JEFFERSON, Ga. -- Kendrick's first postseason appearance in more than a decade lasted just a week.
No. 9 Jefferson used a balanced offensive attack and shut out the Cherokees in the second half for a 42-8 first-round GHSA Class AA playoff victory on Friday at Jefferson's Memorial Stadium.
"This season didn't end the way we wanted it to, but we're proud of the accomplishments of these kids this year," said Kendrick coach Jerry Dukes, whose team last made the playoffs in 1999. "They did a great job getting to this point this year."
Kendrick (5-6) managed to stay close to the Dragons (10-1) much of the first half with Jamar Comar running in a 1-yard touchdown and punching in a two-point conversion run that cut Jefferson's first-quarter lead to 14-8, and the Dragons led 21-8 at halftime.
But the Cherokees had little luck moving the ball in the second half. Brandon Wade led the game with 101 rushing yards, but 81 of those came in the first half. No other Kendrick player rushed for more than 17 yards, and quarterback Jonathan Hines was 0-for-4 passing. All five of Kendrick's second-half drives ended in punts.
Jefferson (10-1) will host Westminster (5-6), which defeated Pepperell 34-0 on Friday night, in a second-round game next Friday.
Dukes said he hopes the taste of the playoffs, however brief, will inspire his team to get back there next season.
"We've got a talented junior and sophomore class," Dukes said. "We'll just get back to the weight room and get to where these (seniors) are for next year."
Jefferson needed just less than three minutes to get on the board first, when quarterback Bryant Shirreffs found Donnie Hatfield with a 14-yard touchdown pass.
The Dragons quickly forced Kendrick to punt away its first possession, and Rodney Carr's 43-yard return set up Jefferson at the Cherokees' 23.
Three plays later, Jackson carried in a 1-yard score to make it 14-0.
Jackson's only other carry of the first half came in the opening minutes of the second quarter, when he broke several tackles and even had keep his balance after running into a teammate en route to a 22-yard touchdown that made it 21-8.
Kendrick's lone first-half score came late in the first quarter when Comar finished off a 55-yard, eight-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Jefferson's Sammy Wallace added a 10-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, while Jackson and Dalton Hill each caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Shirreffs finished 6-for-10 passing for 65 yards, and his younger brother, Evan Shirreffs, played part of the fourth quarter and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Hill.
Friday at JeffersonKendrick 8 0 0 0--8
Jefferson 14 7 7 14--42First Quarter
J -- Donnie Hatfield 14-yard pass from Bryant Shirreffs (Chandler Schlutow kick), 9:01
J -- Tristen Jackson 1-yard run (Schlutow kick), 5:43
K -- Jamar Comar 1-yard run (Comar run), :17
J -- Jackson 22-yard run (Schlutow kick), 8:50
J -- Sammy Williams 10-yard run (Schlutow kick), 1:32
J -- Jackson 20-yard pass from Shirreffs (Schlutow kick), 8:51
J -- Dalton Hill 23-yard pass from Evan Shirreffs (Schlutow kick), 5:17