Heading Logo


Walsh Jesuit falls in defensive struggle with St. Vincent-St. Mary

by Roger Gordon | Correspondent Published: September 11, 2016 12:00 AM

Ten points. No touchdowns. 208 total yards.

Those are the numbers that the Walsh Jesuit defense held powerful Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to Sept. 2 in a non-league game.

The problem was, the host Fighting Irish were even more impressive on the defensive side of the ball, limiting the Warriors to three points, no touchdowns and just 151 total yards in a 10-3 victory over Walsh.

"I was incredibly impressed, blown away, by our defensive performance," Walsh head coach Scott Beigie said. "St. V has some explosive offensive players. Our kids stepped up and did a phenomenal job of shutting down their offense.

"Our defensive line played like all-stars -- senior ends Brennan Johnson and P.J. O'Dell and senior tackles Terry Watkins and Evan Morckel," said Beigie. "Those guys had a hell of a football game."

[Article continues below]

Senior linebacker Josh Bennett led Walsh with eight tackles. Senior defensive back Steve Walko had five. Johnson had three tackles for a loss.

"I knew that their defense was an extraordinary defense," Beigie said. "They have a ton of talent, a ton of speed and a lot of experience on that side of the ball. So I knew on our offensive side it was going to be a challenge."

St. Vincent-St. Mary scored the game's only touchdown with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter.

Walsh senior quarterback Alex Weitman fumbled while trying to pitch the ball on the option. The Irish's Brandon Bischof scooped it up and returned it 14 yards for six points.

The Fighting Irish increased their lead to 10-0 on a 25-yard field goal by Jamie Martucci with 6:55 to go in the first half. O'Dell returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards all the way to the St. Vincent-St. Mary 24-yard line, but Bischof intercepted a Weitman pass right after that.

[Article continues below]

Walsh got on the board with 39 seconds left in the first half on senior Quinn Saluan's 28-yard field goal.

It was a defensive struggle the rest of the way.

With some five minutes to go in the game, Walko picked off a Luke Lindsay pass that gave the visitors the ball in St. Vincent-St. Mary territory. The Walsh offense stalled, however, due in large part to the swarming Fighting Irish defense. On fourth and long the Warriors punted.

"There were still about three minutes to go and we had all of our timeouts," Beigie said. "Our defense was playing so well, we wanted to put it in its hands to stop them. And we nearly did. We forced them into a fourth down, but they got the first down with just under a minute left and that was it."

Weitman finished 6-of-16 for 49 yards. He was sacked three times.

Junior fullback Dominic Frisone rushed the ball 12 times for 46 yards.

Sophomore wide receiver Tommy Cummings had four receptions for 38 yards.

Walsh Jesuit was scheduled to play a non-league game Sept. 9 at Columbus Bishop Watterson, but the result was not available at press time.

Next up for the Warriors is another non-league encounter Sept. 16 in their home opener against Athol Springs (N.Y.) St. Francis. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


Rate this article

Do you want to leave a comment?   Please Log In or Register to comment.