The opportunity was there, staring Scott Beigie and his troops square in the face.
Walsh Jesuit football had just stopped Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin on fourth-and-three at the Lions' 27-yard line on the first possession of a North Coast League Blue Division game Oct. 7 in Chardon.
"We took over possession of the ball," Beigie said, "but a few plays later from the 19-yard line we ran one of our triple option plays, and there was a fumble on the exchange between senior quarterback Alex Weitman and junior fullback David Blanchard."
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin recovered the ball, drove right down the field and took a 7-0 lead on Brandon Mounts' two-yard touchdown run en route to a 21-3 victory.
Midway through the second quarter Walsh forced the home team to punt, but sophomore Tommy Cummings fumbled the return. A few plays later the Lions upped the lead to 14-0 on a one-yard touchdown run by Mounts.
"At the end of the day, it comes down to not executing the way we need to offensively and on special teams," Beigie said. "We also gave up some big plays on defense."
One was a 46-yard pass late in the third quarter that led to Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin's third touchdown, a two-yard run by Mounts, the final points of the game, that gave the Lions a 21-3 lead.
Earlier in the third quarter, senior Quinn Saluan had kicked a career-long 43-yard field goal for Walsh's only points.
"Quinn definitely has the talent, he has the leg and he's got the right mindset, so I don't hesitate very much when we're in those situations to put him out there," said Beigie. "I have so much confidence in him that if we put him in those situations, he's going to give us the best opportunity to score some points there. He's also been doing a phenomenal job with his punting."
Weitman was 9-of-18 for 62 yards with an interception.
"Alex had a lot of pressure in his face," the coach said. "He did a nice job maintaining his poise. He made a couple nice escapes for a few big runs. As the game progressed and we had to throw a little bit more because we were down, their defense did a nice job putting bodies on our receivers, and we just couldn't make the connections to get the momentum to change."
Cummings, playing wide receiver, had three receptions for 32 yards.
Senior slot Josh Bennett rushed the ball eight times for 37 yards.
"We've been a little more conscious lately of getting the ball into Josh's hands," said Beigie. "We did a few more predetermined runs for him, including some triple options plays, and he did a really nice job of running hard. He didn't go down after first and second contacts."
Blanchard carried the ball 10 times for 25 yards.
Beigie was thrilled with how his defense shut down Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin's running game.
Junior safety Zach Weitman, Alex's brother, had seven tackles.
"Zach is a natural football player who understands the game really well," Beigie said. "He did a terrific job. He impressed the heck out of all of us."
Senior P.J. O'Dell and junior Dominic Frisone, both linebackers, each had four tackles.
Bennett, playing linebacker, had an interception, and senior defensive tackle Terry Watkins had a sack.
Walsh took a 1-6 overall record and an 0-2 Blue Division mark into a home game Oct. 14 against division rival Archbishop Hoban. Resultsx of the home game were not available at press time.
Next up for the Warriors is a game Oct. 21 at division foe Benedictine in Bearcat Stadium in Bedford. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.