The Central Catholic won the battle of the trenches and Friday night’s game against the Jesuits (Photo by Jim Nagae, Central Catholic)

HILLSBORO – The feeling was maybe surreal, a little weird, and not your average Friday night of high school soccer, but Central Catholic and Jesuit could both agree on one thing

Being back on the field is never taken for granted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has delayed the start of the prep sports season across Oregon

“You only realize that you are really back when you get the first push,” said Central Catholic Senior Myles Broadous. “I think as soon as I heard that first whistle everything will have calmed down”

The defending champion Central Catholic led wire-to-wire, defeating the Jesuit powerhouse 35-6 in the opening week of a six-game program on Friday night at Hillsboro Stadium

“Our energy and excitement on the field was really good, which is a challenge when there isn’t a lot of hype in the stands,” said Rams coach Steve Pyne. “So I thought our kids did a good job around to produce some energy ”

Central Catholic junior quarterback Luke Johnson was outstanding on his first varsity start, completing 21 of 35 passes for 275 yards with four touchdowns and just one interception

His three touchdown passes in the second quarter gave the Rams a dominant 21-0 lead at halftime

“Luke looked ripe for his first start,” said Pyne. “It hung really well in the pocket. He needs to work on being more consistent with delivering balls, but overall I was satisfied”

Johnson hit junior wide receiver Jordan King for two touchdowns in the first half – an 11-yard and an 18-yard bond, and King is expected to be the Rams’ lead receiver, taking on the role of Silas Star who plays at Stanford

“We’ve been throwing all summer to prepare,” Johnson said of King, who had six catches for 90 yards, “So all fall, all summer, all spring that was thrown at him, so knew I think it’s a blessing to have him out there because he’s such a threat. Even if he doesn’t have the ball, they play it twice together ”

Jesuit scored his only touchdown on a 58-yard run from Junior Michael Rincon, which ended with 23 runs for a pitch of 153 yards, to cut the lead to 21-6 at 9:09 in the third but the Crusaders did not score any more

Jesuit had three more opportunities within the red zone in the second half, including two drives within the 5-yard line, but struggled to convert them into scores

Senior Jesuit lineman Charlie Pickard, a preferred companion of Oregon, said a lack of execution helped bring the game to an end

“It doesn’t matter whether we’re on our own 1-yard line or their 1-yard line, the mentality has to be the same,” said Pickard. “We have to break the ball in. We have to finish because that’s seven points on the board

“We just didn’t run, and that has to be our No. his 1 goal goes to the next game ”

The Rams postponed play in the fourth game after Johnson’s final touchdown pass for junior wide receiver Stryder Todd-Fields after a 10-yard close. Broadous finished the win with a 92-yard interception return with 32 seconds Playtime

“You have to be in this moment to really know how it feels,” Broadous said of the pick-six. “Call all of my defense that they came down and blocked for me. It was a great feeling to end the game ”

For Jesuits (0-1) the biggest challenge is to bring in almost a whole new offensive and defensive staff.The Crusaders only give back two starters on offense and one on defense of a team that reached the semifinals in 2019

“A lot of kids have never played a college soccer game,” said Jesuit coach Ken Potter. “I think they got more comfortable as the game went on, but we didn’t play enough games and you have to do that against good ones Teams do ”

Jesuit junior quarterback Tatum Lewis finished 7 of 18 for 103 yards and an interception on his first start

Pyne said Central Catholic’s goal is to give its seniors as much game time as possible and develop their younger players in time for this fall season to prepare for another run

“It felt good to see the kids having fun and competing and give the kids a chance to play, “said Pyne

Junior wide receiver Xavier Simpson added three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown for the Rams Junior linebacker Zach Grisham also had an intercept

Players and coaches on both teams said they were playing the game “comfortably” and said they had no concerns about COVID-19 as everyone wore masks on and off the field

“I thank God every day for giving me this opportunity to play the game I love,” Broadous said. “I know a lot of people may not see the field after this year Even though it’s only six games, we’re all very grateful to be here in this situation””

Jesuit 00 00 06 00 – 6

Jesuit: Tatum Lewis 7-18, 103, INT, Matt Irwin 0-2, INT; Central Catholic: Luke Johnson 21-35, 275, 4 TDs, INT, Cru Newman 0-1

Jesuit: Michael Rincon 23-153, TD, Darius Mims 1-30, Lewis 4-22, Johnny Miller 3-9; Central Catholic: Johnson 2-19, Ellis Bynum 5-7, Zach Grisham 4-6, Riley Williams 1-0

Jesuit: Marcus Johnson 1-43, Kade Hildreth 1-32, Mims 3-21, Noah Staley 1-3, Spencer McKelligon 1-3; Central Catholic: Jordan King 6-90, 2 TDs, Xavier Simpson 3-30, TD, Stryder Todd-Fields 1-10, TD, Grisham 3-37, Gavin Jackson 2-32, Myles Broadous 1-24, Ellis Bynum 2 – 21, Malik Rose 2-16, Will Koenig 1-15

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World News – USA – Central Catholic looks like defending state masters against Jesuits