In the first crossover weekend of football we’ve ever heard of, the St Francis Mariners (with a record of 2-5 overall, 1-4 in the conference) were home to face the Tosa West Trojans (3-4 overall, 1-4 in the conference). One aim of these crossover game – that pit Woodland East division teams against Woodland West teams with similar records – is to avoid mismatches and lopsided scores.
Well, that didn’t work. It was 49-0 by halftime.
Were the Mariners that bad? Probably not. As disappointing as the season has been, the Trojans have quality players, speed and a defense that gets stronger each week. Tosa West wants to improve. “We want to finish our season strong – close out with a winning record for our seniors. They’ve done a lot for this program,” said one junior starter. And with a current record of 4-4 overall, the Trojans have the chance to get that winning record. Here’s a game report:
The first Trojan offensive possession featured 7 runs that covered 75 yards. Senior back Greg Lewis scored from 9 yards out.
The first Mariner possession ended in a fumble. In a flash Greg Lewis took the ball 7 yards up the middle, straight to the St Francis end zone.
Less than a minute later the Tosa West defense blocked a Mariner punt, which Devin Tucker snatched off the turf and ran 15 yards for a score. In the game’s first three minutes – the Trojans were up 21-0.
The scoring parade continued with junior running back Demaris Purifoy – who is closing in on a 1000 yard season and leads the Woodland conference in rushing. On the Trojans next two possessions, Purifoy scored on runs of 38 and 25 yards. When the first quarter ended the score was 35-0.
In past blogs I mentioned that the Trojan offense needed more variety. Not tonight they didn’t. But they did do one thing different – for the first time this season they used senior wide receiver Develyn Ferguson on a sweep right for a nice gain. Same play, different runner. Otherwise there were no surprise plays. Runs featured straight-ahead and trap blocking, with pulling guards Norberto Pliego and Christian Morzinski.
Whoever scouted the Trojans must have been mumbling “I told you so” over and over.
In the second quarter the score ballooned to 42-0 on a 78 yard dump pass from freshman Rayvon Bartelt to Demaris Purifoy. This is a nice sign of things to come next year for the Trojans. Starting QB senior Jared Morzinski took the majority of first-half snaps and appeared to be healed from a nagging hand injury – but Bartelt threw the Trojans only two passes of the game.
Before the end of the first half there were two more shining plays. The first was delivered by senior defensive lineman Carlos Morris. He went high and showed good hands to pick off a tipped Mariner pass. On the next play Greg Lewis scored again, this time from 27 yards out.
Those of us who have watched mighty Greg Lewis during his three years in the Trojan backfield appreciated this signature run: all Mariner defenders had chances to bring Lewis down as he rumbled down the right sideline. Twice he was “almost” stopped, but strength, balance and football speed carried him (and several red jerseys) to pay dirt. The half ended with the score 49-0.
In the second half the clock ran continuously. One highlight was a well-timed interception by Tosa West senior Niko Lewis, starting outside linebacker.
Several younger Trojans took the field in the second half. On special teams, junior lineman Jeffrey Little and junior linebacker Ben Makhlouf worked through blocks and made excellent tackles. Sophomore running backs were very effective. Jake Brophy made a nice run to the left for 14 yards. Malik Bascom followed that with an outstanding, 30 yard zig-zag run to the end zone. Unfortunately, Bascom’s run was called back due to a penalty.
On the night, nine Trojan running backs carried the ball 27 times for 270 yards.
With one minute remaining in the game, Tosa West sophomore Kobe Vines went 50 yards to the house. He blasted through the left side of the line and outran all pursuit down the sideline and into the end zone. Zach Veit had been a perfect 7 for 7 on extra-point kicks, but the “running clock” had expired, and Zack was not summoned after this final touchdown. No one appeared to be too concerned, and the final score remained 55-0.
Next up for the Trojans is another crossover game against Cudahy, with a record of 2-6 overall and 1-4 in the conference (including a quality win over Whitnall).
The next game (Fri, Oct 18) will be Senior Night at Tosa West. Come out and cheer on the Trojans as they close out their season in style.