Jake Puskas deserves a bit of a break from his teachers if he’s a little droopy-eyed in class on Friday.
The St. Ignatius running back didn’t get much rest Thursday afternoon.
A stud on both sides of the ball, Puskas went all out in the Falcons season opener against the St. Patrick Saints, torching them for 92 yards on the ground, including a 51-yard, third-quarter scamper for a score, leading St. Ignatius to a 32-17 victory.
Falcons coach Mike Savioli, who called it a good game, not a great game, said that’s just what he’s expecting out of his star players.
“Jake’s an exceptional athlete and a really good leader for our team. He can play on either side of the ball and on special teams. He’s a man-child and he does a great job.”
Puskas, who also had a 23-yard run on the drive he scored his touchdown on and added 41 yards on two receptions, was nonchalant about his performance.
“It’s not just me, it’s a team effort, really,” the youngster said.
“I wouldn’t be able to do that without the offensive line putting everything together and having those blocks for me. But yeah, it’s a really good feeling to have everything go together at one time and get some yardage.”
Not one to stare at the stats sheet, for Puskas it was all about getting that first win, starting the high school junior boys football season right.
Everything else was just a bonus.
“It feels really good, getting the nerves out of the way for the next game. I think we have a good season coming for us. I think we’ll be strong. The team’s getting better and better at every practice.”
For the most part, they looked pretty good throughout this one.
They marched down the field on the opening drive, settling for a field goal and an early 3-1 lead.
Kyle Hughes, who had two scores on the ground on the afternoon, pounded home his first early in the second quarter, cruising in from 10 yards out.
Six minutes later it was Dray Theriault’s turn to shine. The Falcons receiver hauled in a 36-yard catch-and-run, then barreled in from a yard out to complete the score and St. Ignatius took an 18-4 lead into the half.
St. Pat’s finally found the end zone in the fourth when running back Bryce Borek pushed his way in from three yards out.
But Hughes had the answer to that, dashing down the right sideline for 46 yards and the score to make it a three-score game with slightly more than three minutes to play.
“I’m glad we won finally,” Hughes said. “We didn’t look that good in practice. The blocking was good. We worked on a lot of blocking in practice. I just ran as fast as I could and again, the blocking was amazing.”
St. Pat’s running Mike Gentile provided the highlight of the game on the ensuing kickoff, dashing 88 yards down the field for the score, but the onside kick was not successful, and even though they eventually did get the ball back, time ran out on the Saints. Gentile finished with 75 yards to lead St. Pat’s, who did not complete a single pass in the contest.
In other junior boys action:
Churchill 42, Westgate 14: Quearterback Tallon Morris was 2-for-3 for 36 yards and two touchdowns and halfback Matthew Currie plowed for 86 yards and another pair of scores for the victorious Trojans. Steve Tenhave had 107 on the ground to lead the Tigers.
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