The old proverb proclaims “familiarity breeds contempt.”
In a contest between two schools separated by about ten miles, St. Pius scored two second half touchdowns to pull away and beat Jefferson 27-12 on Friday night.
The Blue Jays made a change at quarterback, but it didn’t lead to a home win over the rival Lancers.
Kole Williams took over behind center and tossed a pair of touchdown passes to the 6’2” junior Nate Breeze, his only two receptions on the night.
As good as that duo was, the Blue Jays were playing uphill all night after the Lancers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks to the arm and legs of quarterback James Smith.
But that’s when Williams and Breeze went to work. The new quarterback hit the talented Breeze on a 22-yard score to make it 14-6. The two connected again on a seven-yard strike, but two failed conversions left the Blue Jays trailing 14-12 at halftime. Those two scores snapped a ten-quarter scoreless streak for St. Pius.
Unfortunately for Jefferson, the Blue Jays couldn’t complete the comeback in the second half.
Smith threw two second half touchdown passes to finish off the Lancers’ third straight win after a season opening loss.
Jefferson dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in I-55 Conference play.
Obviously, you must score points to win in football, and the Blue Jays’ inability to light up the scoreboard has cost them. They put up 35 points in their lone win over Cuba, but have combined for just 23 points in the three losses to Fredericktown, Herculaneum and now St. Pius.
St. Pius’ 27-point effort was the most allowed by the Blue Jays’ strong defense this season. They had allowed just 30 points in the first three games.
Sam Stokes had another monster defensive game with 15 solo tackles and five assists. That gives him 43 total tackles the past three weeks.
Sean Usery added nine tackles, while Mason Campbell chipped in with six tackles and a sack.
As good as they were, this night belonged to Breeze. In addition to his two touchdown catches, the young man had 11 tackles and two interceptions to do all he could to give the Blue Jays a chance.
Jefferson had trouble running the football against the St. Pius defense. Usery rushed eight times for 24 yards and Stokes ran it eight times for just 20 yards.
Conversely, the Lancers rushed for over 300 yards, led by Smith’s 83. The talented quarterback also passed for 193 yards and was the bugaboo the Blue Jays just couldn’t contain.
Jefferson will try to break a two-game losing streak when they travel to Bayless for another 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday, September 23rd. The Bronchos have lost three straight after a season opening win over Principia. Their three losses have come against Grandview, Crystal City and Perryville.