West Jefferson has produced a small army of all-state running backs over the years.
Gabe Jones jumped to the top of that list with a record-breaking performance Sept. 6, and the Roughriders routed host Ready 55-24 at Fortress Obetz.
While scoring five touchdowns, Jones gained 312 yards on 26 carries, breaking the West Jefferson record of 308 yards set by Tony Amann. Jones had 238 yards and four TDs in the first half before being relieved for stretches by Gavin Frybarger, who added three TDs.
"I've had a poster above my bed for the longest time with the number 308 because I wanted to get that record," said Jones, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior who scored on runs of 1, 5, 7, 52 and 78 yards.
Clutching a trophy as a radio station's player of the game, Jones stood before his team during a postgame talk and lauded his stellar offensive line, which opened gaping holes.
"We're really all the player of the game," Jones said. "We wouldn't be here celebrating right now without all of you. This is a statement win, guys."
West Jefferson coach Shawn Buescher, while ecstatic about the impressive win over a perennial power, was quick to tell his team, "This was not a perfect win by any means. But I see a huge upside, and that's why I work you so hard every day."
Buescher pointed out that his offensive line returned all five starters.
"I'm not going to say it's the best line we've ever had here, because we've had a lot of great ones, but it's one of the best," he said. "I liked that we played a complete game against an excellent program that will achieve good things this year."
Ready coach Joel Cutler shook his head in awe of the physicality of West Jefferson.
"Going in, I thought Jones and their O-line were equally impressive," Cutler said. "Gabe turned out to be faster that we thought, and the offensive line was more physical than we thought.
"Hats off to West Jefferson. They do things the right way over there, and we'll take some lessons from this and move on."
The Roughriders (2-0) scored on seven of their first eight series, with a find blend of running, timely passing and effective blocking from a huge line.
Ready (1-1) had its moments, with quarterback Darius Parham and receiver Tyrese Hudson connecting on two touchdown passes and diminutive tailback Jack Foley pounding his way to 95 yards.
But the Silver Knights had no answer for West Jefferson's punishing ground game, led by Jones and Frybarger.
Except for a missed extra-point kick, West Jefferson delivered a perfect first half offensively, scoring touchdowns on all five of its series for a 34-17 lead.
After its first defensive stop of the game to open the third quarter, Ready pulled to 34-24 on a 1-yard run by Jejuan McGowan.
But the Roughriders mounted a methodical 10-play, 72-yard scoring drive to regain momentum. Set up by his own 32-yard run, Jones plowed in from the 1 for his fifth TD.
Frynbarger's third TD with less than eight minutes remaining forced a running clock.
Both teams were coming off impressive Week 1 victories. Ready defeated 2018 state semifinalist Genoa Area 24-7 and West Jefferson blasted Lockland 53-7.
In 2018, Ready beat West Jeff 30-23. The Roughriders went on to go 8-2 and fell in the opening round of the playoffs. The Silver Knights went 4-6.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final WEST JEFFERSON 20 14 14 7 55 READY
7 10 7 0 24