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History Makers

History Makers

Jesuit High School football already has made school history this season. It is the first Jesuit team to go 13-0, the Tigers have recorded five shutouts, and Malik Davis ’17 has set a slew of individual rushing records.

All of which has brought Jesuit to Friday night’s historic Class 5A state semifinal vs. Orlando Bishop Moore at Corral Memorial Stadium – the first state semifinal ever played at home.

In 1967, ’68, ’92, and ’02 – the four previous Jesuit state semifinalists – the Tigers had to travel several hours to play the semifinal game: at Lake City Columbia in ’67, DeFuniak Springs Walton in ’68, Fort Pierce Central in ’92, and Rockledge in ’02.

Twice Jesuit advanced to the championship game, earning the school’s only state title in 1968 with a 39-25 win at Tampa Stadium over Lakeland Kathleen for the Class A crown. It was the first football state title for any school from Tampa. (The FHSAA began football playoffs in 1963.)

In 1992, Jesuit claimed it’s only state runner-up finish, falling in the title game 28-16 to Dade City Pasco at the University of Florida.

Friday, however, the state semifinal vs. Bishop Moore (12-1) takes place in the cozy confines of Corral Memorial Stadium. Click here for a Tampa Tribune preview story.

The Hornets have a several major college commitments and defeated Jesuit twice last season, 25-17 in the regular season in Tampa, and then 30-29 in a memorable double overtime Region Final in Orlando – the Tigers’ last defeat.

En route to winning its first 13 games this season under third-year head coach Matt Thompson, Jesuit has compiled some gaudy statistics. In addition to the five shutouts, the defense has allowed one score or less in three other games, and has yielded an average of less than 8 points a game.

Linebackers Braden Gilby ’18 (114) and Parker Looney ’16 (103) lead Jesuit in tackles, and the Tigers average more than five sacks a game, led by Zack Quilty ’16 with 13. Safety Mayson Atkinson ’16 and cornerback Jason Stokes ’16 lead with five and four interceptions, respectively. Looney leads with four forced fumbles, and Travell Harris ’17 has three fumble recoveries.

On offense, Jesuit has scored 31 or more points in 11 of 13 games. Davis, despite missing two games with injury, has a school-record 2,148 rushing yards this fall, and his 27 TDs ties the record set by Leonard George ’69 during the ’68 state championship season.

Quarterback Danny Boon ’17 has completed 68.4% of his passes, 141-for-206, for 1,550 yards with 15 TDs and 5 interceptions. Rey Riveros ’16 leads in receptions (28), receiving yards (295), and receiving TDs (4).

Superb kickoffs from Brendan Gonzalez ’16 (42 touchbacks in 83 attempts) and punting by Camden Bauman ’17 (12 of 25 punts inside the 20 yard line) have been critical to field position all season.

Advance tickets will be sold in the Jesuit business office on Thursday from 8:00am to 3:30pm and Friday from 8:00am to Noon. All tickets are $9.00, cash only. The ticket gate opens Friday at 6:00pm at Corral Memorial Stadium.

If you can't make it to the game, you have three other options to follow along:

The winner Friday advances to the 5A championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando next Friday, Dec. 11, at 1:00pm, where they will face either Green Cove Springs Clay or Crawfordville Wakulla.

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