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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 sink Paul Pirates for their First Win of the Season

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS AT CARDOZO: L to R: #9 Cam Butler, #2 Mnason Wilson and #11 Brody Ryan.
(Jaden Jones)

The Jackson-Reed football team played away from home, due to a light outage. However, the Tigers generated electricity of their own— in a 56-0 win over Paul Public Charter School. 

Throughout last week a bad electrical breaker controlling the stadium lights was out of commission. This forced the Tigers to play at Francis L. Cardozo Education campus. Even with an alternate site, the Paul Pirates were no match as Jackson-Reed recorded their largest margin of victory in a game since beating Anacostia High School in 2017. 

On the very first play, junior running back and cornerback Scott Mesiah provided a spark with a 80-yard kickoff return touchdown, putting the Tigers up 7-0. The Tigers then forced the Pirates to punt, and the ball was spotted just across mid-field. The JR offense marched down the field, and on a quarterback scramble, senior Henry Reid eluded the Pirates pass-rush. He fought his way into the endzone on a 18-yard run, putting the Tigers on top 14-0. 

“I missed an open receiver before I took off,” said Reid.  “I would have liked to [have had that back]. I took off and just wanted to get into the endzone.”

Continuing to puncture the Pirates’ offense, the Tigers defense forced another Paul punt. The kick from the Pirates’ own endzone was blocked and recovered for a touchdown by sophomore linebacker Alex Ouzts. Following a successful two point conversion, the lead was 22-0. 

TIGERS ON DEFENSE: Pictured: #7 Messiah Peddie and #50 Casey Wood.
(Jaden Jones)

The Pirates received the ball back, but senior offensive and defensive tackle, captain Casey Wood forced a fumble, which was recovered by fellow senior defensive tackle Will Howze. With the Tigers back on offense, senior running back Hassan Parrish scored on a 31-yard rushing touchdown, bringing the score to 29-0 at the end of the first quarter. 

The Tigers forced another Pirates three and out and the special teams unit hit the field once again. Ouzts blocked his second punt of the game, and the Tigers recovered the ball at the Pirates’ six yardline. Junior running back and outside linebacker Aidan Giles scored on a pitch-play which put the Tigers up 36-0, starting the running clock, where time only stops for injuries.

The Tigers went on to score three more touchdowns, with one rushing score by the senior Parrish, giving the Tigers a 43-0 lead at halftime. Jackson-Reed continued to pour into their demolition derby on the Pirates and scored twice more, leading to a final score of 56-0. 

“It builds momentum against a team we knew we could beat,” said senior linebacker, long-snapper Aidan Riley, one of the team’s three captains. “We need to keep the momentum going as next week approaches,” he said. 

Head coach Minoso Rodgers added, “when you’re playing a lesser team, the results show, [but] we went out and accomplished that task of [winning}. One of the things on Friday that the guys had to understand is, it’s not about the other team or the scoreboard,” he said.

“It’s about how are we preparing ourselves to play this season out. Are we getting better each week?”

Due to Friday night’s results, this is the earliest the Tigers have won a game in a season since 2018. Although the Tigers had to play away from Jackson-Reed due to a bad breaker switch on the stadium lights, the team is now 1-1 when playing as the ‘home’ team this season. 

Junior  Scott Mesiah, who finished Friday night with a touchdown against Paul added, “We showed what we can do, we came and did what we knew we could do all along. We showed that we can meet expectations.” 

“It’s time for us to keep moving forward and show these other teams what Jackson-Reed football is about,” Mesiah continued. 

It has been a struggle for the Tigers since the school year started. The team displayed the changes they’ve implemented over the course of the past week by prioritizing the fundamentals—blocking, tackling and protecting the football. Now heading into St. Albans, with these practice-to-game philosophies, the Tigers are hopeful fundamental mistakes won’t occur on Saturday.

“We came back focused [from Yorktown] and had a very intense [last week of] practice,” said defensive coordinator Tim Gerald. “We battled. I knew it was going to translate in the game, and it showed on the field.”

The Tigers forced two fumbles, blocked four punts, and limited the Paul Pirates to 16 total yards. Focusing this week on St. Albans game-prep, the Tigers are looking to eliminate mental errors against better competition this weekend.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Tigers had 14 total plays with six touchdowns, but only 159 total yards. Going 4 for 6 passing for 63 yards, Reid had two total touchdowns, one rushing and throwing. Hassan Parrish and Aidan Giles both had two scores on the ground, with 33 and 47 yards respectively. In similar fashion against Yorktown two weeks ago, the downfield connection from Reid to junior wide receiver Zaire Richardson struck again on a 22-yard pass for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. 

The quarterback Reid added, “We did some good things we needed to improve on. [Personally] I need to get better on my reads and making the easy plays.”

“[It] was nice to get rolling this week,” offensive coordinator Mark Mullen added. “[We] cleaned up a lot of mistakes, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. “I was very happy with the work the team put in [last] week, the results were evident. We need to keep getting better and more confident. The rest will take care of itself.” 

The work the Tigers have put in towards their “statement season,” is just getting started, but their game against Paul Public Charter can be deemed more as a confidence builder. The morale barrier of getting in the win column for the first time has dropped, meaning the team can continue to make strides forward on their winning goals. Senior Casey Wood said it all: “look at [Friday night’s] scoreboard.”

The team continues to keep looking ahead, as their Friday win was important, but doesn’t fully decide the path forward. The Tigers return home on Horace Fleming III Field, looking to maintain a winning streak for the first time since October of last season.  

Jackson-Reed will take on the private St. Albans School (NW), in their final non-league matchup. Kickoff against the Bulldogs (0-2) is Saturday, September 16, at 12:00 p.m.

“It’s going to be a big environment, we’ve had battles with St. Albans in [various Jackson-Reed athletics], and for football we’ll have that Saturday afternoon,” said coach Rodgers. “They’ll come in well coached and well disciplined, [we’re] going to have to be the team that puts it all together this week.”•

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About the Contributors
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
Jaden Jones, Photo Editor
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