Battle of the unbeaten in the I-55 conference between Jefferson R-7 Blue Jays and the St. Pius
X Lancers, newly coached in 2023 by Frank Ray.
The first quarter ended up being scoreless, with the
Lancers won the time of possession battle but ended with two turnovers on down and R-7
with one offensive series that ended in a punt.
The second quarter was a different story, with scoring started with R-7's QB Kole Williams with a 6-yard pass touchdown on a fade route by WR Nate Breeze. This was followed by another score from R-7 from the same Williams-to-Breeze connection on a 47-yard passing touchdown, making the score 14-0.
The Lancers answered back with their own score on a 17-yard passing touchdown. St. Pius QB Justin Smith to RB Justin Lehn but failed on the two-point conversion, making the score 14-6. R-7 then scored again before the end of the half, with Williams scoring on a QB run option for 7 yards with a successful PAT, ending the half 21-6.
The Lancers answered back in the third quarter with a 4-yard QB run touchdown by Smith, but
failed on the two-point conversion, making the score 21-12. The Lancers were able to take
advantage of R-7's fumbled snap to force a field goal, then blocked that field goal to get great
field position, but turn, gave the ball to R-7 on a turnover on downs on a failed 4th and short run
to end the third quarter 21-12 R-7.
At the beginning of the 4th quarter, R-7 scored again from a 3-yard pass touchdown by Williams to RB Max Schnitzer with a successful PAT, making the score 28-12.
The Lancers soon strike back with another score with a passing 37-yard touchdown from
Smith to WR James Flanagan but failed on the 2-point conversion, making the score 28-18 R-7.
The Lancers got the ball back on a successful onside kick, but the momentum soon
ended after an interception from Nathan Breeze. The final score was 28-18 R-7. R-7 (4-0, 2-0) St. Pius X (3-1, 1-1)
This is the Lancers' first loss under Coach Frank Ray in this 2023 season, and they still have a
lot of upside. They are a young team with a lot of promise and must fix little things like
penalties. He has a young, big offensive line that will be a force in the next few years.
The Lancers and R-7 are sure to face each other again in the district playoffs. The Lancers
face the Herculaneum Blackcats (2-3. 0-2) at 7 p.m. on September 22. This game should be a perfect rebound for the Lancers and Coach Frank Ray.