Bishop Luers came out ready to play in Friday’s 35-21 win over Eastside in the Sectional finals.
Opening kickoff? 85 yard return to the house by Nick Thompson.
Eastside’s first drive, long bomb? Picked off by Nick Thompson.
The Knights had a clear vision of how to win a Sectional title: strike fast.
Eastside’s goal though was clear too: take away the first Bishop Luers option and force the Knights to make decisions offensively on the go. It mean that – despite their early lead – the Knights’ first offensive possession stalled, including a big stick by Eastside;s Joey Eck in the back field. That first stop allowed Eastside to do on offense what the plan clearly was there: grind it out on the ground and take time off the clock. A big Dax Holman run on the second Blazer drive down to the three yard line made way for a Carsen Jacobs touchdown to even the game back up at 7-7 with the first quarter flying by getting the clock inside 39 seconds in the process.
So what could Luers do? Stay ready to play. Just five seconds into the second quarter they completed a big and quick drive with a scoring pass from Charlie Stanski to Brayden McInturf. The Knights kept striking fast.
Dax Holman’s 58 yard spring right up the middle of the field on the next Eastside possession allowed Eastside to take the lead for the first time. But as Luers took back over and drove again themselves, Eastside all-purpose man Carsen Jacobs, also their quarterback, went down.
After Jacobs went down with a non contact injury on defense, the Knights immediately looked to go deep against the shifted Blazer defense with Stanski floating a touchdown to Isaac Zay as the two teams continued to trade shots. Zamarion Jackson added another score for Luers with 2:49 to play, giving the Knights a 27-14 lead.
Again as the first half went, Eastside came back, showing tremendous poise after Jacobs’ injury.
Backup QB Wyatt Davis to Carson Days with 16.4 seconds left went right down the seem into some traffic, but Days hauled it in and set up a Holman touchdown with 13.1 seconds to go to make it 27-21 in favor of Luers. The Blazers deferring possession on the opening coin toss meant that they were able to turn around from their score to start with the ball in the second half. Surprisingly though the opening possession of the half didn’t come into play.
As much as the first half was about offense, the second half was a defensive battle with just eight points scored. Both teams traded big plays defensively throughout the half and the offenses failed to really get going at any point. It was a striking difference from the opening half but certainly showcased that both teams could play strongly on either side of the ball.
Those eight came with just 2:22 left when Mickey Daring pushes in a score to seal the win for the Knights.
The win marked the 26th Sectional title for Bishop Luers, who won it last in 2020; it is Luers’ 14th Sectional crown in the 2000s.
The Knights were, unofficially, led by 102 passing yards for Charlie Stanski and Zamarion Jackson’s 79 yards rushing, including a 47 yard scamper late in the first half.
Dax Holman (136 yards) and Briar Munsey (126 yards) led the offense for Eastside, who ran for a total of 318 yards in the game.