Johnny Jefferson lamented the fact he couldn’t do more for the Shoemaker Grey Wolves during their District 8-5A schedule.
After running for more than 700 yards, including back-to-back 300-yard games, in the preseason, Jefferson was limited to less than 550 through six games in district.
But the Grey Wolves senior running back left a final mark — an unexplainable 30-yard touchdown run to cap a 297-yard, three-touchdown performance in a season-ending 27-14 win over Ellison.
“The thing I’ll remember the most from that game is the last touchdown because I really didn’t, I don’t know how that happened,” Jefferson said. “Getting that win in my last game, that was a good confidence booster for me going into my workouts and getting prepared to go on to Baylor next year.”
Jefferson received 987 votes (56 percent), edging Gatesville running back Jake Kee by 356 votes, to earn his first KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week accolade after twice finishing second to a pair of Florence offensive standouts (quarterback Kaleb Hardy and receiver Jimmy Struble) following his 300-yard performances earlier in the season.
“I’m glad that people saw that Shoemaker’s got athletes and we’ve got great players over here. I’m happy that they finally voted and we won. I felt like that was a good thing,” Jefferson said.
Kee ran for 244 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries in the Hornets’ 48-25 win over Liberty Hill that gave Gatesville its first undefeated season since 2000, when the Hornets won the 3A state championship.
Copperas Cove junior running back Vondareaz King finished third and Killeen junior running back Daniel McCants finished fourth.
King ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in the Bulldawgs’ 34-6 win over Harker Heights and McCants had 382 total yards of offense and scored six touchdowns in Killeen’s 63-56 loss to Temple. McCants ran for 317 yards and five touchdowns on 32 carries and caught four passes for 65 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown.
While Cove, Gatesville and Killeen are all still playing, heading into bi-district playoff games this weekend, Jefferson’s high school career is done. It didn’t end the way he wanted, but a 30-yard touchdown run that surprised even him couldn’t have been more perfect.
“Ending with that win, I feel way better because I left my mark. ... My team, we had some adversity, but we stuck through,” Jefferson said. “The whole process of being at Shoemaker, it taught me something. It taught me how to grind and everything’s not going to be perfect, sometimes you’ve got to get tough yards to get the glory yards.”