Daily Press (Sunday)

Tigers’ defense dominates

- By Jami Frankenber­ry

GLEN ALLEN — Jerrod Wilson is generally easy to spot as the only Oscar Smith High football player wearing bright-green gloves and fluorescen­t yellow cleats.

But the quickest way to spot the senior linebacker on Friday night was to focus on the opposing quarterbac­k.

Wilson registered four sacks and batted down a pass to spearhead a tenacious effort on defense in Oscar Smith’s 28-17 victory over Glen Allen in a Class 6 Region A quarterfin­al.

The fifth-seeded Tigers (8-3) won their third straight game and earned a matchup in the semifinals next week at No. 1 seed Highland Springs (10-1).

Oscar Smith got there with a defense that rang up seven sacks and complement­ed a workhorse performanc­e from running back

Brandon Nesbit, who logged 34 carries for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

The Tigers’ defense flexed its muscle from the start, forcing three straight three-and-outs to start the game and collecting six first-half sacks. Twelve Glen Allen plays netted zero or negative yards before halftime, and the Jaguars finished with minus-11 rushing yards and 4 passing yards in the first half.

“We were just running to the ball, listening to our coaches and executing our assignment­s,” said Wilson, also a tight end, who has scholarshi­p offers from Maine and North Carolina Central. “The game plan was to come out fast and physical on defense and for our offense to pound the rock and score.”

The Jaguars’ only first-half score came on Kamden Tiller’s 50-yard intercepti­on return.

Nesbit scored on a 1-yard plunge on Oscar Smith’s opening drive, and quarterbac­k Lonnie Andrews III tossed a 55-yard dart to Travis Johnson for a touchdown in the second quarter. The defense helped when Romaro Copeland picked up a fumble and raced 59 yards to set up another score — Andrews’ 1-yard scamper to give the Tigers a 21-7 halftime lead.

Glen Allen (8-3), aided by a muffed punt and a short punt, pulled within 21-17 early in the third quarter. But Nesbit helped Oscar Smith burn the clock on a methodical fourth-quarter drive, scoring on a 2-yard run with 9:39 left for the final margin.

Andrews, a freshman, was playing against his godfather — Glen Allen coach Perry Jones, who starred on Oscar Smith’s 2008 state championsh­ip team. Andrews finished 8-of-14 passing for 170 yards with an intercepti­on and a touchdown.

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