T.J. snaps two streaks with win over Marshall
Vikings post first win over Justices, third win of year
BY JIM SWING | Special correspondent | Updated 2 days ago
On a misty, rain-soaked Saturday afternoon, the Thomas Jefferson football team found there was no better day to shine.
Since 2004, the Vikings hadn’t produced more than two wins in a season, let alone beat John Marshall.
But a reliable defense and steady offense helped Thomas Jefferson defeat John Marshall 32-20.
The Vikings (3-3) inched one game closer to their first winning season in 30 years, while John Marshall (0-6) is still in search of its first win.
“I didn’t want to talk about that with them,” Thomas Jefferson coach Chad Hornik said, “but this is a good win.”
After sloppy play by both offenses early, the Vikings struck late in the first half on an 11-yard touchdown pass from ShaQuan Patterson that Desmond Smith hauled in after bobbling over three defenders.
“It was great,” Smith said. “I just wanted to set the tone for the team.”
Thomas Jefferson faltered minutes later when receiver Amani Williams bobbled a lateral pass that landed the Justices in good field position on the Vikings’ 12-yard line. Two plays later, Quinten Fowlkes ran for a touchdown and a two-point conversion to give John Marshall the lead.
The Vikings quickly took command when Williams redeemed himself by returning a Da’twaun Waller fumble 20 yards for a touchdown. It was the first of many mistakes by the Justices that were taken advantage of by Thomas Jefferson.
It didn’t get any better for John Marshall in the second half when Vikings kicker James Lee blasted the opening kick off the chest of Rashawn Giles and recovered it on what was seemingly an unintentional onside kick.
Patterson capped an 11-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown run, this one after bouncing off two defenders.
“He did a hell of a job,” Hornik said. “He’s a good kid, he’s a guy that used to be in the band, so we’re excited about him.”
Things continued to spiral downhill for the Justices as the next two possessions ended in a safety and a fumble recovered for a touchdown that allowed Thomas Jefferson to take a 32-8 lead late in the third quarter.
Although Kyheim Banks rushed for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass, the Thomas Jefferson defense was relentless and proved to be a key difference.
“This is not the same old T.J.,” John Marshall coach Marvin Bridges said.
“We’re changing T.J.,” Patterson said. “Just building for the future.”