SJ beats Clear Creek 48-14 for first-round playoff win

By Liam Smith ’20

The Strake Jesuit Fighting Crusaders won their seventh consecutive game, a bi-district playoff matchup against the Clear Creek Wildcats, 48-14 last Friday, October 15. Excellent quarterback play complemented this well-oiled rushing attack while defensive poise made the Crusaders seem like a competitive BIG 10 team. Now an unorthodox philosophy, Strake Jesuit continues to succeed with smash mouth football: relying on the run, controlling time of possession, minimizing turnovers, and grinding out opponents for wins. 

Unlike our opponents in most of the Crusader’s blowout wins, Clear Creek kept the game close in the first half. After Jesuit’s methodical first drive score—led primarily by Dylan Campbell—the Wildcats pieced together a nice one-two punch to begin the game. It began with their quarterback, Andrew Dry, gashing the Crusader defense with multiple QB runs. He found open space on a draw play and was fortunate enough to have a defender yank his facemask. A few plays after that 25 yard gain, Dry rolled out on a bootleg and scrambled for 15 yards. The next play, Clear Creek ran a QB sweep to the near pylon for their first touchdown of the night. The Crusaders threw an early interception to cornerback Lane Brewster, setting up the Wildcats at the 17 yard line with much anticipation. With the team’s maroon and white color scheme, and a number two on his jersey, Andrew Dry Manzieled his way for another score. 

A watershed play occurred in the second quarter. William Dickason—now at mid-field—dropped back to pass and threw a dangerous ball through Lane Brewster’s eager hands and into the arms of his intended receiver, Bryce Palumbo. Palumbo’s heads-up catch ended in a 15 yard gain, a first down, and a shift in momentum. Had the Wildcats pounced on the opportunity, they would have two consecutive drives with short-field position. The catch just happened to be a third and long conversion, thus serving as a blow to Clear Creek’s psyche. Campbell drove and finished the drive with a 1 yard rushing score. With the game tied at 14, the Wildcats would go three and out allow the Crusaders a chance to drive down the field with 3:20 left in the half. Clear Creek forced a punt; now they were in the driver’s seat. But an ill-timed throw let the senior cornerback, Camden Terry, intercept and return the ball to Jesuit’s 40 yard line. William Dickason flipped a screen to Dylan Campbell for 20 yards. Great! A holding call would negate Dickason’s 25 yard scramble the next play. Not great. Jesuit still managed to convert a first down from 2nd and 20. They just had seven seconds left in the half. The next play would serve as a testament to the development of Strake Jesuit’s quarterback over this season. Dickason dropped back to pass, stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure, got a running start as he heaved a 40 yard pass to the end zone, watched his strike sail towards the sophomore tight end, Thomas Jewitt, with three defenders around him, and saw the ball deflect off his hands into the back of the end zone, where sophomore wide receiver Leland Smith dove and caught the ball as time expired in the half. Whew, what an amazing play to seize momentum going into half time! They missed the PAT. It was 20-14 at the half.

Whatever sensational events occurred in the first half were dulled with the ensuing blowout. Strake Jesuit scored a touchdown on every drive of the second half. The Crusader’s ball control wore out the Wildcat defense. Campbell would rip off chunk plays in the running game, only to set up deeper play action passes. Clear Creek could not muster any offensive rhythm since their defense was stuck on the field for five to seven minutes at a time. The result was untimely penalties, which set the Wildcats behind the chains, which forced them into obvious passing downs and subsequent turnovers. Camden Terry almost had a pick-six on a crucial third down; cornerback Nick Cassapo added another interception to his outstanding total this season. Jacob Psyk and Carson Grimm both had sacks and tackles for loss. Both sides played fundamentally sound football and cruised pass any first half woes for a first round victory. 

Numbers wise, William Dickason had his most impressive game of the season. Excluding outlier plays, Dickason threw for 11 of 16 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown. Two plays explosive pass plays would add 98 yards and 2 touchdowns to his stat line. This is the first time the quarterback has eclipsed 200 yards passing this season. Dylan Campbell had his usual game: 122 yards rushing with 3 touchdowns along with 3 receptions for 61 yards. Senior wide receiver Bryce Palumbo led the team in receiving—2 receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown—due to his 68 yard score on a screen. 

A similar performance to last Friday’s game could give the crusaders a shot against the Westbrook Bruins in Beaumont next Friday. The last time Strake Jesuit played Westbrook was early in the season. Then, Dickason completed a whopping three passes for 19 yards. Now, the senior quarterback’s gradual contribution to the ground and pound offense has added a second dimension crucial to keeping the team’s season alive. 

First Quarter

CC First Possession

  • Inside zone for 2 
  • HB Counter for 2 stopped by Psyk
  • Bubble screen to get 4th and 1
  • Inside handoff for 1st down
  • Cassapo slams RB down at the line of scrimmage
  • Errant bubble screen, 3rd and 9
  • Dropped pass that could have been the first down
  • Turnover on downs

Strake Jesuit 1st drive

  • Campbell for 6 yards
  • Campbell for first down
  • Alex May for 7 yards
  • Dickason scrambles into a sack for -1 yds
  • Botched snap too early for 4th and 6. 
  • Dickason nearly fumbles snap, and scrambles for a first down
  • Campbell spins off two tackles for 10 yards; 1st and goal
  • Dylan Campbell scores rushing TD

CC Second Drive

  • Strake kicks out of bounds, ball at 30
  • Handoff for 2 yards
  • QB Andrew Dry runs for 10 yard gain; facemask on Strake Jesuit gives ball at 45 yards line of SJ
  • Another stuffed run for 1 yard
  • Pass out for 8
  • Reid Codwell TFL; 4th and 1
  • Andrew Dry keeps on bootleg for 15 yards
  • Andrew Dry outside keeper for a ten yard score

Strake Jesuit 2nd Drive

  • Pooch kick out to 30 yard line
  • Errant pass; 2nd and 10
  • INT by Lane Brewster; returned to 17 yard line

CC 3rd Drive

  • Outside run for 3
  • QB keeper for 2

Second Quarter

  • HB draw to running back all the way to the 1 yard line; 12 yard run
  • QB sneak for TD

Strake Jesuit 3rd Drive

  • Pooch kick to 35 yard line
  • Dylan Campbell runs for a first down; jukes two defenders
  • 1 yard rush to Campbell
  • Pass nearly intercepted by Lane Brewster; goes through his hands and Bryce Palumbo catches it and runs for 15 yards and 1st down
  • Campbell for 2
  • Dickason takes sack for 3rd and 14
  • Campbell plays Houdini and shifts for about 10 yards; 4th and 4
  • Outside toss to Campbell for 6 yards and first down
  • Alex runs for 10 on HB counter
  • Leland Smith catches it for first down at the 8 yard line
  • Campbell bull rushes and forces his way to the on yard line
  • Campbell 1 yard rushing TD 

CC 4th Drive

  • Read option for 4 yards
  • Quick slant for 10 yards
  • TFL LB Matthew Polanski 
  • David Dry brother off quaterback catheters for 6 yards
  • Conner Young breaks up deep pass on 3rd and 4
  • PUNT – to 10 yard line

Strake Jesuit 4th Drive 3:20 ish left in the quarter

  • Ball at Strake 10
  • Campbell for 4 yards
  • Errant pass intended for Robert Smith over the middle
  • 3rd and 6; same exact slant is dropped by Robert Smith
  • PUNT all the way to the 35 yard line

CC 5th Drive 2;09 left

  • Pass out in the flat for 3
  • QB keeper on read option for 25 yards
  • INT by Camden Terry to the 40 yard line

Strake Jesuit 5th Drive

  • Campbell catches screen pass for 20 yards
  • Dickason underthrows over the middle to Joubert; 2nd and 10
  • Holding call negates 25 yard QB run; 2nd and 20
  • Pass to the 42 yard line; 3rd and 14
  • Pass to Joubert, 4th and 1. 7 seconds left
  • Leland Smith catches deflected ball intended  into the end zone for touchdown as time expires
  • PAT is blocked after delay of gam sets them back 5 yards

Half 20-14

Strake Jesuit 6th Drive

  • Dylan Campbell for 5
  • Robert Smith catches comeback route for first down
  • Campbell for 5
  • Campbell for 15 yards 
  • PA pass to Robert Smith for 20 yards (over the middle, finally catching it)
  • Alex May  for 5
  • Campbell run for 4, 3rd and 1
  • Campbell for 6, at 4 yard line
  • 2 yards on 1st and goal
  • Campbell for 2 yard rushing TD
  • 4:30 for first drive of the half

CC 6th Drive

  • QB draw on 2nd and 1 for first down
  • QB run for 15 yards
  • Jacob Psyk TFL; 3rd and 12
  • Errant throw with four verticals; could have been picked
  • PUNT from 45 of strake to 10 yard line of Strake

Strake Jesuit 7th Drive

  • 3 yard run by Dickason
  • Campbell for 2
  • 30 yard gain on botched screen play to Campbell. Dickason pumped, scrambled and flipped it to Campbell for a sure loss, Campbell sprints to opposite boundary and runs to 40
  • Alex MAy for 7
  • Thomas Jewitt catches bootleg for first down
  • Pass Interference on CC, Robert Smith had one-on-one coverage on a fade to the end zone 
  • Corlan Joubert catches post route for touchdown 
  • Two point conversion, Bryce Palumbo runs for the score
  •  Botched PAT is made up for 
  • 35-14

CC 7th Drive

  • CC returns ball to the 30
  • HB draw gets 20 yards; ball at 50 yard line
  • QB read option keeper for 20 yards

4th Quarter

  • Jet sweep stopped for 1 yard line
  • Errant pass on 3rd and 9
  • Camden Terry deflects ball on 4th and 9.  Could have had a pick six

Strake Jesuit 8th Drive

  • Campbell for 4
  • Rollout and throwback to Bryce Palumbo for 65 yards and a score
  • Botched PAT, LB Cashiola chases down special teams player on CC and prevents 2 point conversion for CC

CC 8th Drive

  • False start; 1st and 15
  • Reverse flea flicker is botched, David Dry (sophomore brother) scrambles for first down anyway 
  • Andrew Dry runs for 30 yards
  • Personal foul on CC; 1st and 25
  • On 2nd and 25, 7 yard run on read option (RB)
  • Delayed handoff (statue of liberty-esque); 4th and B 
  • INT Nick Cassapo, 45 yard

Strake Jesuit 9th Drive

  • Alex may 4 yard run
  • Joel Crawford 50 yard run for TD
  • 48-14

CC 9th Drive

  • Crum runs for 10
  • Spears runs for 10
  • David Dry catches a ball for 7
  • 3rd and Goal, Conner Young covers intended receiver, and QB scrambles to the 6 yard line
  • Botched snap lead to sack by LB Carson Grimm

Strake Jesuit 10th Drive

  • Connor O’Hara enters game
  • May for 5
  • May cuts, changes direction and gets first down (accidentally runs out of bounds without thinking) 1:02
  • Crawford for 2

GAME 48-14