Jaguars captured a 38-20 win against last year’s 5A state runner-up Saint Thomas Aquinas Saints on Friday, Sept. 4, in their season opener, despite the Saints scoring within the first minutes of the game.
“When [the Saints] came out and scored in the first series, I kind of thought this could be a long game,” senior receiver Christian Jegen said. “Our defense and offense all stepped it up so it was all good.”
Jegan responded to the Saints touchdown with one of his own towards the end of the first quarter. The extra point was made by senior kicker Andrew Hicks to put the Jaguars in the lead 7-6.
During the second quarter, senior wide receiver Lucas Krull catches a pass made by senior quarterback Logan Koch to bring the score to 14-6 Jaguars. The Saints score a touchdown soon after and made the score 14-12 Jaguars.
Going into the game, the excitement outweighed any hesitations head coach Joel Applebee had.
“I knew [Aquinas] was going to be a very good team,” Applebee said. “They obviously returned a lot of kids from last year and they went to the state championship game. We knew we had to be well prepared and I thought our kids did just that. They were well prepared and they did a great job.”
Koch ran the ball in for a touchdown early in the third quarter and made the score 21-12 Jaguars.
Towards the end of the third quarter, the Jaguars intercepted the ball. With 1:10 left in the third quarter, Koch ran the ball in to bring the score to 28-12 Jaguars. The Jaguars intercepted the ball again with :22 left in the third quarter.
With close to three minutes left in the game, Hicks made a field goal to bring the score to 38-14 Jaguars. The Saints responded soon after with a touchdown of their own but the Jaguars prevailed and won the game 38-20.
According to Koch, winning his first game back after an injury last season was a great accomplishment.
“It felt great to win. Ever since I went down last year because of my knee, I’ve been working to get back at this game,” Koch said.
Practicing during the summer made the team feel ready to take on the competition, according to Jegen.
“I think the whole team felt good and prepared,” Jegen said. “We’ve been practicing since the beginning of summer. We went down to Tulsa and played seven on seven. We worked hard and we were ready to go get [the Saints].”
Next week, the Jaguars face the Blue Valley Northwest Huskies at home. The game will be the first regular season game played on the turf.
“It’s exciting,” Applebee said. “The turf is a new look for everybody and I think everyone is excited about it.”