On Friday night (Dec. 4) in the final game of the season at Corral Memorial Stadium, Jesuit football turned in a historic performance, improving to 14-0 for the first time ever with a 40-24 win over previously undefeated and nationally ranked Orlando Jones.
Jesuit advanced to the State Semifinal for the 5th time in 6 seasons under head coach Matt Thompson behind the lethal combination of QB Joe Pesansky '21 and WR Junior Vandeross '22. Pesansky was 21-for-29 for 334 yards and 5 TDs (plus a rushing TD), while Vandeross hauled in 11 receptions for 242 yards and 2 TDs. The receiving yards for Vandeross is believed to be a new single-game Jesuit school record.
Andre Gilbert '23 and Caleb Williams '22 had key 4th quarter interceptions to thwart Jones' comeback efforts - Jones scored to take a 24-20 lead on the second play of the second half and didn't score again - and Joquez Smith '23 rushed for 115 yards.
This is Jesuit's 10th State Semifinal appearance, following 1967, '68, '92, '98, '02, '15, '16, '18, and '19. Twice the Tigers have advanced to the title game, in '68 and '92, capturing the State Championship in '68.
This Friday marks the fourth straight time Jesuit will travel to southeast Florida for a State Semifinal - this time at Plantation American Heritage - following 2019 at Miami Northwestern, 2018 at Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons, and 2016 at American Heritage, when the Patriots defeated the Tigers 21-14.
Go to Jesuit's main Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/jesuittampa) and football Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JesuitHighSchoolFootballTampa) to view more photos from the victory over Jones.