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Jesuit finishes non-league play at 4-0 after 56-21 win

The top-ranked Crusaders get 223 yards and three touchdowns from tailback Paul Weatheroy

BEAVERTON - It isn't easy to live up to all the hype that comes with being the defending state champions in football, but Jesuit has done a pretty good job of it so far.

The top-ranked Crusaders ran their non-league record to 4-0 by racing past Tigard 56-21 at Jesuit High School on Friday night, getting 223 yards rushing and three touchdowns from senior tailback Paul Weatheroy along the way.

'We played the best game we've played all year,' said Jesuit coach Ken Potter. 'The improvement we've shown has been excellent.'

While Jesuit was far from perfect in the win - the Crusaders allowed Tigard 331 yards rushing - it was extremely opportunistic with the chances it had. The Crusaders led 7-0 after the first quarter thanks to a 50-yard Raphiel Lambert run, then boosted their edge to 14-0 on Weatheroy's first TD.

Tigard cut that gap to 14-7 on a 71-yard Scott Grady run, but Lambert scored from 6 yards out to make it 21-7 and then it was the Jesuit defense's turn.

The Tigers were driving to score again when the Jesuit defense stiffened and forced a fourth-down stop. On the ensuing possession, Weatheroy added his second rushing TD and quarterback Dan Wagner tacked on a 40-yard scoring strike to Lambert that extended the lead to 35-7 at the half.

''They moved the ball pretty well … but the defense didn't give up the big plays for touchdowns,' Potter said. And 'we took advantage of some of their mistakes and that helped.'

The Crusaders added two more scores in the third quarter - a 10-yard Wagner-to-Michael Lowe TD and a 64-yard Weatheroy run - to offset Andrew Woolfe's 1-yard score for Tigard. Jesuit's Steven Kiyokawa scored his team's final TD on a 1-yard run in the fourth.

Jesuit also saw starting fullback/linebacker Owen Marecic and starting linebacker Max Brantley make successful returns to the lineup after each had missed their team's previous game with shoulder injuries.

In addition to Weatheroy's efforts, Lambert added 99 yards on six carries (he also added 84 yards receiving on four catches), and Wagner connected on 11-of-14 passes for 201 yards.

Jesuit opens Metro play on Oct. 6 with a 7:30 p.m. game at Beaverton. The Crusaders and the rest of the Metro League football teams have a bye tomorrow (Friday).