Watertown has control of destiny

WATERTOWN — The Watertown Red and Black followed a familiar formula for success on Saturday night.

The Red and Black once again engineered another stalwart defensive effort in recording a 24-0 victory over the Glens Falls Greenjackets in an Empire Football League game on the team’s military appreciation night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.

With the triumph, Watertown (4-1) registered its third consecutive win — all shutouts — to maintain its hold on first place in the league.

“Of course, it’s always good to come back home and get a win in front of our fans,” Watertown linebacker Derrek Dalton said.

In turn, the Red and Black generated three touchdowns, led by quarterback Kalon Jeter, who rushed for two touchdowns.

Jeter finished with 80 yards on the ground, while totaling 110 yards through the air for Watertown

Defensively, the Red and Black hasn’t allowed a point in 12-plus quarters, the previous two shutouts coming on the road.

“Amazing, so without a doubt, I would say we have the best defense in the league,” Jeter said.

Watertown rode its defense in the first half as they stopped four straight drives into its territory, halting Glens Falls (2-3) on four-down attempts each time.

“Everybody played very well,” Watertown coach George Ashcraft said. “Both defenses played very well in the first quarter and once we started putting points on the board, you could see things started to go our way more.”

On the fourth occasion, the Greenjackets were halted on Watertown’s seven-yard line in the second quarter.

“The defense this season is unreal, man,” Dalton said. “You couldn’t ask for a better group of guys, we’ve got athletes all over, they fly around the field and always want to get in on the play. So, you can’t beat it.”

The Red and Black finally broke through on Jeter’s 19-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead with four minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the first half.

“It feels great to finally start to get our offense rolling,” Jeter said. “Our defense has been producing all season. So for our offense to finally get our legs under us, that’s an amazing feeling.”

Watertown then drove 70 yards on its first drive of the third quarter, culminating with Jeter’s second scoring rush as he bulled his way in from three yards out for a 14-0 advantage with 7:52 left in the period.

The touchdown was set up when a scrambling Jeter hit wideout Keegan Queior on a 67-yard pass on a third-down play.

“We had some good play-calling, I was able to make a few decisions on the fly and use my legs,” Jeter said. “He (Queior) is an amazing receiver, he’s always going to find a way to get open.”

The Red and Black added a touchdown on a three-yard rush from running back Keenan Randle with 8:19 left in the game.

After another turnover, when Glens Falls fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Eric Beyler connected on a 33-yard field goal for the final margin.

In all defensively, the Red and Black forced five turnovers, including three interceptions.

Watertown began its shutout streak with a 9-0 victory at Glens Falls on Aug. 21 before blanking Plattsburgh, 14-0, on Aug. 28.

The last time the Red and Black yielded a score was in the fourth quarter of a 28-16 loss at Syracuse on Aug. 14.

Also, with its three touchdowns, Watertown also recorded its best offensive effort since scoring 34 points in a win over Plattsburgh in its season opener on Aug. 7.

“We tried a few different things this game, we found out what works for us,” Jeter said. “And hopefully we can keep proving that.”

Watertown will finish out its regular season when it hosts Syracuse at 7 p.m. next Saturday at the Fairgrounds.

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