In his second year as the starter, Jefferson quarterback and defensive back Grant Hitchcock developed a more well-rounded game.
His development and production led to him being named the Ashtabula County Player of the Year.
The junior signal caller led the Falcons to a 4-6 season. But the start to the year was much better than the end.
Jefferson started 3-1 during the non-conference portion of the schedule. It wasn’t until the Falcons reached Northeast 8 competition that the record took a turn for the worse.
Despite the record, Hitchcock showed his talent as both a passer and a runner. He amassed 2,433 yards of total offense and 22 touchdowns. He orchestrated a Falcons offense that put together 3,568 yards of total offense on the year.
As a passer, Hitchcock completed 114 of 199 attempts (57.3 percent) with 1,423 yards and eight scores. He also ran the ball 126 times for 1,010 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He continued to develop a connection with classmate Trent Hodge, who led the team in receiving. Hodge caught 54 passes from Hitchcock for 585 yards and four TDs.
Some of Hitchcock’s success was a byproduct of a new coach. Brandon Hanna, Jefferson’s offensive coordinator in 2020, took over the program this season. Hanna was a quarterback at Lakeside and continued playing the position into college.
For his success, Hitchcock was named to the first-team Northeast Lake All-District squad in Division V.
Defensively, Hitchcock finished with 32 tackles and four interceptions.