The first half of Saturday night’s CIF Division 1-A regional playoff game might as well have been called the Jermar Jefferson Show.
In the first two quarters, Narbonne’s Jefferson ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns, caught three passes for 65 yards and one touchdown and outgained Paraclete by himself, leading the Gauchos to their second state championship bowl appearance in three seasons with a dominating 56–14 triumph.
The Gauchos (11-3) will face Pittsburg (9-2) at 4 p.m. next Saturday at Sacramento State. Pittsburg defeated Granite Bay 37-14 to win the north regional game.
Jefferson finished with 226 yards on the ground and ran for a 60-yard score to extend the Gauchos’ lead to 42-0 in the third quarter.
After Logan Taylor’s 35-yard kickoff return set the Gauchos up at the Paraclete 37 to start their first drive, they needed only four plays to find the end zone, capped by Jefferson’s 26-yard run on fourth-and-one.
He ended Narbonne’s third possession with a 13-yard run and made it 20-0 with a 32-yard reception from Jalen Chatman.
Corey Jackson scored on a 21-yard run and Jefferson’s fourth touchdown of the first half on a five-yard run made it 35-0. Steve Jenkins caught three passes for 50 yards for the host Gauchos.
Chatman completed 10 of 18 passes for 127 yards with one interception. With a running clock late in the fourth quarter, Narbonne coach Manuel Douglas was doused with water.
Paraclete’s Princeton-bound quarterback Brevin White completed only 14 of 36 passes for 170 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown to Jayson Haywood, and he was sacked seven times and intercepted twice by Narbonne cornerback Demonti Peoples.
The Spirits (13-2), who won the Southern Section Division 5 title, averted the shutout on Haywood’s two-yard run late in the third quarter, but Domajae Williams ran 60 yards for a touchdown 22 seconds later to make it 50-7.
Jefferson had run for 187 yards and three touchdowns in 21 carries eight days earlier in the Gauchos’ 48-7 rout of Crenshaw in the City’s inaugural Open Division final, but that proved to be a mere dress rehearsal for his performance versus last year’s Division 3-AA state bowl champions.
Narbonne scored touchdowns on five of its seven first-half possessions while Paraclete punted five times, turned it over twice and was held on downs once.