By Michael Finnegan / Special Contributor
Suddenly that 0-3 nondistrict start looks like a distant memory for Jesuit.
John Wunderlick and Evan Jackson combined for 338 rushing yards and four touchdowns to lead the Rangers past Skyline 53-12 on Friday at Postell Stadium.
The Rangers (3-3, 3-0), who faced a brutal nondistrict schedule with losses to DeSoto, Plano East, and Lake Travis, are now the lone undefeated team in District 9-6A play.
“We executed well in all three facets of the game,” said Jesuit head coach Brandon Hickman. “That started with our ground game, which carried us.”
Jesuit established the rushing game early, and once Wunderlick got rolling, the Rangers never looked back.
The Rangers had good field position to begin the game and marched down the field with several runs between the tackles by Jackson. Skyline came up with a big stop on third-and-goal from the 6-yard line, and Jesuit had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Israel Ollarzabal.
Jesuit went up 10-0 midway through the first quarter after a long drive was capped by quarterback Jacob Palisch’s 3-yard run.
“You have to give credit to the offensive line,” Hickman said. “They opened holes for our backs all night and that’s what we asked them to do.”
The Raiders (2-4, 2-1) sustained an 80-yard drive of their own on the ensuing possession, cutting the deficit to 10-6 when Velton Gardner connected with Jarvis Williams for a 34-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-9 play.
The extra-point attempt was blocked, however, and Billy Daly scooped the ball and returned it 92 yards to extend Jesuit’s lead to 12-6. That’s as close as the score got.
On third-and-2 with just over 10 minutes to play before the half, Jackson scampered 41 yards to increase Jesuit’s lead to 19-6.
The Rangers were about to score again late in third quarter but Palisch was intercepted at the Skyline 2-yard line. On the next play, Gardner raced 75 yards for a touchdown to make the score 19-12.
While Jackson shines in the first half, Wunderlick took over in the second, scoring three consecutive touchdowns on third-quarter runs of 22, 3, and 42 yards as the Rangers took a 50-12 lead.
The versatile Palisch, who has committed to Stanford on a baseball scholarship, threw for 90 yards, rushed for a score, and even caught a 47-yard pass from understudy Parker Towns in the second quarter.