West Jefferson advances to state Final Four

Holding the Region 20 championship trophy, the West Jefferson Roughriders celebrate after defeating West Liberty Salem 34-0.

(Posted Nov. 25, 2019)

By Jeff Pfeil, Staff Photographer

West Jefferson’s football team is headed to the Final Four in the state playoffs.

On Nov. 23, the Roughriders defeated Ohio Heritage Conference co-champion West Liberty Salem 34-0 at Sidney High School to claim the OHSAA Div. V Region 20 trophy.

Though temperatures were cold and snow was falling, the Roughriders came out red hot to take control of the game early. Recovering a pooch kickoff, West Jefferson rushed down the short field to take a 7-0 lead at 9:56 on a 2-yard rush by Gabe Jones.

West Jefferson’s defense was tough all night, holding the Tigers to 113 total yards. The offense gained 410 yards with only 66 coming by the pass.

The Riders took a 28-0 lead into halftime, went back to work in the second half, and scored their final touchdown in the third quarter. The remainder of the game was played with a running clock.

West Jefferson avenged their only loss of the season to the Tigers (43-39) to advance to a 12-1 record.

The Riders travel to Chillicothe Hernstein Field on Nov. 30 to play Ironton (12-1) in a 7 p.m. kickoff in state semi-final action.

Fans are encouraged to buy their playoff tickets in advance online at www.OHSAA.org/tickets, as the participating schools keep a portion of presale ticket revenue. Tickets are $10 at the gate.

Zach Hahn recovers a loose ball on a pooch kick to start the game. West Jefferson drove 23 yards to score on a Gabe Jones touchdown.
Running back Gavin Frybarger cuts through a hole created by his offensive line. Frybarger gained 63 yards on 11 carries.
Brenton Robertson signals a touchdown for the Roughriders. The offensive line was a major force in pushing back the West Liberty Salem defense.
Cory Hart (68), Dylan Lambert (34), Josh Hahn (75) and Zach Hahn (7) celebrate another touchdown, raising Gabe Jones (35) high in the air.
Tailback Gabe Jones eludes a tackle and breaks through a nice hole provided by his offensive line. Jones rushed for 287 yards on 29 attempts and scored all five of the Riders’ touchdowns on rushes of 2, 1, 39, 95 and 24 yards to lead West Jefferson to victory.
West Jefferson’s Shane Bungardner makes life miserable for Tigers quarterback Trevor Woodruff as he holds on to his jersey to force a bad pass.
West Jefferson head coach Shawn Buescher hugs his son, quarterback Tyler Buescher, as time runs down before the celebration begins as the Roughriders claim the Region 20 championship.
The Roughriders gather for a team photo under the scoreboard at Sidney High School after claiming the Region 20 Championship trophy in their 34-0 win against West Liberty Salem.


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