The Crusaders dominate in many ways, except on the scoreboard

HILLSBORO — The semi-annual battle between the Jesuit and Central Catholic football teams — known colloquially as The “Holy War” — has become as much a part of the Crusaders' football history as have its battles against Beaverton, Southridge and Aloha.

Jesuit's wins in that game have become legend too.

But Central Catholic turned the tables in the two teams' non-league game at Hillsboro Stadium on Friday night. The Rams' defense shut out Jesuit for the game's final three quarters and used that success to fuel its 16-7 victory, a win that lifted their record to 2-2 while the Crusaders lost for the first time and fell to 3-1.

OUT OF REACH - Jesuit senior tailback AJ Glass loses a fumble during his team's 16-7 loss to Central Catholic at Hillsboro Stadium on Friday night.

Jesuit outgained the Rams on the ground and in total offense, made more first downs, punted fewer times and had fewer penalties for fewer yards, yet still didn't win.

“We’ve just got to put it together. We’re just going to have to get better,” said Jesuit senior tailback AJ Glass, who finished with 171 yards rushing and one touchdown on 41 carries. “But we need to get better mentally.”

“Central Catholic’s a good team. They have good kids,” said Jesuit junior linebacker/fullback Joey Alfieri, who led a defensive effort that held the Rams to just 183 yards in total offense and also recovered two fumbles. “We expected to do a little better, but we made a few mistakes in the red zone that cost us.”

The Crusaders actually grabbed a 7-0 lead on their second series of the first quarter when Alfieri recovered a fumble by Rams' quarterback Aidan Wilder at the Central Catholic 27-yard line. From there, Jesuit took eight plays to score, with Glass carrying seven times for 27 yards, the final three of those on a run over right guard that, along with Patrick Carley's extra point, gave the Crusaders a 7-0 lead.

Central Catholic got a short-field chance of its own when Jesuit Glass fumbled the ball away on the end of an 18-yard run and Central's Nate Salu took the loose ball back to the Jesuit 42 late in the first. From there, Ryan Nall went wide right for 32 yards to the 10, and on the next play, Dallin Leavitt went around right end to score and, along with Mitch Seeley's PAT, tied the game at 7-7.

Jesuit wouldn't score again — the Crusaders turned the ball over twice more on another lost fumble and an interception — and the Rams got the game-winning points midway through the second quarter when Seeley drilled a 43-yard field goal that skipped off the center of the crossbar and over for three points.

The Crusaders drove as far as the Rams' three-yard line on the next-to-last play of the first half, but saw quarterback Christian Martinek stuffed for a five-yard loss on fourth down to keep Central ahead 10-7 at the break.

Jesuit looked ready to push ahead at the start of the fourth when Martinek hit tight end Henry Mondeaux for a 22-yard pickup to the Rams' three. But Mondeaux was assessed a personal foul for celebrating his catch, and four plays later, Carley missed what would have been a game-tying 35-yard field goal with 8:20 left to play.

Two series later, Central stopped Jesuit on a fourth-down try at their own 37, took advantage of a Jesuit penalty and tacked on the insurance score. Beginning at the Jesuit 22 with 4:29 remaining to play, Cameron Scarlett took a dive for 20 yards to the two, and on the next play, Scarlett went off left tackle for the TD.

“They’ve got really good athletes,” Glass said. “They just came out better tonight.”

“This was a really good learning experience for us,” Alfieri added. “Now we know what it takes to play high-caliber teams, top teams in the state.”

On Friday, Jesuit opens Metro League play with a 7:30 p.m. game at Sunset.

To see a complete game story and more photos, please see Thursday's edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.

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