After the first half of the season, it is safe to say that the Jesuit defense has proven to be one of the best in the state

The Tigers are 5-0 and holding their opponents to 11 points per game. An already difficult schedule was bolstered in week two when an opportunity to host St. Thomas Aquinas arose. Jesuit sent the Raiders back to Broward County with a loss, 24-21. That St. Thomas Aquinas team is now 5-1 and averaging 40 points per game with wins over St. Frances Academy (MD) and American Heritage.

It is also worth noting that American Heritage won the 5A championship last season and knocked out Jesuit along the way. The transitive property doesn’t always work out, but it is certainly encouraging for the Tigers. Jesuit will face another challenge tonight as they make a trip to Clearwater Central Catholic (4-1).

The defense will have to continue to play well in order to slow down the Marauders’ explosive offense. They should be up to the test though. Jesuit currently has eight players with at least 30 total tackles. Their defense is solid at every position. Here are the top five tacklers.

2022 LB A.J. Cottrill – 6’1” 217 lbs

Cottrill leads the way with 61 total tackles, 35 solo, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 recoveries. He returned a punt for a touchdown against West Port and returned a fumble for a touchdown against St. Thomas Aquinas. He is an excellent all-around football player.

AJ Cottrill 3-game Highlight

Photo: A.J. Cottrill

2022 OLB Wayne Quin – 6’ 198 lbs

After five games, he has 41 total tackles, 21 solo, 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 9 hurries, and 1 interception. Quin is a physical player with a great motor and speed.

Wayne Quin Senior Highlights

2022 FS Caleb Williams – 5’11” 181 lbs

The senior captain has 37 total tackles, 22 solo, 1 forced fumble, 1 recovery, and a blocked punt. Williams is a big hitter who does a nice job of coming up and making plays. His instincts are great.

Caleb Williams Senior Highlights

2024 DL Peter Pesanky 6’3” 265 lbs

Pesanky is a sophomore with a very bright future. He has excellent size and ability for a young guy. He has 35 total tackles, 23 solo, 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 15 hurries, and a fumble recovery. The defensive line will clearly be in very good shape for a couple more years.

Peter Pesanky Mid-season Film

2023 LB Troy Bowles 6’2” 205 lbs

Bowles is such a gifted junior. He has great size, speed, instincts, and he is a bully. He is physical and punishes ball-carriers. He has 33 total tackles, 29 solo, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and a blocked field goal.

Troy Bowles 4-game Highlight