|Jays score late to knock off Rockets|
|Saturday, September 28, 2013 12:28 AM|
By LARRY HEIING
ANNA — The St. John’s football team faced a couple of large tasks Friday night when they traveled to Anna for a Midwest Athletic Conference showdown.
The first task at hand was how to match up with Anna’s size on the line. The Blue Jays lost one of their senior players, Nathan Schroeder, due to injury sustained in practice Thursday night. This left Coach Todd Schulte and his staff scrambling at the last minute to fill the void on both sides of the ball.
The other task for the Jays was evident on their first drive. Coach Schulte said all week that St. John’s has to quit “fighting themselves” as well as the opponent. After a 35-yard opening kickoff return by Tyler Jettinghoff to the Anna 48 yard line, the beating of themselves began again. On the first play, Nick Martz’s pitch back to Jettinghoff was fumbled for a 12-yard loss. Then another fumble was recovered by Anna’s Ryan Counts at the 29.
The Blue Jay defense rose to the occasion after allowing Anna to reach the 11, forcing a missed field goal attempt by Shaun Wenrick that was wide left. The Jays took over at 20 with 6:45 remaining in the first quarter.
Finally after four games, the moment St. John’s coaching staff was waiting for happened as they put an 80-yard scoring drive together. The drive started with a couple of nice runs by Jettinghoff. A new play inserted this week was Jettinghoff setting up in the Wildcat formation and handing the ball off to Luke MacLennan for a first down at the 36. After a Martz fumble, the junior quarterback completed a swing pass to Jettinghoff for a 10-yard gain. Martz had another 10-yard keeper. After a couple of short runs by Jettinghoff and Martz and an incomplete pass, Jettinghoff took off on a 17-yard run down to the Anna 17. Another Wildcat formation was good for a 4-yard gain. Jettinghoff scored with 1:02 left in the first quarter on a 13-yard run. Ben Wrasman’s PAT was good for 7-0 Blue Jay lead.
Anna returned the kickoff to the 27 but a false start on the Rockets backed the ball up to the 15 on the next play. Josh Robinson hooked up with Nick Ihle for a 38-yard gain. Christian Williams added a 30-yard run to the Blue Jay 10. After two short runs, Robinson threw for a 2-yard touchdown with 11:10 in the second quarter to make the score 7-7.
The teams traded possessions. Anna started its next drive at the 19. Robinson threw for 38 yards and 16 yards to the St. John’s 24. After three straight runs, Robinson took it in for a TD for a 14-7 lead.
Evan Hays returned the kickoff 24 yards to the 44. A Martz pass to MacLennan was good for a 23 yards. Runs by MacLennan and Austin Heiing drove the ball to the 11. MacLennan then finished off the drive with a 1-yard run to make the score 14-14 at the half.
Anna fumbled the second-half kickoff, with Andy May’s recovery by putting the Jays at the host 29. A Jettinghoff run combined with a facemask penalty put the ball at the 11, Martz ran for four, another facemask penalty after a Jettinghoff run gave St. John’s a first down. Jettinghoff scored on a 2-yard run and Wrasman’s kick made it 21-14 with 10:26 left in the third.
Matthew Bruce, replacing the injured Williamson at running back for Anna, led a drive that was capped off by a Robinson 5-yard TD run to tie the score at 21.
The Blue Jays took over at the 36, following a 27-yard Jettinghoff kickoff return. The Jays scored in one play: with wideouts on the right side, Martz found MacLennan on the left which was good for a 64-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, making the score 27-21 with 3:33 remaining in the third.
After Jason Wittler recovered an Anna fumble at the 46, the Jays next drive stalled at the 8. Anna took over and St John’s got the ball right back on a pass interception by Jordan Mohler. Following a run by MacLennan, Martz scored on a 5-yard run nullified by a holding call. Anna’s defense held and Wrasman’s field goal was wide left with 8:43 to go.
Anna then went on an 80-yard scoring drive, capped off by a pass to Ihle. The point-after attempt was no good leaving the scored tied at 27. Anna’s short kick was recoverd at the 48 by Buddy Jackson. Jettinghoff had a 5-yard gain and a Martz shotgun pass to MacLennan was good for a first down at the 39. Jettinghoff ran 12 yards for another first down and led to a time-clock dispute, finally reset to 28.6 seconds. Martz completed a 12-yarder to MacLennan to the 16 and Jettinghoff secured a Blue Jay victory, scoring with eight seconds left in the game and Wrasman’s good kick made the final score 34-27.
After the game, Schulte commented that he was proud of the effort shown by his team: “We finally got the breaks mainly because of what we created.”
St. John’s hosts top-ranked Marion Local at home Oct. 5, while Anna travels to Minster Friday.
ST. JOHN’S 34, ANNA 27
St. John’s Anna
First Downs 13 20
Rushing 204 243
Passing 6-11-116-1 TD-1 Int 13-22-169-2 TD-1 Int
Total Yards 320.= 412
Punts 1-37 1-35
Fumbles/lost 3/1 6/2
Penalties/Yards 7/52 1/10
Rushing: (SJ) Tyler Jettinghoff 16-115
Passing: (ANNA) Josh Richardson 13-22/169
Receiving: (SJ) Luke McLennan 5/106