Sometime after Deramus Carey rushed for 179 first-half yards and three touchdowns, the Purple Tigers had even more reason to celebrate as Westmoreland’s 50-32 win over East Robertson handed Watertown the Region 4-2A championship.
Watertown moved to 4-0 in the region with, after a Senior Night non-league visit from Smith County at 7 p.m. next Friday, only one 4-2A game left, at East Robertson on Oct. 26. But now, the Indians can’t catch the Purple Tigers, who own the tiebreaker over 3-1 Trousdale County.
“It’d mean a lot to these kids, the school and the community,” Webster said before learning of East Robertson’s loss. “It’s been a lot of years since one has been won around here.”
When Watertown won the championship in the old District 6-A in 1985, Gavin Webster was a recent graduate of Gordonsville coming off a state championship in ’84. Kelli Robinson, now Gavin’s wife and Bryce’s mom, was a senior cheerleader for the Purple Tigers, coached by her dad, Bill.
“It’s been a generation,” said Gavin Webster, whose Tigers will turn its eyes on their first undefeated season since 1976.
Watertown missed an early scoring chance due to a penalty.
But Quanterrius Hughes-Malone fielded a Jackson County punt and handed off to Heath Price, who scooted 63 yards down the home sideline to a 7-0 lead.
Carey’s second carry went for 42 yards to the Jackson County 40-yard line in a drive capped by his 16-yard touchdown run.
Bryce Webster, who completed 11 of 19 passes for 198 yards in his first action since Week 3 at Trousdale County, found receiver Elijah Williamson a 39-yard fade to the Jackson County 35 and Price in the left flat for 19 yards and a touchdown for a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Linebacker Gentry Wall recovered the first of three lost Jackson County fumbles, this one on a quarterback sack, at the Blue Devil 30. After Hughes-Malone took a Webster screen 28 yards to the 2, Carey took it in from there.
Carey opened the next series with a 64-yard scamper to the Jackson County 18. Zach Hill got it to the 3 on the next play and eventually the 2, from where Carey returned and walked in. Webster rolled out and found Hill for a two-point conversion and a 35-0 lead which held until halftime as the Tigers got to the Jackson County 10 as time expired.
After linebacker Logan Knapp recovered a Jackson County fumble on the first play of the second half at the Jackson County 35, Webster flipped a screen pass to Brandon Allison, who weaved his way to the end zone from 35 yards for a 42-0 lead, signaling the end of the night for the starters.
“For being out that long, he came out and really managed the offense well and managed the game well,” Coach Webster said of quarterback Webster.
Then there is Carey, a junior who makes third-and-long a running down.
“Anytime you got a good running game and the passing game isn’t too bad either, it helps a whole lot,” Coach Webster said. “Having a good running back back there helps a whole lot.”
The Blue Devils followed their second fumble with their third, recovered by freshman Ian Fryer at the Jackson County 10, from where Sam Wills scored on the next play.
While Watertown was compiling 532 total yards, Jackson County finished with just 105. The Blue Devils finally broke the shutout with less than five minutes to play on a 5-yard run by Nicholas Thomason.
Watertown 48, Jackson County 6
Jackson County 0 0 0 6—6
Watertown 14 21 13 0—48
Watertown—Heath Price 63 punt return (Elijah Williams kick), 7:51.
Watertown—Deramus Carey 16 run (Williams kick), 3:41.
Watertown—Price 19 pass from Bryce Webster (Williams kick), 10:22.
Watertown—Carey 2 run (kick failed), 8:59.
Watertown—Carey 2 run (Zach Hill pass from Webster), 3:16.
Watertown—Brandon Allison 35 pass from Webster (Williams kick), 10:20.
Watertown—Sam Wills 10 run (kick failed), 7:16.
Jackson County—Nicholas Thomason 5 run (pass intercepted), 4:42.
First downs 7 19
—Rushing 5 10
—Passing 2 8
—Penalty 0 1
Rushes-yards 21-59 35-316
Passing yards 46 216
—Comp.-Att.-Int. 8-13-0 13-21-0
Punts-avg. 5-35.4 0-0
Penalties-yards 2-20 4-44
Fumbles lost 3 0
RUSHING—Jackson County: Wid Robbins 5-(-14), Justin Lancaster 11-41, Eli Burris 1-(-6), Nicholas Thomason 4-38. Watertown: Heath Price 2-13, Deramus Carey 12-179, Zach Hill 5-21, Bryce Webster 2-1, Sam Wills 4-20, Kaden Seay 4-16, Brayden Cousino 2-24, Cole Miller 1-13.
PASSING—Jackson County: Eli Burris 5-7-0—20, Wid Robbins 2-5-0—23, Jake Garrison 1-1-0—3. Watertown: Bryce Webster 11-19-0—198, Brayden Cousino 2-2-0—18.
RECEIVING—Jackson County: Justin Davis 4-19, Gage Clark 2-12, Justin Lancaster 1-12, Eli Biggs 1-3. Watertown: Brandon Allison 2-40, Zach Hill 1-(-3), Isaac Leedham 1-16, Elijah Williams 2-66, Heath Price 3-40, Quanterrius Hughes-Malone 1-28.