Photo Courtesy of Jefferson Athletics
Drew Breeze threw for three touchdowns, and brother Will Breeze caught two of those TD ariels to lead Jefferson to a 41-6 victory at Fredericktown on Friday night. The Blue Jays showed terrific balance, finding success on the ground, in the air, and on special teams, in the victory.
“This was a great night and atmosphere for high school football,” head coach Alex Rouggly noted. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to play this sport. For about two and a half hours, everything felt extremely normal.”
Well, at least for the Blue Jays. Fredericktown may not have known what hit them as Jefferson scored twice in the first quarter. Will Schnitzler hauled in a 42 yard touchdown pass from Drew Breeze to open the scoring with 8:17 on the clock. Then, with 3:33 to go, Dylan Schnitzler ran it in from one yard out to give Jefferson a 14-0 advantage. That’s where it stood after the first 12 minutes, but it didn’t stay that way long.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Dylan Schnitzler returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown. Then, with 5:05 to go before halftime, Will Breeze caught his first TD pass from Drew to bring the eventual halftime score to 27-0.
“Our kids came out of the gate with a great attitude and played the game the way it is supposed to be played,” Coach Rouggly said. “Our defense flew around and executed our game plan flawlessly. Our offense moved the ball successfully all night, while our special teams play was executed very well.”
At the 4:13 mark of the third quarter, the Breeze combo struck again, this time from 48 yards to make it 34-0. Drew gave major kudos to his brother. “Will was really good about getting open when I was under pressure, he said. “He allowed me to have a second chance when the defensive line was in my face.” Sean Usery would score the team’s final touchdown right before the third quarter ended. He rumbled in from seven yards out to make it 41-0.
It looked as if Jefferson would come away with a shutout, but with 18 seconds left in the game, Fredericktown returned a fumble 96 yards for a TD.
But that did nothing to tarnish the victory, as Jefferson dominated in every facet of the game. Drew Breeze threw for 146 yards, completing four of seven passes. Will Breeze caught three passes for 104 yards, while Will Schnitzler had that 42 yard reception. On the ground, Colby Ott carried the ball 11 times for 74 yards, while Usery collected 69 yards in seven carries. Dylan Schnitzler and Will Schnitzler gained 31 and 28 yards respectively.
“I thought we played very well,” Ott commented after the game. “We came out playing fast and hard and very disciplined, which was exciting to see. I think there are definitely some things we need to clean up, but overall, it was a good start to the season.” Drew Breeze had much the same reaction to the offense. “I think we did really well tonight offensively,” he stated. “We had a lot of open looks and second chances.”
The defense was staunch, allowing just 76 yards to the Blackcats. Leading the way was Dawson Jakoubek with seven tackles, one for a loss, and two assists. He said the team practiced like they played. “The defense executed exactly what we game planned all week,” he commented. “The defense was also very disciplined and flying around, tackling as a team.”
Other defenders having an outstanding night included Steve Stephens with five tackles, two sacks, and an assist. Robbie Hurley had two tackles and five assists, while Ott also had five tackles, one for a loss, and three assists. Konnor Armstrong had a tackle, a sack, and an assist, and Will Breeze collected the only interception of the night.
“Our kids played selfless, team football last night,” Coach Rouggly said. “Great things happen when that occurs. This is such a fun group to coach.”
The Jays will host the Cuba Wildcats this coming Friday at 7:00 p.m. It will be senior night for the 11 seniors on the roster.