Jesuit tops Tampa Catholic Again
Jesuit won their sixth straight game to finish season with 7-3 and won their 14th straight game in the rivalry with Tampa Catholic (8-2) in a tight contest, 13-9.
Tigers were without their senior starting quarterback Vincent Testaverde who developed appendicitis this week but used their ground game effectively to come away with the win despite 3 interceptions by their backup quarterback and an errant snap on a field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter.
Their ground game was led by freshman Malik Davis who had 13 carries for 137 yards (110 rushing yards in first half). Junior Kevin Newman added 57 rushing yards rushing included a 1-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left in second quarter to put the Tigers up 10-0 at the half.
Backup Junior quarterback Trent Wessel was 6 of 18 for 83 yards with 3 interceptions. Senior Ryan Black had 4 catches for 55 yards.
Senior kicker Rhett Waldron made field goals of 26 yards in the first quarter and 25 yards in the third.
Tigers defense had two late defensive stands and were strong most of the night. Senior Jack Taylor had two sacks and a blocked extra point, senior Drew Paulsen had two sacks, junior Brendon Wamsley had a sack and a tackle for loss, and on the last drive sophomore Parker Looney racked up two sacks to seal the win.
Tampa Catholic coming into the game was the Class 3A top-ranked team and played better in the second half.
Senior T.J. Harrell scored on a 39-yard run with five minutes left in third quarter to cut the Tigers’ lead to 13-6 and finished the night with 90 yards rushing on 13 carries (with 78 of those yards coming in the second half).
Crusaders’ senior quarterback Kyle Ploucher was 13 of 23 for 125 yards but was sacked 7 times by the Tigers.
Senior Justin Motlow had 7 catches for 90 yards and also had a 64-yard punt in first quarter.
TC’s defense was led by senior Willie Conley’s two interceptions, junior Cody Endris’s sack and interception, and senior Tre Watson’s three tackles for loss.
Tampa Catholic will have to wait yet another year to try to break their losing streak against their rival Jesuit.
By Don Haggard and Jordan Haggard