Big plays lift Raiders, Chiefs to Super Bowl wins
When West Raiders running back Jayden Lafferty found a hole in Wednesday night’s Mesa County Junior Football Association lightweight Super Bowl, it was hard to stop him.
Not only did Lafferty score four rushing touchdowns in the Raiders’ 32-0 win against the Fruita Cowboys, three of them came on runs of at least 44 yards.
“My line did great tonight,” Lafferty said. “Everybody was playing great tonight and that’s how you win a Super Bowl.”
Lafferty’s big plays started on the first offensive play of the game.
After a kickoff return to the Raiders’ 37-yard line, Lafferty took a handoff to the left side and ran it the remaining 63 yards.
“We saw some tendencies from watching them and scouting them,” Raiders coach Hugo Walters said. “I had that set up from the beginning, hoping it would pop big, but I didn’t expect it to pop that big.”
Lafferty made the point-after kick for an 8-0 lead.
With 15 minutes left in the half, Lafferty struck again.
The Raiders got the ball at their own 21 after a Charger fumble and moved it to the 37-yard line.
Lafferty took it another 63 yards, starting in the middle, then cutting to his right to make it 14-0.
The Raiders scored on their first drive of the second half on a 3-yard sneak by quarterback Xavier Renteria and Lafferty added an 11-yard touchdown run with 18 minutes left in the fourth quarter for a 26-0 lead.
Lafferty’s final big run came with 4:30 left in the game, a 44-yard romp up the middle.
The Raiders’ defense played tight coverage and had numerous gang tackles and forced fumbles to stop the Chargers’ run attack.
Lafferty also had the team’s lone interception.
“I felt like we came out ready to fire,” Walters said. “We came out here a little early, had a little team bonding time and we came out ready to play. More than anything I thought we jumped on it right at the very beginning and took care of business.”
The Bookcliff Chiefs had only 16 players for the heavyweight Super Bowl, but got behind who they had in a 26-16 win over the Redlands Chargers.
The Chiefs especially got behind a tough defense and a consistent running game, led by Triston Dorrington, who scored three rushing touchdowns.
After forcing the Chargers to punt on their first possession, the Chiefs took the lead when Dorrington took a handoff straight up the middle for a 39-yard score.
Dorrington scored on a 78-yard run on the Chiefs’ next possession. A two-point conversion made it 13-0 with 8 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Chargers started to get back in the game on the next drive, which stretched into the second quarter.
Behind runs from Brody Cupp and Bryce Morse, the Chargers marched the ball into the red zone. A personal foul late in the drive gave the Chargers a first down at the 8-yard line.
On fourth down, the Chargers snapped the ball behind quarterback Jax Nourse, who recovered it and threw it to Cupp in the end zone. The point-after kick by Michael Rogers made it 13-8 with 16 minutes left.
The Chargers got the ball back with 5 minutes left in the half.
On the third play of the drive, Rogers hit Sam Schroeder with a pass on the left sideline.
Schroeder cut to his right, away from defenders, and took it 90 yards for the touchdown. Rogers made the kick to make it 16-13 with 3 minutes left.
On the next drive, the Chiefs scored on a 35-yard pass from Jaxson Gardener to Austin Barnett. A run conversion by Dorrington made it 20-16 at halftime.
The only score in the second half came on a 5-yard run by Dorrington after the Chiefs recovered a fumble.