Jefferson City hammers Marshall in Class 4 district semifinals

Jefferson City's Kendric Johnson runs with the ball during Friday night’s Class 4 District 5 semifinal against Marshall at Adkins Stadium. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)
Jefferson City's Kendric Johnson runs with the ball during Friday night’s Class 4 District 5 semifinal against Marshall at Adkins Stadium. (Ken Barnes/News Tribune)

The No. 2 seed Jefferson City Jays started fast and never let up Friday night at Adkins Stadium, running away with a 49-3 win against the No. 6 seed Marshall Owls in the Class 4 District 5 semifinals at Adkins Stadium.

With the win, the Jays advance to their third consecutive district championship at 7 p.m. next Friday at top-seeded Pleasant Hill, which advanced with a 55-14 victory Friday against fourth-seeded Warrensburg, and reached seven wins for the first time since 2015.

“I think we continue to climb,” Jefferson City coach Damon Wells said. “First time since 2015 that we’ve won seven games, so a lot of positives. Now the hard work really begins. In the playoffs, everybody is good and everybody continues to get better as you go on.”

Jefferson City opened with the football and made quick work of its first drive, using five plays to pick up 65 yards and score on a 6-yard run by Kantrell Jordan. Kendric Johnson made the first of his seven extra-point attempts on a perfect night kicking to give the Jays a 7-0 lead less than two minutes in.

But the next two drives would be much shorter following a Marshall three-and-out and a missed 41-yard field goal off the crossbar.

Jordan scored on the opening play of both drives, taking the first one 87 yards down the home sideline and the next 80 yards down the same path to help Jefferson City build a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.

“It felt pretty good,” Jordan said. “I have to give thanks to my wide receivers, they were really out there blocking. And everything starts with the O-line, too. Big thanks to them, I love them for that.”

The Jays were far from done in the first half.

The furthest point the Owls reached on the field was the Jefferson City 49-yard line following the missed field-goal try, which came on the next series and ended with a punt.

Meanwhile, the Jays scored on every possession of the half.

Bradarious Lewis added a 39-yard touchdown run on the next possession, Jordan added his fourth touchdown on his fourth carry with a 3-yard run on the ensuing drive and Zach Barnes ran in a 20-yard score to give Jefferson City a 42-0 halftime lead.

The Jays ended the first half with 391 rushing yards on just 20 carries (19.6 avg.).

“I was proud of our boys,” Wells said. “We are climbing without a rope in the playoffs. If you slip up even once, that could be the end of the season. So, I was incredibly proud of them.”

The Jays allowed their starters one series in the second half, and they made it count.

Lewis capped off a four-play, 24-yard drive following a Marshall turnover on downs with a 3-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 49-0 halfway through the third.

The Owls put together their best drive of the game to follow with an 11-play, 51-yard drive that ended with a Erian Jones 34-yard field goal to create the final margin.

Jordan led the way in his return from injury, rushing five times for 189 yards and four scores, and Lewis added 168 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

Jefferson City (7-4) finished with 443 total yards, all coming on the ground.

Marshall (3-8) was led by quarterback Chase Thompson, who completed 14-of-26 passes for 96 yards. The Owls ended with 143 total yards.