Over the course of four-plus years at the helm of Bishop Dwenger, Coach Jason Garrett has lost 11 times.
After every single one of those 11 losses, Blitz has heard or read at least one comment calling Garrett out. The Saints being outcoached is a common remark. Questioning his qualifications to be the head of the program is also a popular sentiment.
Look, there are reasons people have for not liking Jason Garrett. That’s their prerogative. Blitz isn’t here to challenge those thoughts.
But questioning Garrett’s coaching ability? Not buying it.
In fact, at this point, even suggesting that Garrett is somehow not qualified to lead the Dwenger program is utter absurdity, especially when it comes only after losses.
Bishop Dwenger’s 14-10 victory at Homestead on Friday night wasn’t necessarily sexy in any way. The Saints were held scoreless in the second half and needed a clutch interception by junior Max Carey near to the goal line inside the final minute of the game to preserve the win.
But it was Garrett-esque in its execution. The game plan centered around controlling the line of scrimmage and the clock with the running game, with Teddy Steele and Tobias Tippmann scoring first-half rushing scores that put the Saints up comfortably at the break. Sam Campbell was also tough in running the ball from his QB spot while also slinging it downfield on occasion to keep the defense honest.
On the other side of the ball, a unit full of unheralded kids (and CJ Davis) muscled their way to a win by holding Homestead 25 points below its season scoring average. While Brett Fuchs continued to run wild (most versatile RB in the SAC, don’t @ Blitz), the Saints made the Spartans earn their way down the field. And when it came time to make plays in clutch spots – Coach Garrett’s team did, holding Homestead to 3-of-12 on third down.
Even with the Spartans (3-1) having the momentum and the ball in the closing minutes, Bishop Dwenger prevented Homestead from picking up big yardage on chunk plays. As time continued to roll, Sparty finally had to take a shot, the ball that was picked off by Carey.
The win was Garrett’s 45th of his career at the helm of the Saints against just 11 losses. His current winning percentage is the best in program history outside of Ernie Bojrab’s single season as interim coach in 2015. Better than Svarczkopf. Better than Johns. Better than Bartolameolli.
In his inaugural season, Garrett coached the Saints to a state title. In 2019, it was a regional crown. Back-to-back sectional trophies have followed the last two years, including a rout of Snider last season.
Yet still, there’s derision.
And let’s be real here, gone are the days of Bishop Dwenger absolutely destroying teams in the trenches, let alone in the talent department. CJ Davis is a stud. Ashton Skarie is stout. But when Blitz did his preseason top 50 players, the Saints were not laden with individual talent.
What the Saints do have is some tough, blue-collar dudes – both on the coaching staff and on the roster. They always have. Those generational names? Full of dogs. Kids who put in the work and punch above their weight. Yeah, some are legit DI football players. But most are just smart, tough kids who play football harder and better than most everyone they match up against.
That starts at home of course, but it continues on the practice field with coaches like Garrett. Dwenger is never at the front of everyone’s mind when we think about talent in the SAC nowadays. That’s North Side. Snider. Carroll.
But the Saints are still an institution. They are still a program with just nine losing seasons in 56 years of existence. They are still competing and winning state championships.
And yet we still have this vocal minority who still love to dog Garrett at every opportunity. Who love to throw shade after every loss, however intermittent they may be.
He answers the haters the only ways he knows how – keeping his mouth shut and piling up wins.
These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH