Arts & Entertainment

Jaguars Shut Out Homecoming Foe

Falls Church High School FootballFalls Church H.S. — 17,   Washington-Lee H.S. — 0

As Saturday afternoon’s grayish skies started to clear, the Falls Church Jaguars continued to cause a storm on the football field, blanking visiting Washington-Lee 17-0 to cap off homecoming weekend.

The victory, which evens the team’s record at 2-2, featured a dominating defensive effort for the Jaguars, who recorded their first shutout of the season.

“The defense did a great job putting pressure on today,” said head coach Anthony Parker. “It has been a sore point in the past, but we have some special players on defense.”

Led by outstanding play from right tackle Matt Gorman, the Jaguars delivered a punishing effort on Generals quarterback Alex Wick, sacking him 10 times and garnering three interceptions.  In addition to Gorman’s five sacks and 10 tackles, sophomore Marvin Gonzalez had eight tackles and senior Alan DeGracia had seven.  The Jaguars ended the game with three consecutive sacks.

On the other side of the ball junior running back Miles Hurkamp got the offense rolling early, running 27 yards into the end zone at 8:18 in the first quarter.

However the Jaguar offense was plagued by penalties and miscues in the first half, and despite multiple chances in the red zone struggled to convert.  After several attempts into the end zone, the Jags turned to junior Ralph Porteria, who connected for a 31 yard field goal to put Falls Church up 10-0 at the half.

“The silly mistakes have cost us before in the games that we have lost,” said Parker, whose halftime speech focused on keeping his team fighting.

“We’ve been up by two scores at the half before,” said Parker, “It was important to keep playing hard and keep them from scoring.”

The Jaguars did just that, coming up with critical stops and forcing the Generals to punt on nearly every possession.  A key interception by DeGracia and a Generals fumble recovered by senior James Addy kept the Washington-Lee offense out of the end zone early in the game, and the second half proved no different.

After a scoreless third quarter from both sides, the Generals began to gain momentum early in the fourth, moving downfield as Wicks connected to tight end Tony Astudillo downfield.   The threat was squelched when Demetrius Roberson stopped Wicks at the line of scrimmage.  Wicks was sacked on the next play by Gorman and hit in the backfield by Hurkamp and Gonzalez on fourth down to keep the Generals at bay.

Wicks finished 20 for 37 on the day, passing for a solid 186 yards, despite facing constant pressure. Astudillo led the Generals with 69 yards on 8 receptions while also causing trouble for the Jaguars offense, compiling 11 tackles and five assists.

Senior Gabriel Eusebio led the Jaguars run game, compiling 136 yards on eight carries, including a thrilling 20 yard run off a reverse handoff from quarterback Yousef Khatib.  The wide receiver also had five catches, including a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, to put the game out of reach.

Senior quarterback Yousef Khatib  rushed for 48 yards and was 12 for 21 in the air, passing for 143 yards including Eusebio’s touchdown.  

Next up, the Jaguars travel to Mount Vernon to face a physical Majors team on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“It was important to remind the guys that homecoming was for the fans, and to concentrate on the game,” Parker said. “We told them in practice and today that their focus was football.”

A focus which left Jaguar fans with another crown on their homecoming.