Sussex Central’s unexpected- and unbeaten- run to the state title game

SUSSEX (WAVY) – Curtis Jefferson began the high school football season with only 19 players on his roster. The head coach at Sussex Central High School had no idea his team would wind up undefeated, and headed to the 1A state championship game.

“It’s been an incredible year to be honest with you,” said Jefferson, who’s now in his 25th season at Sussex Central.

“You didn’t expect certain things from (the team), but this is what you got.”

Thanks to a punishing defense and an offense led by a senior quarterback, the Tigers (13-0) were able to stifle a potent attack in a 8-7 win over George Wythe for the region title, and will face Riverheads for the championship on Saturday.

“They’ve been there before. They lost it last year.” said Jefferson, who’s also the school’s athletics director. “So, those seniors are coming back and they want redemption.”

As for Jefferson, his team last won a state crown in 2003. He’s hoping to finish the deal in Salem on Saturday. Either way, he’s enjoyed the ride to this point.

“You’re undefeated, which you didn’t expect, and then you get a chance to play for the state championship,” said Jefferson.

“That’s even better.”