On a rainy Friday night (Nov. 2) at Tampa Catholic, the Jesuit defense turned in a flawless performance to help keep "The Streak" alive.
The Tigers defeated TC 17-7, and in doing so earned the 19th straight Jesuit football victory over the Crusaders.
The dominating defense was the main reason. It allowed just two (2) TC 1st downs the entire game, only 34 total yards, and the Crusaders never crossed midfield.
The only TC score came on a kickoff return touchdown.
After a scoreless 1st quarter, the Jesuit offense executed two long, pounding drives in 2nd quarter to make it 14-0 at intermission. Matthew Pittman '19 ran in the first TD from 5 yards out to cap an all-rushing play drive that featured bruising 1st down runs by Rick Parks '21 and Larry Hodges '19. After the TC kickoff return score, on the next series the Tigers mixed it up a little, as Kiael Kelly '21 connected with Jonathan Odom '20 on 4th-and-1 to get Jesuit to the TC 10. Then Kelly hit Lex Capitano '20 in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yard score.
The 14 points at intermission was more than enough to seal the win and hand TC its 3rd loss of the season. Cade Freeman '20's 26-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter set the final margin
On defense, Patrick Leone '19, Raleigh Oxendine '20, Christian Beatty '19, Jaden Pask '19, Jacob Tauber '19, and Brett Gerena '20 made tackle after tackle at or behind the line of scrimmage and forced several fumbles. Outside linebackers Emy Okeke '21 and Myles Coates '21 smothered everything on the flanks, while safety Dane Belton '19 swatted away any pass attempts.
The Tigers finish the season 9-1 and as District champs, the fifth District crown in head coach Matt Thompson's six seasons. Jesuit earned the No. 2 seed in the Region for the State playoffs. The Tigers will host a Region Quarterfinal game Friday (Nov. 9) at 7:30pm vs. DeSoto County (7-3).
Click below for a photo slideshow from the Nov. 2 win over TC.
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