The 2013 season couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the Blue Raiders.
Two big returns by Anthony Jefferson sparked Woodbridge to a 21-13 season-opening win over host Appoquinimink in the fourth annual DFRC Kickoff Classic on Thursday night.
Jefferson’s second big return came in the third quarter with the Blue Raiders, who won only two games last season, leading 14-13. He fielded a punt at the Woodbridge 46 before finding a gap in the Jaguar coverage and avoiding tacklers before being run out of bounds at the Appoquinimink 23.
“As I got the ball, I saw there was a big hole, so I ran it there,” Jefferson said. “It was a big play for us.”
After four plays, the Blue Raiders (1-0) faced a third-and-4 at the Jaguar 6, and Ricky Rayford took the handoff and barreled his way into the end zone for the touchdown. Brent Adams made the extra point to give Woodbridge an 8-point advantage.
The Blue Raider defense made sure the lead held up over the final quarter and a half. They stuck to their assignments and held the Jaguars to just two first downs on their final four possessions.
“We told them to play their position. Every kid on there has their position, and that was our game plan,” Woodbridge head coach Ed Manlove said. “We did it to a T. Defense isn’t rocket science.”
The Jaguars, who finished 5-5 in 2012, scored first with 3:03 left in the first quarter when Shane Anderson scored on a quarterback sneak from 7 yards out to complete a seven-play, 55-yard drive. The lead was short-lived, as Jefferson fielded the ensuing kickoff at the 11 and raced his way along the sideline for an 89-yard kickoff return touchdown to tie the game at 7.
Appoquinimink (0-1) retook the lead midway through the second quarter when Demetrius Word swept left and scored from 19 yards out to make it a 13-7 game.
Late in the second quarter, a bad snap on a punt gave the Blue Raiders possession at the Jaguar 35-yard line. Two plays later, Woodbridge faced a first-and-15 at the Appoquinimink 20-yard line with less 20 seconds left in the half.
The Blue Raiders called a pass, but Logan Wescott saw the Jaguar secondary had its back to him, so he scampered toward the end zone and scored to give Woodbridge the lead for good.
“I was reading the coverage, and I saw that everyone was covered,” Wescott said. “I saw the middle was open, so I took off.”