The last two weeks have been difficult for Jesuit football, due to inclement weather delays. Even with an hour-long lightning delay, the Rangers were not fazed and came out ready to win against Wylie.
In the away game at Desoto, the game only went on for one half before being canceled due to lightning. The score of the game was 20-10, with the Eagles ahead. Despite the score, the Rangers had plenty of momentum and looked poised to upset Desoto before the game was canceled around 10 P.M. The game was concluded as a loss for the Rangers.
This past Friday’s game began with EJ Smith scoring an early rushing touchdown right before the delay.
The offense looked impressive under the helm of Junior quarterback Kevin Shuman, who threw for an impressive 250 yards, going 19 out of 27 on completions. He also rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown, which helped to contribute to the dominant Ranger ground game.
Some other powerful forces on the offense were Junior Mitchell Campbell and Sophomores Kyle Heckel and Jake Taylor, who all helped score 5 touchdowns, helping Jesuit reach 151 yards on the ground. EJ Smith added a team-high five receptions for 76 yards, while Senior wide receiver Travis Whisler racked up a squad-leading 78 yards. Whisler also had a 37-yard catch in the third quarter, having the longest completion of the night. The numbers truly show the dominance of this Ranger offense with the offense converting 100% while in the red zone.
On the defensive side of the ball, Junior defensive back Jhalen Spicer intercepted his first pass of the season in the end zone during the fourth quarter. Senior linebacker Noah Villasana led the team with 6 tackles, 3 of which were solo tackles and the other 3 were assisted tackles. Seniors Witt Chambers and Will Leitnick racked up five tackles and 1 sack each. The dominant plays by these players and others helped keep Wylie to only 2 touchdowns, compared to Jesuit’s 5.
When asked about Friday’s game, Noah Villasana said “the defense really improved on tackling and understanding of the playbook.”
It’s great to hear that this early in the season, with plenty of time to further improve. With time, tackling and knowledge of the plays can only improve for the Rangers, leading to stronger future defensive performances.
Villasana also responded that the Rangers “had a really good game plan going into the game and we executed and read our keys right and brought a new physicality to the game,” a sentiment that was shared by many other players.
Junior offensive lineman Jacob Phillips echoed similar words, mentioning that the team gave “great energy and effort.”
Pierce Strong ‘19 stated that this game was a “great way to go into district with a win”. The team really showed some amazing heart and determination out on the field and demonstrated their constant drive for greatness. Their willingness to keep grinding and stay focused really demonstrated the values this team always tries to uphold.
Next week, Jesuit hits the road to face the Plano West Wolves at John Clark Stadium. We wish them luck on this away game!