East Jefferson grinds out win over St. Charles

Mother Nature accomplished what St. Charles Catholic was unable to do Friday night, and that was to silence East Jefferson quarterback Eugene Wells.

Wells ran for 138 yards on 17 carries and scored four touchdowns in the Warriors’ 35-17 win over the turnover-plagued Comets at Joseph Yenni Stadium in a game interrupted 59 minutes by lightning.

The Warriors offered a glimpse of the past, churning out 330 yards on the ground. Wells attempted three passes, all in the first half, with no completions.

Ronald Green ran for 120 yards and one score for the Warriors (2-0).

St. Charles quarterback Austin Weber threw for 163 yards and ran for another 113 but had three interceptions and lost two fumbles. East Jefferson converted three of those turnovers into touchdowns. East Jefferson fumbled seven times, but St. Charles recovered just once.

With the Warriors leading 35-10 and 2:28 left in the third quarter, referees sent the teams to their locker rooms when lightning was spotted in the area. At the time of the delay, Wells had 153 yards on 12 carries and four touchdowns, including a 90-yard prance down the sideline on the second play of East Jefferson’s second possession.

Before the delay, East Jefferson had 268 yards.

The Warriors took advantage of a pair of St. Charles turnovers to start the second half to take the commanding lead. East Jefferson defensive back Leonard LeBranch recovered St. Charles quarterback Austin Weber’s second fumble at the Comets 23-yard line, and two plays and 44 seconds later, Green scored from 18 yards out to give the Warriors a 28-10 lead.

On the Comets’ ensuing possession, defensive back Jamal Veazy intercepted a Weber pass intended for Brady Becker, setting up the Warriors at their 43-yard line. East Jefferson followed with a methodical 13-play drive that consumed 6:19 of the clock, culminating in Wells’ 1-yard sneak to give the Warriors a 35-10 lead.

Erron Lewis scored on a 5-yard run for the Comets following the lightning delay.

A litany of mistakes proved costly to the Comets, who trailed 21-10 at halftime. St. Charles dropped a pass at the goal line, saw a potential interception slip through a defender’s fingers that ultimately resulted in an East Jefferson touchdown and jumped offside on a third down that led to another Warriors score.

The Comets controlled the ball for 14 plays on their opening drive, marching to the Warriors’ 5-yard line. On second-and-goal from the five, a wide-open Eian Mitchell dropped a pass at the goal line, and on third down, Weber’s pass fell incomplete, forcing St. Charles to settle for Patrick Juneau’s 21-yard field goal.

The Warriors, who were three-and-out on their first possession, answered 58 seconds following Juneau’s kick on Wells’ 90-yard run. He was untouched as he swept around the right side and found an open field.

Two possessions later, East Jefferson was facing a third-and-two at the Comets’ 32-yard line when St. Charles jumped offside, giving the Warriors a first down at the 27. Four plays later, Wells scored on a 12-yard run, giving East Jefferson a 14-3 lead with 5:51 left in the second quarter.