The St. Ignatius Falcons are still the team to beat in the junior high school football circuit.
The Falcons ran their record to a perfect 3-0, dropping the no-longer unbeaten Sir Winston Churchill Trojans 21-13 Thursday afternoon at Fort William Stadium.
Credit the defence for the win, despite a pair of touchdown passes by St. Ignatius quarterback Bryce Covello and an 84-yard first-quarter score by running back Nicholas Cull, who finished with 141 yards on 15 carries.
Twice the Falcon punt team surrendered the ball deep in its own territory. Twice the St. Ignatius defenders made a stand, limiting the Trojans to a pair of field goals, stopping the Churchill running game in its red zone tracks.
“We’re a strong team and our defence is really strong,” Covello said. “The way we were able to hold ourselves together really shows something about our character.”
Coach Mike Savioli would rather forget the punting miscues and concentrate on what his defending champion Falcons did well in the first-place battle.
Still, he’s not taking anything for granted, despite the 3-0 start.
“It was a pretty sloppy game by both teams. We put the ball on the ground quite a bit, but Churchill is a good team and it looks like it’s just wide open. I think everyone continues to improve. Certain teams match up against each other and we always play well against Churchill,” he said.
“You always want to win. You never want to lose. It’s just nice we were able to get the win today. It’s nice for our kids, who are working hard. They were coming off the bye week, so they put a lot of time and effort in.”
The Falcons raced out to a 14-0 first-half advantage, their second score coming on a nine-yard hook-up between Covello and Reilly Fors.
But the Trojans fought back, Evan Kline fielding the first botched punt at the St. Ignatius 10. But two failed runs later Churchill was forced to settle for a 16-yard Dyk Taw field goal, cutting the St. Ignatius lead to 11 as the clock wound down in the second quarter.
It was more of the same in the third.
This time it was Karl Waffler knocking down the Chris Merritt punt, recovering the ball at the St. Ignatius 14. Once again the Trojans were left to settle for a three-point score.
The Falcons appeared to break open the game, taking over the ball on the Churchill 36 on a bad punt snap.
Covello spotted a wide open Josh Newransky, hit him between the numbers and the receiver did the rest, racing to the end zone for the score and a 21-6 lead.
The Trojans still had a little fight left, however.
Though their running game had little success most of the contest, Collin Cramer raced untouched up the middle for a 79-yard score to make it a one-possession game with 10:30 to go in the final stanza.
But that’s where the Churchill offence stalled, unable to find its way out of its own territory the rest of the way.
The Falcons finished with 208 yards of total offence, the Trojans 178.
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