The Walsh Jesuit football team stayed right with North Coast League Blue Division rival Akron Archbishop Hoban, one of the best teams in Ohio, Friday at home on Senior Night – but only for a quarter.
After trailing the Knights just 7-6 entering the second quarter, the outmanned Warriors watched Hoban explode for three touchdowns in both the second and third quarters en route to a 51-6 victory.
Walsh fell to 0-9 overall and 0-4 in the Blue Division.
"We were playing against, more than likely, the best team in the state in any division," said Walsh interim head coach Andy Thomas. "We were competitive even into the second quarter.
"Hoban just has so much talent. You’ve got to give our kids credit. They played hard, they played with heart and they fought the whole game. You can’t ask for much more than that."
Hoban took a 7-0 first-quarter lead when Marquette Fikes scored on a 27-yard run.
Walsh pulled to within a point after one quarter on a 43-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Cameron Mayes to senior wide receiver Tevin Watkins.
"That was a great pass," said Thomas. "Cameron was right on, he got back, he set his feet and got rid of the ball, which we knew he had to do with the rush that Hoban provides.
"Tevin came across the middle, Cam hit him in stride, and Tevin just split the secondary and took it right into the end zone."
In the second quarter, Hoban upped its lead to 21-6 on six- and two-yard touchdown runs by Fikes. A 14-yard touchdown run made the score 28-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter, William Harrison returned a pass by Mayes 50 yards for a touchdown for a 35-6 Knights advantage.
A three-yard touchdown run by Matt Blanchard and a 37-yard touchdown run by Kobe Campbell had Hoban on top 49-6 after three quarters.
A fourth-quarter safety for the Knights accounted for the game’s final points.
Mayes was 5-of-8 for 106 yards.
"Cameron had a very good night," Thomas said. "When he gets back and sets and throws, he’s very good. That’s when he’s at his best."
Senior running back Tommy Cummings had 20 rushes for 52 yards, including a 24-yarder.
"Tommy did a nice job," said the coach. "He gives us another dimension in the backfield. He moves real well and he’s got pretty darn good speed."
Watkins had three receptions for 63 yards.
"When Tevin is on, he’s on," Thomas said. "He catches the ball very well. He catches it in traffic and is not afraid to go across the middle."
Junior tight end Joe El Biri had a 34-yard catch from Mayes.
Senior linebacker Vince Sutton had seven tackles, including one for a loss, and a sack.
"Vince played pretty well," said Thomas. "He had to step in and replace one of our starters who was out with an injury. He made some plays."
Sophomore defensive end Bobby Perebzak had five tackles, while senior defensive back Vince Rizzo totaled four tackles, including one for a loss.
Walsh is scheduled to oppose Blue Division rival Cleveland Benedictine in Bedford Friday at 7 p.m. in the season finale.