COUNCIL BLUFFS — Things were looking a little dicey for Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson at halftime, holding a 14-12 lead over winless Des Moines North while being outgained by the Polar Bears.
But the Yellow Jackets came on strong in the second half, outscoring North 27-0 the rest of the way in a 41-12 victory.
Jermaine Green scored two rushing touchdowns for Thomas Jefferson while running for 95 yards on 24 carries. The Yellow Jackets outgained North 234-154.
And after allowing more than 60 points in the past three games — all losses — the Thomas Jefferson defense responded by forcing seven turnovers Friday.
Jefferson coach Brant Anderson said that despite the halftime score, he was encouraged by his team’s defense.
“Defense knew they were playing well in the first half,” Anderson said. “We just gave up a couple of big plays to basically set them up for their two scores and good plays by them.
“We just had to shore up a couple of little things, and they came out and made stops. We got fortunate to get some turnovers that helped out a lot.”
Anderson said he was glad to put the three-game skid behind his team and improve to 3-3.
“You know, 3-3 is big for us right now,” he said. “We’ve got winnable games all through the rest of the season, so it was really good to get off that and get a win again.”
Green put the Yellow Jackets up 6-0 with a 12-yard touchdown run with 4:29 left in the first quarter. It was Green’s team-leading seventh rushing touchdown.
The Bears responded with a 56-yard scoring scamper by Tan Nguyen to knot the game at 6-6 with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
A Thomas Jefferson fumble on the first play of the second quarter gave North the ball at the Yellow Jacket 5. But quarterback Nick Crispin lost the ball on the following play, and Hunter Jones recovered it and returned it 95 yards for a score to put Jefferson in front 14-6 with 10:50 left in the first half.
Crispin started the game in place of Nick Goergen, who was injured last week. Goergen had passed for 417 yards and three touchdowns this season before going down.
Crispin made it 14-12 on a 1-yard plunge with 4:32 remaining until halftime as the Bears outgained Thomas Jefferson 146-109 in the first half.
But the Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 21-12 on their second drive of the third quarter when Dylan Carmen muscled the ball in from the 2. Thomas Jefferson’s Reese Schlotfeld intercepted Crispin on the following possession and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to put Jefferson up 28-12 with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
The Yellow Jackets put the game away with Green’s eighth TD this year, an 8-yard run, and Austin Schubert’s 70-yard touchdown strike to Qu’ran Owens in the fourth quarter.
Des Moines North (0-6).....................6 6 0 0—12
At CB Thomas Jefferson (3-3)............6 8 14 13—41
TJ: Jermaine Green 12 run (kick failed)
DMN: Tan Nguyen 56 run (run failed)
TJ: Hunter Jones 95 fumble return (Dylan Carmen run)
DMN: Nick Crispin 1 run (run failed)
TJ: Carmen 2 run (Carter Harold kick)
TJ: Reese Schlotfeld 40 interception return (Harold kick)
TJ: Green 8 run (Harold kick)
TJ: Qu’ran Owens 70 pass from Austin Schubert (pass failed)
Photos: Division I basketball and football recruits in Nebraska for the 2020 class
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