Roughriders run roughshod over Dragons in playoffs

Published 1:27 am Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Jim Walker


CHILLICOTHE — The West Jefferson Roughriders had a 3,000-yard passer in quarterback Tyler Buescher, but they put Hayden Salyer in the saddle and let him ride.

Salyer ran 32 times for 196 yards and three touchdowns as West Jefferson downed the Fairland Dragons 33-8 in the Division 6 Region 23 semifinals on Saturday.

Buescher did throw for 107 yards and a touchdown but Salyer proved to be the key to the offense while the Roughrider defense stymied the Dragons’ offense in key situations.

Fairland (10-2) had 198 total yards but threw two interceptions and lost three fumbles. The five turnovers more than negated some of the problems the Roughriders committed.

West Jefferson (12-1) had 277 total yards but fumbled seven times losing two and whistled seven times for 60 yards.

Fairland got to the West Jefferson 47-yard line three plays into the game only to have M.J. Book pick off a pass.

The Roughriders were forced to punt but the ball was deflected off a Fairland player giving them the ball at the Dragons’ 30.

The turnover led to a 32-yard field goal by Aiden Clerico and it was 3-0 at the 7:06 mark.

The Dragons had to punt and West Jefferson got a big return to set up camp at Fairland’s 38.

Five plays later, Salyer went the final yard on the first play of the second quarter and it was 9-0.

Late in the quarter, West Jefferson got a 33-yard field goal and it was 12-0 with 3:34 left in the half.

Fairland came right back thanks to three straight pass completions by Peyton Jackson to Steeler Leep for 12, J.D. Brumfield for 15 and the final 33 yards to Zander Schmidt for a touchdown.

Brycen Hunt ran the rooskie conversion and it was 12-8 with 2:02 on the clock.

But the Roughriders answered quickly as a 38-yard pass to Book to the 7-yard line and Salyer went the final 5 yards and it was 19-8 with just seven seconds left.

West Jefferson drove to the Fairland 37 to start the second half only to fumble and Hunt recovered and return the ball to the Roughrider 41.

But the Dragons’ drive stalled and West Jefferson drove 60 yards in seven plays with Salyer racing 17 yards for the score.

Clerico’s conversion kick pushed the leave to 26-8 with 6:51 on the clock.

Fairland got a 39-yard pass to Hunt and a penalty put the ball at the West Jefferson 13. But the Roughrider defense gave up one yard and then forced three incompletions to kill the drive.

The teams traded fumbles and then the Dragons turned the ball over on downs at their own 38.

Salyer ran for 23 yards and then Buescher hit Book on a 15-yard TD pass and it was 33-8 with 5:02 to play.

Jackson was 10-of-24 passing for 129yards and a touchdown. Brumfield ran 11 times for 54 yards.

West Jefferson plays Fort Frye for the regional title at Logan next Saturday.

  1. Jefferson 3 1          7          7          =          33

Fairland           0          8          0          0          =          8

First Quarter

WJ – Aiden Clerico 32 field goal 7:06

Second Quarter

WJ – Hayden Salyer 1 run (kick failed) 11:53

WJ – Aiden Clerico 33 field goals 3:34

Fa – Zander Schmidt 33 pass from Peyton Jackson (Brycen Hunt run) 2:02

WJ – Hayden Salyer 5 run (Aiden Clerico kick) 0:07

Third Quarter

WJ – Hayden Salyer 17 run (Aiden Clerico kick) 6:51

Fourth Quarter

WJ – M.J. Book 15 pass from Tyler Buescher (Aiden Clerico kick) 5:02


WJ       Fa

First downs     14        11

Rushes-yards  39-170 29-69

Passing yards  107      129

Total yards      277      198

Cmp-Att-Int    7-15-0 10-26-2

Fumbles-lost   7-2       3-3

Penalties-yards            7-60     2-25

Punts-average  6-237   2-34.5


Individual Leaders

RUSHING — West Jefferson: Hayden Salyer 32-196 3 TD, Tyler Buescher 6-minus 23, Adam Fry 1-minus 3; Fairland: J.D. Brumfield 11-54 Kam Kitts 4-3, Zander Schmidt 3-6, Peyton Jackson 9-minus 1, team 2-minus 12.

PASSING — West Jefferson: Tyler Buescher 7-15-0 107 TD; Fairland: Peyton Jackson 10-24-2 129 TD, Zander Schmidt 0-2-0.

RECEIVING — West Jefferson: M.J. Book 6-106 TD, Hayden Salyer 1-1; Fairland: Steeler Leep 2-19, J.D. Brumfield 2-19, Zander Schmidt 2-34 TD, Brycen Hunt 2-51, Kam Kitts 2-6.