Greater Latrobe looking to bounce back after its nonconference loss to Hempfield Area last week took to the road, traveling to Thomas Jefferson for its first Class 4A, Section 3 game.
And while the Spartans stifled the Wildcats’ run game last week, Greater Latrobe running back Robby Fulton broke two big runs for two touchdowns and racked up over 200 yards against Thomas Jefferson Friday. But it was not enough as the Jaguars’ passing game led by quarterback Brody Evans sparked the offense and led TJ to a 31-21 win.
The Cougars wasted little time in moving the ball down the field after receiving the ball to start the game.
It would be Evans that would get Thomas Jefferson on the board with 9:34 left in the first quarter when he threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Lawry. With an Andrew Graham kick, the Jaguars took a 7-0 lead.
Less than three minutes later, the Wildcats responded big when Fulton broke a 64-yard touchdown run and after a Vinny Oddo kick, the game was knotted at 7-all.
Thomas Jefferson would score again with 1:16 left in the first quarter when Evan threw a 21-yard TD pass to Aiden Whalen. With the extra point, the Jaguars went up 14-7 heading into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, TJ would extend its lead when Evan hit Lawry for another touchdown strike, this one from 21 yards out. After the Graham kick, the Jaguars were up 21-7.
Latrobe would get back in the game with 3:45 left in the half when quarterback John Wetzel threw a 34-yard TD pass to Corey Boerio. It would be 21-14 after the Oddo point after.
TJ responded in kind and with :54 left in the half, driving the ball and scoring on an Elias Lippencott one-yard rumble to give the Jaguars the 28-14 at the half.
After the half, the Wildcats quickly cut the lead to seven when Fulton struck again. This time, he would run 74 yards to score and make it a 28-21 game.
Latrobe looked to be rallying as on the ensuing Thomas Jefferson possession when Ja’tawn Williams stepped in front of an Evans’ pass at the TJ 49-yard line for the interception.
The Wildcats were not able to take advantage of the turnover. And later in the quarter, it looked like Thomas Jefferson was going to go up 34-21 when Sean Sullivan looked to have returned a punt from the TJ 44 yard-line for a 56-yard touchdown. But a flag was tossed by an official at the Wildcats’ 44-yard line. A holding call against the Jags would nullify the return.
After trading possessions to close the third and the fourth before the Jaguars would get a 30-yard Graham field goal to the 31-21 lead with 4:56 left in the game.
Greater Latrobe had some life left in it as on the ensuing kickoff, Kollin Stevens would take the ball 58 yards on the return to the Jags’ 36 yard-line.
With 4:47, the Wildcats would drive to TJ’s seven yard-line where a fumble on the wildcat snap would turn the ball over to the Jaguars with just under three minutes left in the game.
Thomas Jefferson would protect the ball and its lead, running out the clock to take the 31-21 lead.
For the Wildcats, they fall to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in section and will return to action at home next Friday as they host Laurel Highlands.