A dynamic duo: Ashley and Wilde lead Jefferson offense

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Jefferson is 4-4 this season. The Cavs are scoring nearly 35 points per game in their four victories this season, thanks in large part to the dynamic duo of Taylen Ashley and Griffin Wilde.

Sioux Falls Jefferson juniors Taylen Ashley and Griffin Wilde have been playing football together since they were kids.

“I always grew up knowing Griffin. It started with junior football. He’s always been my wide receiver, my go to guy. He’s always been the quick guy,” Jefferson junior quarterback Taylen Ashley said. “We kind of built that relationship playing junior football and growing up that way.”

“We’re really close friends and we’ve been playing with each other for a long, long time. Sometimes we like to play the video games together, so we’ve always kind of had a really good friendship,” Jefferson junior wide receiver Griffin Wilde said.

As the quarterback, Taylen has thrown for more than 1,800 yards and 15 touchdowns, while rushing for another seven scores.

“He’s a really smart football player. He understands defense, he understands what they’re trying to do with their coverage and he’s able to make the throws off of it,” Jefferson head coach Vince Benedetto said. “When protection doesn’t work quite the way we want it to work, he can make plays with his feet.”

“I say Taylen is the best. He’s got it all. He can run, he can scramble and when he scrambles, he can just make things happen,” Wilde said.

Ashley’s favorite target is his long-time friend, Griffin Wilde, who has hauled more than 800 yards on 48 receptions.

“He’s just always going hard. I think on any given Friday or Saturday, he’s the fastest person on the field and he runs as fast as he possibly can on every play,” Benedetto said. “He has an incredible knack for finding the openings. He can change speed and change direction really fast and I think what makes him so special, is when he changes direction, he gets back to full speed really, really fast.”

“He has the work ethic. He loves football and he just wants to get better every day, if that’s practice or watching film. He takes the little things into account. He’s just super, super fast too, which makes everything easier and his footwork is crazy,” Ashley said.

The duo has connected on 12 touchdowns this season and if you add in their individual scores, Ashley and Wilde have contributed 162 of the team’s 222 points.

While the duo has established themselves as one of the top in the state, they’re just fortunate to share these memories with each other.

“It’s crazy when people talk to you when you’re younger and they tell you how fast it goes and it’s finally starting to click to me how fast football goes and just growing up,” Ashley said. “I just try to take into account all those memories and stuff. I just take in the most with him (Griffin) and this team right here and try to make the most out of it.”

Wilde and Ashley have accomplished a lot in their time together, but there is one goal they have yet to achieve.

“We want to win the state championship. That’s everyone’s goal and it’s going to start this week. It’s just locking in and getting ready for playoffs, but just taking it one game at a time,” Ashley said.

“The end goal for both of us right now is a state ring. I think we’re in the running right now. I think this year and next year too, that’s our end goal,” Wilde said.

Ashley, Wilde and the Cavaliers will host O’Gorman on Thursday in their regular-season finale. Kick-off is set for 5 p.m.

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