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Jesuit survives Rams last-second upset bid

Central Catholic's 41-yard field goal try goes awry, Jesuit wins 14-12
by: Miles Vance TAKING FLIGHT — Jesuit senior quarterback Nicholas Rothstein flies over a Central Catholic defender during his team’s 14-12 Friday home win.

BEAVERTON - Jesuit's football team makes a habit of playing a killer non-league schedule.

But the Crusaders don't really want to get killed along the way.

Jesuit, a week after getting handled 52-37 at Sheldon, made sure that didn't happen again on Friday night.

The Crusaders, hosting Central Catholic, got two touchdown runs from senior quarterback Nicholas Rothstein and held on tight down the stretch to secure a 14-12 victory when Rams kicker Mitch Seeley had his 40-yard field goal attempt blocked by the Jesuit line on the game's final play.

The win lifted Jesuit's non-league record to 2-1 while Central Catholic fell to 1-2.

'I was nervous,' said Jesuit senior lineman Max Rich. 'But I trusted our field goal block team because we work on that and they do well every time and they came through.'

'I was nervous. It's a big game,' said Jesuit senior wide receiver Adam Winterling, who had six catches for 101 yards in the game. 'It's a game you want to win so you don't want them to make the kick, obviously.'

'We love stepping up to the challenge,' added Rothstein, who had 55 yards rushing and also completed 8-of-15 passes for 114 yards with one interception. 'Coach Potter instilled in our team (that) we don't back down from anyone, and it's a privilege to play all these great teams. We're just thankful that we came out and executed to the best of our ability tonight.'

It wasn't easy, though. After the two teams traded possessions early in the game, Rothstein got his team on the scoreboard first when he plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out with 4 minutes, 36 seconds left in the first quarter.

After each team punted the ball away twice, it was a pair of turnovers that set up the next score. First, Jesuit's Trent Werner recovered a Hayward Demison fumble to cut short a Central Catholic drive at the Crusaders' 18-yard line. Five plays later, Rams' linebacker Xavier Griggs picked off a Rothstein pass in the right flat and took it back 65 yards to score. But Central kicker Mitch Seeley missed the ensuing extra point and Jesuit still led 7-6 with 5:09 to go in the half.

The Crusaders answered with an 80-yard drive that took 10 plays and almost five minutes. The big play on that drive was a quick lateral pass from Rothstein to Buddy Webb that Webb then tossed it back to Rothstein for a 44-yard completion down the right sideline to Winterling at the Rams' 34.

From there, Rothstein scrambled for 13 yards, and three plays later, took a keeper around left end for 17 yards and the score with 29 seconds left in the half. Ryan Cope added his second PAT to make it 14-6.

But Jesuit wouldn't score again, its four second-half drives ending with three punts and a Central goal-line stand. That goal-line stand came on the Crusaders' first series of the third quarter after Jesuit had forced a Rams' punt and taken over at the Central 41-yard line. From there, tailback AJ Glass picked up 15 yards on a dive, Jesuit added 13 more on a Rams' facemask penalty, and Glass carried three more times for 11 yards for a first down at the Central 2.

Hampered by an illegal motion penalty, Jesuit then faced a fourth-and-goal from the 4. Rothstein went around right end on a keeper but got tackled by Dallin Leavitt at the 2 and Central stayed alive.

The Rams responded with an 83-yard drive that ran out of gas at the Jesuit 15, but Seeley connected for a 32-yard field goal to make it 14-9 with 1:25 left in the third.

After another stop by the Central 'D,' the Rams drove as far as the Jesuit 9 before being stopped themselves. Pushed back to the 19 by a penalty, the Rams settled for another Seeley field goal, this time from 36 yards out to cut the gap to 14-12 with 8:18 left in the game.

Central's defense got two more stops in the remaining minutes, and got the ball back at midfield with 2:07 to go. From there, Holden Oglesbee hit Demison for 19 yards, and Demison and Leavitt carried twice each to push the ball to the Jesuit 23-yard line with three seconds left.

With the game on the line, Jesuit got a good push on Seeley's game-winning attempt and Seeley drove his kick low into the line and the ball fell harmlessly to the ground as time ran out on Jesuit's 14-12 win.

'We're just thankful that we came out and executed to the best of our ability tonight,' Rothstein said.

'It's a huge rivalry game so we had to win it, especially for the seniors,' Winterling said. 'We had to win this one.'

On Friday: Lake Oswego at Jesuit, 7:30 p.m.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.