Unlike their 2019 meeting at Mickler Memorial Field, the Jourdanton Indians had no trouble rolling by the Randolph Ro-Hawks at the same venue on Friday night.
Thanks to three forced turnovers and a seasonhigh production of 583 yards of total offense the Indians (7-1, 4-0) rolled to a 41-20 win over Randolph (3-3, 1-2).
“That was good. I was proud of the way we started,” Head Coach Darrell Andrus said, while also lamenting their 2-for- 6 conversion rate on fourth down offensively. “I’m very proud of our defense. When we go for it on fourth down, that gives a short field to the other team. [Our defense] forced turnovers, they got stops. I have total confidence in our defense, that’s why we go for those fourth downs.”
After failing to convert on fourth and 10 from midfield on their opening drive, Jourdanton’s defense bailed their offense out by falling on a fumble by Randolph quarterback Sam Gierat at the Ro-Hawk 45-yard line. Five plays later, Jourdanton senior QB Cole Andrus hit fellow senior Brett Berg for a 19-yard touchdown in the first five minutes.
That would spark a historic night for the Indians, who had three receivers rack up more than 100 yards for the first time during coach Andrus’ 16-year career as a head coach. Berg (126 yds., 2 TDs), Jarel Lilly (117 yds., 1 TD) and Luke Tapp (126 yds., 1 TD) each surpassed the century mark Friday night.
After praising his three receivers, Andrus brought up Jourdanton’s efficiency in the first half, specifically during their final possession of the half. Though the end result was a missed 47-yard field goal, Jourdanton drove 58 yards in 31 seconds to give Lilly a chance to boot the long field goal.
“The fact that we ran out route, out route, out route with such efficiency, that was a big time deal for our program to do,” Andrus said. “I was really proud of that effort, getting into field goal range. That’s something that could come up big [in the future]. That was a great experience for our team.”
Andrus added that the play of offensive tackles Freddie Martinez and Michael Howard was why the Indians had the success they did. Cole Andrus was able to enjoy a clean pocket for a majority of the game.
“Those [defensive] ends were coming hard all night after Cole,” Andrus said. “Their [Martinez and Howard] footwork and hand placement was excellent. We only had one holding penalty.”
Andrus would finish the game 28-of-36 passing for 435 yards and four touchdowns.
For Berg, who makes his living as a hard-hitting linebacker for Jourdanton’s defense, he enjoyed the moment of the Indians slinging the ball around the field.
“When I get to go in on offense, it’s probably the most exciting time [for me] because when I catch that ball and look [upfield] it’s a feeling I’ll never forget,” Berg said.
Though Jourdanton had their best offensive performance of the season, the credit lies with the defense. In addition to the forced turnovers, Jourdanton held Randolph to 210 yards of total offense.
Stopping the Ro-Hawks patented Wing-T offense is no easy feat considering how detail-oriented teams have to be on defense to stop the many plays that are run out of the scheme.