By Michael Finnegan / Special Contributor
Jesuit used a balanced attack on offense to continue its recent dominance over rival Houston Strake Jesuit in a 38-26 victory on Friday at Postell Stadium.
Adam Holtz led the way on the ground with 131 yards on 18 carries, and Jacob Palisch threw for 144 yards and three touchdowns while also scoring a fourth time on a 4-yard option keeper late in the second quarter.
“We like to establish the run early to set up our passing attack,” said Jesuit head coach Brandon Hickman. “We were able to do that against a good Strake team and come away with the win.”
The Rangers were hot early, scoring on their opening three possessions and four out of six in the first half to build a commanding 31-0 lead at intermission.
Max Loughborough was the first Ranger to score after he plunged in from the 1-yard line after a sustained opening drive. Palisch then found Connor Lanpher open twice in the end zone from short range to put Jesuit on top 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
“Palisch is a tremendous athlete”, Hickman said. “He excels in three sports at Jesuit, and he came out really strong tonight.”
With their first possession of the third quarter, the Rangers (2-1) picked up right where they left off. Palisch, who connected with six different receivers on the night, hit Rusty Landon in stride for a 63-yard touchdown strike to increase the lead to 38-0.
As good as the Ranger offense played, their defense played as well if not better for almost three quarters. Jesuit had a shutout until late in the third quarter, and even contributed to the scoring onslaught by forcing a safety on a botched punt just before halftime.
And this was against a Strake team that was averaging more than 50 points per game prior to Friday.
“Their quarterback [Zach Zubia] is a big, strong kid with a very strong arm,” said Hickman. “We knew we had to pressure him and we did that with outside blitzes all night.”
The 38-0 third quarter lead allowed Jesuit to play its reserves on both sides of the ball for much of the second half.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Hickman. “We had the luxury to substitute often because of our large lead, and our second and third-team guys deserve to play.”
Strake was limited to just 37 passing yards through three quarters. But behind the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Zubia, the Crusaders put together a string of four unanswered touchdowns to make the final score a respectable 38-26.
Jesuit is idle next week before opening District 9-6A play on Sept. 24 against Sunset.
Other results this week:
St. Mark’s 29, FW Country Day 21
Matthew Placide threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as the Lions (2-1) rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit. The Falcons (2-1) took a 21-20 lead before the Lions went ahead with a safety, and Placide ran for a 5-yard score with 3:28 remaining to provide the cushion. Seun Omonije intercepted two passes to help preserve the win for St. Mark’s.
North Garland 50, Hillcrest 14
The Raiders (2-1) took a 36-0 lead at halftime and cruised past the slumping Panthers (0-3). Zach Duffey rushed for 117 yards and three touchdowns and passed for two more scores for North Garland, while Jamar Braziel caught two scoring passes and threw for a touchdown on a trick play. Diego Cera scored both touchdowns for Hillcrest, which had five turnovers.
W.T. White 50, FW Wyatt 14
Jackson Fults completed just five passes, but three of them went for touchdowns as the Longhorns (2-1) rolled to a 50-0 lead midway through the third quarter against the Chaparrals (1-2). Fults also rushed for 94 yards on just five carries, Darrell White rushed for two touchdowns and caught another one, and Radarion Harrison had two touchdown receptions for WTW.
FW All Saints 61, Greenhill 21
Luke Anthony threw five first-half touchdown passes, including four to Isaiah Harris, as the Saints (2-1) handed the Hornets (3-1) their first loss of the season. Playing from behind, Greenhill accumulated 327 passing yards and three touchdowns between quarterbacks Konnell Woods and Trevor Hetrick. Xavier Bryant and Kassidy Woods each had big receiving games.
Denison 48, Trinity Christian 40
Blake Hinton completed 37 of 72 passes for 445 yards and six touchdowns, including three to Brett Fair, but six turnovers doomed the Trojans (0-2). Hunter Watson and Steven Wagoner connected on four touchdown passes for the Yellowjackets (2-1), while Watson also ran for a score as Denison overcame 130 penalty yards to rally from a 34-20 third-quarter deficit.