Jays Drop Season Opener to Warren Easton, 40-14
All signs pointed to a big-time, prep match-up on Friday night at Tad Gormley Stadium as the Blue Jays opened their season against long-time, Mid-City rival Warren Easton. The Jesuit football team has spent months in training and had two tune-up contests in the last two weeks, but the Warren Easton Eagles from just down Canal St. proved to be too formidable an opponent for the Blue Jays, who fell to the Eagles 40-14.
First things first – Warren Easton put up some tremendous stats. Against a team that posted 320 rushing yards and 275 passing, the Blue Jays had their work cut out for them. Easton quarterback Lance Legrendre posed a dual-threat that eventually just wore down the Jesuit defense.
“On defense, we faced about twice as many snaps than we had on offense,” said head football coach Marc Songy. “Even though we’re in fantastic shape as a team, you’re going to get tired chasing an offense around the field for that long. But I still think our defense did a great job up front and played a really physical game from start to finish.”
Consistency up front has become a theme for the 2017 Jesuit football squad. The defensive linemen corps of senior Matthew Frischhertz, juniors Perry Ganci, Owen Melville, and Matthew Sauviac, and sophomores Marquis Martin and Sonny Hazard continue to penetrate the line of scrimmage and shut down the running game up the middle. Junior linebacker Marc Dougherty also has stepped up, making big plays all over the field.
Offensively the Jays simply could not find a rhythm. Both on the ground and in the air, Jesuit struggled to move the ball down the field. A series of defensive penalties that plagued Warren Easton all night turned out to be a saving grace for the Jesuit offense, helping the Jays push past third down on a few of their drives.
A few highlights, though, stand out from the night. Junior running back Willie Robinson took advantage of excellent field position by darting out into the flat for a completion from senior quarterback Alex Watermeier. Robinson raced toward the sideline and broke a tackle to soar into the end zone for the first Jesuit score of the night. The second touchdown came in the second half, when senior running back Michael Torry broke through the Easton defensive line to dive across goal line on a two yard scramble. That play came just moments after Watermeier connected with junior receiver Robert McMahon, who broke a tackle along the sideline and turned on the jets for a 54-yard gain.
In special teams play, senior Michael Hull blocked an extra point attempt after the first Warren Easton touchdown that gave the Jays an early jolt.
“It’s important to note the bright spots that may not have translated over to the scoreboard,” Songy said. “I am still very impressed with our team from an effort and physicality standpoint. Our offensive line only gave up one sack against a powerful Easton front, and that makes me really proud. When the whole team plays as physically as we have been, as coaches, you can bet that that’s something we can work with.”
The Blue Jays travel across the lake next week to face St. Paul’s of Covington in Week 2 of the Blue Jay football season. Game time is set for 7:00 PM on Friday night.