'They're not ready for our defense:' Jefferson football standing stout
The final score looked more akin to a baseball game, but a win's a win for Jefferson High football, who took down northern rival Roosevelt 9-2 on Friday, Sept. 16.
Of course, that means the Democrats (1-2, 1-0 PIL) pitched a shutout on defense as the Roughriders (0-3, 0-1 PIL) only points came on a Jefferson snap that went over the head of the punter and through the back of the Demos' end zone.
A strong defensive effort isn't much of a surprise to Demos head coach Anthony Stoudamire, who's team lost close games in week one and two by scores of 15-12 and 28-6.
Making a big difference to make the defense more stout was junior Royal Bowden, who suited for the Demos for his first game this season against Roosevelt.
Whether it was his two sacks in the first quarter to end Roughriders drives or his constant presence in the backfield blowing up plays, Bowden was everywhere.
"He's a big kid and he gets after people, he shuts down one side of the ball," Stoudamire said of Bowden. "We've been waiting to get him and now he's here. He's going to be a force in this league, I'm really excited about what we can do with him defensively."
It was a tough night for both offenses, but Bowden played a big role in making the night a long one for the Roughriders.
Roosevelt finished with only 11 rushing yards, mostly because the Roughriders QB had -32 rushing yards due to sacks and failed run plays.
Bowden was itching to get back out and play, and the junior proved it.
"Since week one against Oregon City, I felt that loss and after that I was like, 'I have to play against 'Velt,'" Bowden said. "That was my No. 1 priority was to play against (Roosevelt) and Grant."
That rivalry with fellow Northeast Portland occupants in Grant comes this week at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. And the Generals will have their work cut out for them with more than just Bowden.
The only touchdown scored was a pick-six by sophomore D'Marieon Gates toward the end of the first half.
Gates does a little bit of everything, including playing QB. But the sophomore was held out of the second half against Roosevelt with an injury.
Doing whatever is asked by Stoudamire is what has made the youngster one of Jeff's most reliable players so far this season.
"That kid's a baller, man," Stoudamire said of Gates. "He does whatever I ask him to do. The plan was to play him at QB in the second half, but he got a little banged up and couldn't do it."
Gates' movement to QB is something Stoudamire hopes can jump start the Demos offense, having only scored 27 points in three games so far.
And Gates is more than happy to do it.
"On (the offensive) side, I'm going to help the team as much as I can," Gates said. "Be the QB, the receiver, running back, you name it. I'm going to help the team win anyway I can."
Four automatic bids to the playoffs are on the line this year in the PIL and a first win already puts Jefferson on a strong trajectory toward grabbing one.
And the scariest part is the defense has six more weeks to get even better.
"We got dogs, once we all click and bring it all together, it's going to be scary," Gates said. "The PIL, they're not ready for our defense."
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