After a tough 0-3 start to their season, the Jesuit Rangers claimed a dominant first victory of the season, cruising past Coppell 41-10. Led by a strong passing game and a rock-solid defense, the Rangers extended their district winning streak to 9 games in front of a packed Postell Stadium here on campus, September 23.
The Rangers move to 1-3 overall, picking up an impressive 435 yards of offense, with a whopping 247 coming in the air from the arm of senior quarterback Jacob Palisch ’17. On the ground, senior Evan Jackson ’17 powered his way to three touchdowns and 130 yards.
In the first quarter, the only points came from the legs of Palisch, as he raced 4 yards to te end zone for a 7-0 lead. The Coppell defense held firm in the second quarter, only giving up a field goal from the foot of kicker Israel Ollarzabal ’18 to propel the Rangers to a 10-0 lead going into halftime.
Once the second half began, it was one-way traffic for the Rangers, with three running touchdowns courtesy of Jackson, skyrocketing Jesuit to a 31-10 lead as the third quarter came to a close. the defense held fast, as the Cowboys only managed 10 points, with a field goal and a touchdown their only points of the game as the fourth quarter drew near.
In the fourth, it was more resolute defense from the Rangers, with senior defensive back Luke Nolan ’17 forcing a Coppell fumble, and taking it back 68 yards for another touchdown and the first defensive score of the game for a 38-10 lead. The Rangers sealed the win late in the fourth, with a 33-yard field goal from Ollarzbal capping off a dominant 41-10 victory over the Rangers.
After the game, Ranger head coach Brandon Hickman said, “It was a solid win for our program I’m happy for our kids and coaching staff.” “It was great seeing that kind of passion and toughness out of our team on every play, he continued. “We played physical with a lot of energy the entire game. The kids have worked hard for this moment and it was awesome to see it pay off against a very good opponent.”
On his team’s chances of another District 9-6A championship, Hickman said, “We want to be peaking over the next month and hopefully reach one of our team goals winning the District 9-6A championship. If our leadership keeps growing throughout the season and we continue to play hard with great energy like last week I like our chances. The kids are hungry and this team is fun to coach because they come to practice every day ready to go to work while having fun.”
When asked about how his team responded to a potentially discouraging 0-3 start to their season, Palisch said, “After the first three games, no one lost courage or hope, and used those memories to strive to be better. The offensive line really stepped up in the victory, without their big presence up front, none of what else happened would have been possible. Even despite the rough start, we saw a lot of good things in the first couple games, and we were able to put them all together last Friday night vs Coppell. We just need to continue the trend of learning from mistakes and getting better.”
On the Rangers offensive performance, Jackson commented, “I think that our offense was always playing well. We’ve been running the ball well and getting good passing yards, we had over 20 first downs in the Plano east game. I think that the only difference his game was that we were able to finish drives and finally put the ball in the end zone.”
The Rangers will next head to Eagle-Mustang Stadium in Richardson to take on the Richardson Eagles next Friday.