With Saturday’s 19-12 win over the Bessemer Wolfpack at West Jefferson High School, the Devil Dawgs hoisted their championship trophy and proudly stated one phrase that symbolized their efforts throughout the season — mission accomplished.
The title game also served as a rematch for the two teams, who played to a 14-14 tie on March 17, allowing West Jefferson to complete the year with an 8-1-1 record.
“This team is so special — we’ve always been like a family and all over the years I’ve tried to build that type of overall relationship throughout our organization,” Devil Dawgs owner/coach/center Jesse Reed said.
“Everyone has input and feels a part of how the team operates. We took pride in representing West Jefferson and this championship is a title for our community. We knew that we were a much better team than our record of 5-7 indicated last year and the only way to get the bad taste our of our mouths was to win the title. It’s been a journey for us to get to this moment and we could not be prouder.”
Down 6-0, Walker’s D.J. Smith connected on a 60-yard pass to runningback Aaron Johns for a score to put West Jefferson on top 7-6.
Smith would find Dora’s Brennen Nash on a 70-yard touchdown strike further the Devil Dawgs lead to 14-6. Nash would end the game with two catches for 110 yards.
Bessemer would draw closer after a score would cut the Devil Dawgs’ lead to 19-12, but Cordova’s Joey Williams would make a key quaterback sack in the final seconds of the game to end the Wolfpack offensive drive and preserve West Jefferson’s title victory.
West Jefferson also received good news earlier last week when defensive end Ibidapo Ojo was named as the 2012 ASFL Player of the Year after recording 33 tackles, 14 sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions on the season.
Ojo played his final game with the Devil Dawgs on Saturday and will be pursuing professional opportunities.
“Ojo is such a difference maker — he brings his A-game everyday, whether it’s in practice or if we’re playing in a game,” Reed said.
“He’s got one of the best attitudes on the entire team and has always been really coachable. He really bought into being a Devil Dawg. He’s been so special and important to us — I wish I had a lot more like him. We wish him the best at everything he does in the future — we will all miss him tremendously.”