Jaguars take down St. James Academy to clench the regional title

With their running game, the Jaguars defeated the the Thunder 24-7 on Friday, Nov. 2

Taylir Charest, JAG editor in chief

The Jaguars took the regional title on Friday, Nov. 2, defeating the St. James Academy Thunder 24-7.

The Thunder received the kick off to start the game and were forced to punt the ball away on the first drive.

Senior defensive back Ben Hanson credits his defensive coach in training them for this game.

“I thought the defense prepared very well and all that credit is to our coaches, especially [defensive coordinator Drew] Hudgins,” Hanson said. “He got us ready for this game and we did a good job of going over their season and what they were going to run.”

Capitalizing on the Jags’ first possession, senior running back Trevor Wieschhaus received a pass from senior quarterback Jordan Preston and ran the ball into the endzone. The extra point attempt was made by senior kicker Jack Matchette.

Junior running back Tyler Green thought the team’s chemistry was high during the game.

“Every drive, every rep, every play, we all did our jobs and we just clicked,” Green said.

During the second quarter, St. James scored their first touchdown from a long pass down field.

However, the defense was able to adapt to the Thunder’s offense, according to Hanson.

“St. James came out and ran some new plays and formations,” Hanson said. “I thought we did a good job of coming to the sideline and coming together and figuring out what formation they were in and aligning to it.”

On the Jaguars’ following possession, the Thunder intercepted the ball from a pass by Preston intended for senior wide receiver Logan Talley. After a turnover on downs by St. James, the Jaguars obtained the ball and Matchette kicked a field goal with 1.2 seconds left in the half.

The Jaguars went into the second half with a 10-7 lead over the Thunder. Failing to take advantage of their first possession of the half, the Jaguars turned the ball over on downs, giving St. James the ball on the 31-yard line.

Hanson intercepted the ball from the Thunder on St. James’ 31-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Green carried the ball for 31 yards for a touchdown with 8:18 left in the third quarter. Matchette made the extra point attempt.

On the following drive, St. James threw an interception to Hanson again, giving the Jaguars the ball on St. James’ 21-yard line. Green ran the ball in for another touchdown, expanding the lead for the Jaguars.

With help from his teammates, Hanson was able to receive two interceptions.

“Getting those interceptions felt really good, but all that credit goes to my teammates,” Hanson said. “On that first pick, it was because our defense line got home, forcing a bad ball. On the second one, [senior linebacker] Sage [Sieperda] got his hand on the ball and that’s what caused the tip up to me, so all credits to them on that.”

Matchette attempted two field goals in the fourth quarter, but missed both. With 54.3 seconds left in the game, the Jaguars stopped the Thunder on the one-yard line on fourth down. The final score of the game was 24-7.

The team was successful due to high performance on both sides of the ball, according to Green.

“The past couple weeks, we’ve all been seeing eye to eye,” Green said. “All this week, we were working together and fighting as a unit. Tonight we proved it.”

The Jaguars will face St. Thomas Aquinas in the sectional playoff game on Friday, Nov. 9

Hanson is confident in his team going into next week.

“We’re already preparing for Aquinas,” Hanson said. “I feel like we’re in a really good spot to beat them. They’re a really good team, but I really like our chances against them. I’m always going to bet on my boys.”

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