Indians romp to historic feat

Luke Tapp (8) leaps up against Comfort’s Sam Tucker (4) to haul in his 32-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of Jourdanton’s 56-32 bi-district win on Saturday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

For the first time in school history, Jourdanton has won 10 games in consecutive seasons.

The Indians (10-1) used a massive second quarter push to down the Comfort Bobcats (7-4) 56-32 on Saturday night at Bulldog Stadium in Somerset. The win was Jourdanton’s third consecutive bi-district championship along with the aforementioned consecutive 10-win seasons.

“It was a good feeling. The boys played well,” Head Coach Darrell Andrus said. “[Comfort] came out and hit us in the mouth early, and that’s what we expected. Comfort’s a well-coached team, a really good ballclub. I think the biggest thing you saw was our playmakers making plays.”

Jourdanton simply outmuscled the Bobcats in a battle of strengths. The Indians’ explosive play capability and stingy defense eventually prevailed despite a 10-7 deficit early in the fourth quarter.

After falling behind on a 34-yard field goal by Oscar Falcon with 9:16 left in the first half, senior quarterback Cole Andrus would connect with Jarel Lilly for a 22-yard touchdown and Luke Tapp for a 32-yard score. The Indians would then score on a third consecutive possession in the second quarter when Andrus hit Lilly over the middle of the field for a 95-yard touchdown pass, the longest play of the game, to put Jourdanton up 28-10.

“It was big,” Lilly said of the 95-yard score. “We just did what we had to to help us get the [win].”

Andrus would finish the game 14-of-19 passing for 435 yards and five touchdown passes in addition to one rushing touchdown. Lilly caught five passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns.

“Any time you put the ball in [Jarel’s] hand, he’s gonna do special things and that’s what he did,” coach Andrus said.

But Jourdanton’s push in the second and third quarters were helped out by their defense. Following the Comfort field goal, the Jourdanton defense held Comfort’s disciplined Wing-T offense scoreless for the next 22 minutes. In that time, senior defensive end Emmanuel Lugo racked up three sacks and six tackles for a loss to help the Indians widen their lead.

Comfort only had 178 yards of total offense at halftime.

“That was very big,” coach Andrus said. “Emmanuel is that type of player. That whole defense, all 11 of them led by coach [Lorenzo] Gallegos and the defensive staff, played their hearts out. I’m really, really proud of them. Big Chief as we call him, Emmanuel Lugo, is a big part of it, no doubt.”

Lugo was seemingly always in the backfield causing nightmares for the Bobcat offense. He knew early on he was going to have a big game.

“I could tell I was getting in the [offensive] linemen’s heads and off their blocks because I was switching it up on them,” Lugo said. “They didn’t know what to do. Our coaches really helped us out.”

The Indians were well prepared for Comfort’s run-oriented offense thanks to a slate of non-district games that gave them looks at the same type of offense.

“Those games helped us a lot,” Lugo said. “It helped our run defense prepare and get better.”

Now the Indians will get a chance to avenge their 2018 area round loss to Edna (6-5) next week. It’s an opportunity these seniors want to prove they’re the real deal in 2020.

“We really want to break the ice and we really want to go to the third round already,” Lilly said.

Jourdanton and Edna are scheduled for a 4 p.m. kick on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Indian Stadium.

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