Now the true test begins for the St. Ignatius Falcons.
The junior football squad did all its scoring Thursday in the first half, notching four touchdowns in the first 30 minutes of play and went on to a 28-0 win over the Westgate Tigers.
Next up is the playoffs, which open Tuesday at Fort William Stadium, though the Falcons have a bye and won’t play again until next Saturday.
St. Ignatius coach Mike Savioli said the team isn’t firing on all cylinders yet, but have some time to click into top gear.
“I think there’s still room for improvement, especially with our line. We’re going to continue to work all this week and try to get better. That’s the goal,” he said.
Thursday’s win was all about being just a little faster than the Tigers, Savioli added.
“We were able to get outside on them a little bit with our sweeps, and then it was our passing game,” he said.
“We actually dropped a couple touchdown passes in that first half. But that was definitely something. We had good blocking on our line for our passing plays.”
The most important came midway through the opening quarter, when Falcons quarterback Bryce Covello spotted a wide open Josh Newransky, fired the pass and connected for the 58-yard score.
“I just got open and it was a touchdown, I guess,” a nonchalant Newransky said. “I thought it was going to miss, but it was a good run.”
Running back Riley Fors was next to cross the goal line, dashing 12 yards for the major 90 seconds in a second quarter that saw the Falcons score three times.
Newransky set up a five-yard rumble up the middle by Chris Merritt to make it 21-0, and after the Tigers turned the ball over on downs on their own 40-yard line, Nicholas Cull barreled in from four yards out for the final score.
“It feels pretty good. We had to work hard to get here, which is nice,” Newransky said. “We had some bad plays and we had some good plays, which every team has. But I think all in all it was a good time.”
He’s not taking anything for granted with the playoffs on the horizon.
“There’s a little bit of pressure, because all teams tighten up in the playoffs,” he said. “But I think we’ll be able to hold our own out there.”
Merritt finished with 79 yards on eight carries to lead the Falcons rushing attack. Courtis Rapley managed 28 yards on 17 carries for Westgate, who were outgained 254-64 combined.
The fourth-place Tigers (1-3) take on cellar-dwelling Hammarskjold on Tuesday in the 4-5 play-in. The winner of that game draws St. Ignatius in Saturday’s 1 p.m. semifinal. Churchill and St. Patrick play in the other semifinal at 3 p.m.
Churchill 26, Hammarskjold 0: Halfback Collin Cramer ran for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Trjoans, who finished the regular season in second place at 3-1-0. Dyk Taw and Nathan Lemieux also had rushing scores. Hammarskjold quarterback Marti Martinez completed six passes for 55 yards and addded 37 more yards on the ground for the Vikings (0-5-0).
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