Conditions, turnovers cost Gryphons

Nov. 17, 2013 @ 06:11 AM

The Thomas Jefferson Gryphons bolted to a 9-0 lead, but could not hold off Colin Gillespie and the Andrews Wildcats, falling 34-15 in the opening round of the NCHSAA playoffs on a rain soaked night in Avondale.

Gillespie sparked the Wildcat comeback with 143 yards rushing on 26 carries and three touchdowns, but the weather also played a major factor. Heavy rains slowed the Gryphons passing attack and played a role in five TJCA turnovers.

“I think the conditions hurt us a little more than it did them,” said Thomas Jefferson coach Jerry Cash. “Andrews controlled the line of scrimmage and that’s exactly what you want to do in a game like tonight. We had to throw the ball and it got a little wet and led to a couple turnovers.

Injuries also cost the Gryphons.

“We just ran out of weapons,” Cash said. “Mason Martin was not 100 percent, Efrim pulled his hamstring on a kickoff return, and Tyler Mitchell probably broke his collar bone again on his touchdown run. The team gutted it out and played through it, but we just ran out of weapons.”         

TJCA ends the season with a program best 8-4 record.

“That’s something to proud of,” Cash said. “This team should take pride in what they have accomplished this year. They have no reason to hang their heads.”

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