Coach Buesing and his troops now focus their attention on Muscatine. The Muskies lost a close contest with Davenport Central 28-25, ensuring someone will pick up their first victory of the season at Kingston Stadium in week 2 of competition.
    To the Fans I say: Come out and support the team, AND the Band-o-Blue. Wear your Columbia blue proudly! It will be interesting to see what the always rocking student section uses as their "theme". Well done on last weeks safety orange and yellow!
    To the Players I say: Be the chief instrument of Muscatine's destruction. When victory hangs in the balance…reach out and GRAB it. Stay hungry Big Blue Wrecking Crew!!! This week the scoreboard lights up and rings like a pinball machine under HOME TEAM.



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