The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 2, 2013

Henson’s Falcons vow to stay after it

Jefferson will invade Newton Falls on Friday night

JEFFERSON — Something must give this week and if the Jefferson Falcons have anything to say about it, it will be the Newton Falls Tigers.

Jefferson and Newton Falls will square off in an All-American Conference National Division clash of 1-4 squads Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Newton Falls.

However, while the records of the Falcons (0-2 in the AAC) and the Tigers (0-1 in the AAC) may match, the road they’ve taken to this point is cut in half by a big fork.

While Jefferson, which has dropped three straight, is five points from flipflopping its record to 4-1, coach Jon Culp’s Newton Falls squad has been taking it on the chin... bigtime.

After crushing visiting Rootstown in their opener, 55-7, the Tigers have been whipped in succession by Brookfield (46-6), Norton (35-6), Girard (47-7) and Champion (56-8).

Jefferson dropped a heartbreaking 16-14 homecoming decision to visiting Liberty last week.

Henson, though, saw plenty he liked.

“I think we actually played our best game of the year,” he said. “We had great effort and the guys gave everything they had. We are getting really close, and we are improving every week.”

And in that process, Henson said morale is still stable in Falcon Country, where 18 of the 22 starters from Ashtabula County’s best team in 2012 (8-2) were lost to graduation.

“The players have been great, they come in every day ready to work,” he said. “They are earning the experience we didn’t have at the beginning of the season. They are figuring out the things we need to do to win, and it will pay off for them soon.”

That could happen as quickly as Friday night in the third clash in this series, which Jefferson evened at 1-1 by spoiling Newton Falls’ homecoming last fall, 43-20.

“I think they are a team still trying to find themselves,” Henson said of the Tigers. “On offense, we have seen them run a couple of series in the I, in the pistol, shotgun one-back, shotgun empty. We have to be prepared for them to come out in anything.

“The two guys on offense who make them go are their quarterback, Brandon Fuller (6-foot-2, 175-pound senior). He throws pretty well, but is an even better runner. He scrambles around and makes plays, plus they have designed runs for him. He caused

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