Big plays were the killer for the Walsh Jesuit football team Oct. 12 in a 53-3 loss at North Coast League Blue Division rival Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.
The Warriors dropped to 0-8 overall and 0-3 in the Blue Division.
"The kids didn’t seem ready to play," said Walsh interim head coach Andy Thomas. "Things progressively snowballed as the game went on. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin was just the better team.
"Every team that we play has more athletes and more talented kids than we do. That’s just where we are right now in the program. We just don’t match up well with anybody."
It didn’t help matters that Walsh was without its head coach. Thomas replaced head coach Scott Beigie at halftime of a home loss the week before to Parma Padua Franciscan.
Beigie stepped down from his position for the rest of the season due to health concerns. Thomas has retained his defensive coordinator duties while serving as head coach.
It remains to be seen whether Beigie will return as head coach in 2019.
In the loss to Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin, the Lions took a 6-0 lead on the very first play from scrimmage, a 58-yard pass from Nick Gattozzi to David Martin-Kosier.
Gattozzi then ran for a five-yard touchdown and a 13-0 Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin lead.
Walsh pulled to within 13-3 after one quarter when junior Caroline Flessner kicked a 32-yard field goal.
"That kick probably would’ve been good from 35 yards," said Thomas. "For a young lady, she’s got a pretty strong leg."
The home team upped its lead to 27-3 in the second quarter on one- and 58-yard touchdown runs by Gattozzi.
Gattozzi then completed a 96-yard touchdown pass to Martin-Kosier to increase the Lions’ lead to 34-3.
Jack Robinson’s 18-yard touchdown run made it 41-3 at halftime.
In the third quarter Gattozzi was at it again, scoring on a 50-yard run to give Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin a 47-3 lead.
For good measure, Jon Sharp threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Nguyen in the fourth quarter for the game’s final points.
The Lions outgained Walsh in total yards 640-151.
Walsh junior quarterback Cameron Mayes was 5-of-13 for 52 yards with an interception.
"The first two or three passes, Cameron got his feet set quick and got the ball out pretty well," said Thomas. "He’s been hit, though, so many darn times that he just gets antsy back there, and I don’t blame him.
"When there’s a pocket, he’s got to learn to sit in there because, more times than not, there are open receivers who he can hit. When he sets his feet and throws, he’s pretty good."
Senior running back Tommy Cummings rushed the ball 11 times for 66 yards, including a 30-yarder, and had two receptions for 14 yards, including a 17-yarder.
"Tommy was outstanding," Thomas said. "He probably had the best game individually of anyone. He played his butt off.
"He’s got some moves that, when he’s out in the open and cuts, he’s pretty agile. He did a very nice job."
Senior wide receiver Vince Rizzo had two receptions for 32 yards, including a 19-yarder from Mayes.
Senior defensive back Tevin Watkins led the way with six tackles.
Sophomore defensive end Bobby Perebzak recorded five tackles, including one for a loss.
Junior linebacker Adam Salek and sophomore linebacker Alex Sullin each had four tackles. One of Salek’s was for a loss. Senior linebacker Vince Sutton had three tackles.
Walsh was scheduled to host Akron Archbishop Hoban Oct. 19 on Senior Night. The Warriors are scheduled to travel to face Cleveland Benedictine Oct. 26 in the season finale.