What Jefferson quarterback Matt Wong lacks in size, he makes up for in tenacity. Last night, Wong was both his team's leading passer and top rusher, propelling the Colonials to a 28-14 win over Yorktown on a cold, soggy night in Arlington.
The Colonials' 5-foot-9 junior rushed for four touchdowns and 168 yards on 45 carries, and he completed 14 of 24 passes for 196 yards to give his squad a key AAA National District victory on the road. Wong either ran or threw the ball on 69 of the Colonials' 72 offensive plays.
In the second half, running the Colonials' no-huddle offense, Wong carried or passed the ball on all 33 of Jefferson's offensive plays. The Colonials were 3 for 3 on fourth-down conversions -- all three were Wong runs up the middle.
"He's the man," Jefferson Coach Tim O'Reilly said. "He's a competitor. He's a competitor on this team, he's a competitor in the weight room. He goes hard, he fights to make the most out of things."
Jefferson (4-1, 3-0) is now in sole possession of first place in the National District, its only loss coming in a nondistrict game against defending Division 6 state champion Westfield.
"This is new territory for us," O'Reilly said. "We have four district games left, and everyone is going to be gunning for us, so we're going to have to be ready."
Yorktown's offense had some success moving the ball up the field, sparked by speedy sophomore running back Max Milien, who finished with 121 rushing yards.
But Jefferson's defense made the big plays, coming up with three first-half interceptions to halt Yorktown drives, one apiece by seniors Brad Blomstrom and William Averill and junior Chris Monahan.
The Patriots took an early 7-0 lead on their second drive, but Jefferson responded with a 12-play, four-minute drive over 80 yards to tie the game. Wong engineered Jefferson's next two drives, converting two fourth-down plays, and Jefferson had a 21-7 halftime lad.
At the start of the second half, the offenses slowed down, except for a Yorktown scoring drive in the third quarter that ended in a Milien 19-yard touchdown that cut the Patriots' deficit to 21-14. But just when it appeared that Wong might be tiring in the fourth quarter, he sealed the Colonials' win. He bounced off four tacklers for a 22-yard gain at the start of a fourth-quarter drive. Eight plays later, he jumped over the offensive line for a touchdown and a 28-14 lead.
"I didn't really think about it," Wong said of his offensive output. "We have a great offensive line, and we have great receivers. This is really a team victory. Everyone stepped up to make this possible."