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The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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JR Football: Tigers Continue to Grow From Loss Against Yorktown

L to R: PREGAME COIN TOSS: Captains #50 Casey Wood, #55 Will Howze(game two), #15 Aidan Riley and #1 Cole Mandaza.
Nate Watson
L to R: PREGAME COIN TOSS: Captains #50 Casey Wood, #55 Will Howze(game two), #15 Aidan Riley and #1 Cole Mandaza.

On Thursday night, the Jackson-Reed football team hit the road for their first away game of the season. Like their season opening loss to Bishop Ireton, the Tigers once again couldn’t find a rhythm— falling 37-7 to Yorktown High School. 

As the Yorktown Patriots marched down the field for their first touchdown of the game, the Tigers simply had no answer, which soon became a theme of the night. 

Despite the score, the team left their week two matchup with more positives than in their loss to Ireton. “We found some holes in what we were doing wrong,” said senior middle linebacker and long-snapper Aidan Riley, one of the team’s captains who finished last Thursday with an interception. 

The Patriots threw for 151 yards, but the main recurring issue for the Tigers on Thursday night was allowing 277 rushing yards. Although the Tigers’ defense forced four fumbles and an interception, Yorktown capitalized on big time plays of their own. A big momentum shifter came after a 78-yard touchdown pass during the third quarter.

Having lost consecutive games to start the season, the Tigers continue to remain hopeful through their growing pains. “We have to keep fighting. When you get hit in your mouth, when you’re down, we have to keep going,” Riley said. 

“Some growth happened during the game,” head coach Minoso Rodgers added. “Guys realized they belong on the field. We still had some hiccups, but these are things we can fix.”

In terms of positives from Thursday, the team was able to show glimpses of their offense with 165 total yards. Senior quarterback Henry Reid led the team in both passing and rushing, by going five for ten with 81 yards and 16 total yards on the ground.

Reid also delivered a 38-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Zaire Richardson, who contributed 78 yards receiving on four receptions. This was the first score by the Tigers this season. Fellow senior quarterback Ward Dieterle contributed 57 yards on six of his own passes in 12 attempts. 

“I knew [Richardson] was going to be open,” said Reid. “Before the snap, I dropped back and [senior running back] Hassan Parrish made a nice block, and I threw it down the field.”

The reality is the Tigers have struggled to get going on offense, as that has held the team back after two weeks. Now leaving behind their week two game, the team believes they have made strides forward. 

“We were able to throw the ball around a bit more [last] week,” offensive coordinator Mark Mullen said. “We had a couple big plays— we just need to work on doing the small things better. Making the correct first steps, maintaining blocks [and] coming off the ball with urgency.” 

Coach Rodgers added, “[it’s all about the] fundamentals. When you’re growing as a team, you can’t get ahead of the fundamentals. You can’t put the cart before the horse, [and] you can’t get the end product before you work through it,” he said. 

Movement on The Tigers’ statement year has continued to sit idle now entering week three of the season. The team believes their chance to grab their first win starts when they return home on Friday against Paul Public Charter School. 

“We’re going to take things one week at a time, Paul is coming into the jungle and they’re the only team we’re looking at,” Rodgers continued. “We’re going to go in fundamentally sound, looking for a clean game on Friday, tackling, protecting the football and blocking well,” he said. 

Both the Tigers and Paul Pirates will look to collect their first win of the season. Jackson-Reed will look to jump-start their “statement” by looking to get in the win column against the Pirates(0-2) on Friday, at 6 p.m., on Horace Fleming III Field. 

Although rain is a possibility against Paul, senior center and defensive tackle Cam Powers kept things simple ahead of their week three matchup, emphasizing, “Friday is [truly] a must win game.”

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About the Contributor
Justin Glenn
Justin Glenn, Sports Editor
Justin is a sports fanatic.. you’ll most likely see him with a baseball cap of some sort throughout the hallways. If he isn’t writing about high school sports, he’s likely watching a D.C. sports team, NASCAR or some other professional league in his free time. Outside of sports, he enjoys the outdoors and watching Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, besides that, he’s an average out-going person.
  • 2023-24: Assistant Sports Editor
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