A balanced, explosive offense and big-play defense once again lifted Jesuit football to victory, as the Tigers improved to 5-0 this fall with a 41-12 win over District rival Chamberlain on Friday (Oct. 3).
Jesuit has opened the season with five wins in five weeks: at Fort Myers Bishop Verot, 28-21; vs. Clearwater, 35-21; at Sarasota Booker, 46-0; vs. Berkeley Prep 25-14; and vs. Chamberlain 41-12.
An array of playmakers on defense sparked the Tigers on Friday night, led by LBs A.J. Cottrill '22, Todd Bowles '21, and Troy Bowles '23, CBs Aiden Clark '21 and Tyler Corish '21, and DE Peter Pesansky '24. Pesansky was credited with 3.5 sacks and earned the Prime Time Preps Defensive Player of the Week award.
On offense, the Tigers have had both the running and passing game working each week, and on Friday RB Jo Smith '23 racked up 163 rushing yards on just 12 carries behind an offensive line led by OG Tre'Quan Alexander '22, OG Preston Simon '21, and C Jonathan Dawson '21. Alexander leads the team with 22 pancake blocks, and Smith's two scores Friday give him a team best five TDs.
QB Joe Pesansky '21 has been one of the county's top performers. His 181 passing yards vs. Chamberlain put him over 1,000 for the season. He has shared the wealth, as six receivers have caught TD passes and five have more than 100 receiving yards, led by Carter French '22 (15 rec., 320 yds), Jarriett Buie '23 (9 rec., 258 yds), and Jaydn Girard '22 (13 rec., 219 yds).
Junior Vandeross '22 has been Jesuit's jack-of-all-trades, scoring TDs as receiver and rusher (including a pivotal 40-yarder vs. Chamberlain) while also handling punt and kickoff return duties and serving as the team's punter. The leading tacklers for the Tigers have been Cottrill, LB Connor Anderson '21, and safeties Caleb Williams '22 and Wade Woodaz '22.
Friday's game also marked the first time this season the Blue Tide student section participated, though COVID restrictions limited their numbers. For the past two games, the Jesuit Pep Band and cheerleaders also have been a part of the Friday night football festivities.
Though game attendance has been limited to families of the participants, Jesuit home football games are all available via live stream on the Facebook page Jesuit High School Football - Tampa, www.facebook.com/JesuitHighSchoolFootballTampa. Or you can follow on Twitter, @JesuitTigers_FB.
Next up for head coach Matt Thompson and the Tigers is the third of four straight home games Friday night (Oct. 9) vs. Clearwater Central Catholic.
Click below for a photo slideshow from the past four games. The first slideshow is the Clearwater and Sarasota Booker games, the second slideshow is the Berkeley Prep and Chamberlain games.