Jefferson football dominated the second half against Lincoln with seven turnovers coming after halftime.

Instead of Friday night lights it was Friday afternoon heat at Jefferson High School when the Democrats hosted Lincoln Sept. 24.

The only thing hotter than the sun beating down on the Demos' home crowd was their defense that came away with eight turnovers of the Cardinals.

Those turnovers helped Jefferson walk away with the 34-14 Special District 1 victory.

Here are three takeaways from the midafternoon matchup:

Sweltering defense

The turnovers happened early and often for Lincoln (1-3, 0-1 SD1) as Jefferson's Dondrae Fair picked off Cardinals QB Abraham Barrow in the first quarter.

However, Fair, also the Demos' QB, fumbled on the next snap and was recovered by the Cardinals, leading to a TD the next play to give Lincoln a 7-6 lead.

The two traded touchdowns once more before half to make it 14-14 at the break, and that's when the fun really began for the Demos' defense.

Seven of the Cardinals' eight possessions in the second half ended with a turnover, four fumbles and three interceptions.

"That's something we've been preaching, be opportunists and make plays when the plays present themselves," Jefferson coach Anthony Stoudamire said. "It's finally starting to come together and the kids are finally starting to realize what they can do as a unit."

The second half was more than just a turnover landslide for Jefferson (2-2, 2-0 SD1).

At the break, the Cardinals had 134 total yards, 120 on the ground. The second half? Lincoln only added 12 total yards to its total: 11 on the ground and 15 through the air.

Senior standout Brady Kopetz was held in check after putting up 75 yards rushing and two TDs in the first half. {obj:57109:Kopetz is the 16th highest ranked recruit in Oregon, according to 247sports.}

"We had a few off plays, but we always bounce back and kept our heads in the game," Fair said. "We fought through the mistakes and great outcomes came … We watched a lot of film this week so I feel like we were a very disciplined group today."

Offense when needed

Stoudamire will be the first to point out that after getting eight turnovers, his squad probably should have posted more than 34 points. That was aided by the Demos having four turnovers themselves, three fumbles and one interception.

But the big plays still came and were enough to walk away with the win, like Fair's 53-yard TD run in the first half or his pass to Oregon-commit WR Tre'Jon Williams in the second half to put the Demos up 20-14.

Fair missed last week against Wells due to COVID-19 contact tracing, so the 23rd ranked recruit in Oregon had even more time to prepare for Lincoln.

"Everything I came out and saw was the exact same thing I saw on film," Fair said. "Our game plan was set up to get the victory and I just went along with it."

Running back Zavier Russell had a 35-yard TD run, freshman D'Marion Gates had an 11-yard rushing TD and Williams caught a 7-yard TD pass to round out the scoring for the Demos.

Jefferson finished with 323 total yards, 254 coming on the ground, while Fair threw for 69 yards and two TDs going 5-for-16.

While the offense wasn't quite what Stoudamire wanted on Friday, he sees that side of the ball developing well as the season progresses.

"Offense, we're a work in progress. (Friday) was better than last week," Stoudamire said. "There's some things we still need to work on offensively but we're going to get better. I see sparks, I see glimpses of being what we want to be and then we revert back."

Three-team race

The SD1, better known as the PIL, looks to be shaping into a three team race with Grant moving to 2-0 in league play thanks to a 70-7 bombardment of Franklin on Sept. 24.

Roosevelt also looks to be in the mix after a 42-21 win over Franklin last week. The Roughriders took down Milwaukie 22-14 on Friday to finish up their nonleague slate and move to 3-1 overall, still 1-0 in league.

Jefferson has McDaniel next week followed by a big Thursday night matchup Oct. 7 hosting Roosevelt.

"It's going to build every week if we just focus on winning every week," Williams said.

After an eight-turnover night, the focus is there for the Demos who have only four league games left on their whole schedule.

With a season-ending matchup against Grant, the Demos control their own destiny toward a potential league title.

Austin White
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