Inspired by a passionate crowd rattling with excitement and the swaying bells of homecoming mums, the Rangers embraced the cold to take on Lake Highlands and earn their fourth consecutive win amidst the festivities of this annual Texas holiday. Taking on a contentious and similarly ranked team in Lake Highlands (4-4, 2-3) and clinching a playoff berth, Jesuit notched a decisive victory (59-35) to advance the team in their run for the district title.
Ignited by a hot arm in senior quarterback Parker Towns ‘18, who totaled 4 touchdowns and 348 passing yards on 17 completions, wide-receiver Fletcher Rosenbleeth ’18 sped into the end zone on 3 different occasions for 32, 34, and 75 yards, respectively. Rosenbleeth, who cruised in for a new career high in receiving, impressively doubled his touchdown receptions for the year and merited the Dallas Morning News Offensive Player of the Week title. A dominating factor for the blue and gold’s offense, the honored receiver continues to lead the Metroplex in receiving yards, averaging 166.3 per game.
The Rangers capitalized on their first possession, when sophomore runningback EJ Smith ’20 hit the ground running with a 32-yard touchdown in the first 4 minutes of the game. Lake Highlands was able to respond with in a 7-play, 80-yard drive to tie the game up 7-7, and quickly regained possession after a fumble by the Rangers; however, defensive back Kevin Tabet ’18 recovered a fumble of his own to then execute an agile hesitation move to give the Rangers great field position.
Driving the momentum into the second quarter, Towns completed a 32-yard bullet to Rosenbleeth for his first touchdown of the night to seize the lead and put the Rangers back on top, 14-7. Both sides of the ball clicking, Junior Andrew Gregory ‘20 sacked the Wildcat’s quarterback to stall the next drive, demanding a punt that eventually granted the Rangers offense a fruitful 71-yard drive that was punctuated by Rosenbleeth’s second touchdown for 34 yards. For the final touchdown of the half, EJ unleashed a second gear on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Towns, and Koshakji remained perfect on the year, punching in a 37-yard field goal to put the Rangers ahead 31-14.
In the second half, the defense continued to stymie Lake Highlands, starting with Christian Allocco’s interception at the 19-yard line to give the offense another opportunity for a big drive. Unrelentingly, Rosenbleeth secured his third touchdown of the night on his second 75-yard reception of the year, a similar highlight in his game against Coppell. Surpassing Jesuit great Orion Salter’s record of 228-yards against Plano East, Rosenbleeth etched his name into school history earning the highest receiving yard total through 4 seasons.
Despite a phenomenal performance, quarterback Parker Towns humbly remarked that he “wasn’t going to try and do anything extra special,” sticking to the system and “expecting to play to the best of [the team’s] ability” by “doing what [they] were coached to do.” The team leader attributes the recent success to “working on being consistent through four quarters,” and he is proud that every week the team “can battle through adversity no matter the situation.”
Coach Hickman shared a similar sentiment of Towns, with their favorite part being “the outcome – the end” and relishing in their “victory in the game against a good team” and “in our place in the playoffs.” He admired that his “guys came out and played at a high level,” underlining the Ranger’s defense that “created turnovers that lead to crucial points.” Looking forward, Coach Hickman plans to build on the team’s win streak, “playing better than the week before,” and ideally “improve on all three phases of the game.” He remarked that the team will continue to improve by “keeping momentum, keeping energy on the field and the sidelines, and improving each week to peak in the playoffs and achieve their goals.” For fan Reid Hatzmann ’18, he “was very happy with the team’s win,” thrilled by his friends playing “very well – a great cap off to homecoming.”
The team thrives under the excitement of the fans, and counts on the crowd to bring their energetic support that leads to 4-game win streaks. Don’t forget to come out and support your Jesuit Rangers against W.T. White for senior night, in which the school will celebrate the 19 senior football players. Stay tuned for the latest in sports results and news.