RECAP: Senior Night Shellacking


Junior Jay fans were very worried, and for good reason.  Prep had been forced to punt on their first drive, and now supernova running back Marty Brown was down on the field, holding his ankle.  The great senior night celebration on district championship night looked like it could easily turn into a nightmare.  

Flash forward three hours and Burke Stadium was rocking.  The Junior Jays’ backups were putting the finishing touches on a dominant 52-7 victory.  How in the world did this happen?  

Well, it started off with Jack Stessman.  After willingly taking a backup role to start off this season, Stessman was asked to step up when it mattered most: a district title game with playoff seeding on the line.  And boy, did he: 196 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on the night.  The best part was that he did this on just 21 carries, leading to a blistering 9.3 yards per carry.  Basically every time Stessman carried the ball, he was getting close to or past the first down sticks.  

Also deserving of praise is the offensive line.  One of the biggest reasons that Stessman was able to run the ball so well is that the offensive line was opening up huge holes for him to run through.  On the rare occasion when Jack Piernicky did have to throw, he had all day.  The offensive line is by far the biggest reason that Prep was able to rack up over 300 rushing yards. 

Well, that explains the 52 on the scoreboard, but what about the 7 on the other side?  What happened to Lincoln East’s 40 points per game, high-flying offense?  What happened to super-state, superstar, 2800 yards and 38 touchdowns quarterback Noah Walters?  What happened to Cooper Erickson, the guy with 974 yards and 11 touchdowns this year? 

The answer: they all ran into a brick wall, a brick wall by the name(s) of Barrett, Jones, Rodino, Pargo, Tabor, Kearney, Marcelino, Anderson, Shotkoski, Sledge, Kieny, and Kirkwood.  John Pargo continued his spectacular season, adding ANOTHER punt block (this time it was Sam Rodino who returned it for a score) and an interception, just the fourth for Walters on the year.  Michael Barrett flew all around the field from his linebacker position and appeared to be living in the heads of several receivers-there were a lot of drops from Lincoln East’s players coming over the middle.  AJ Jones and Asher Anderson were also involved in shutting down the Spartans’ passing attack, and a huge reason that Walters had his worst game of the year.  And as for Mick Tabor, Ryan Kearney, Rocco Marcelino, Owen Shotkoski, Sam Sledge, Joe Kieny, and Jack Kirkwood, they made Walters’ life miserable, utterly dominated the Lincoln East offensive line, and combined for 5 sacks.  

There are a lot of players who deserve mention for their performance as well.  Pierce Johnson had a dazzling punt return touchdown in which he cut to the right and beat everyone to the sideline, then found the end zone.  And you can’t have senior day without one senior getting a little extra love, so how about Andrew Joppa?  After a controversial holding call on what would have been a touchdown against Lincoln Northeast, Joppa left no doubt about his scoring prowess in this game.  He had 7 carries for 55 yards (both second most on the team) and capped it off with a 2 yard score as time wound down.