GAME FOUR: Hotze Field inside Granger Stadium
Eagle Football 42
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Quarterback Peyton Matocha ‘19 twice tag-teamed with Parker Nelms ‘18 for touchdowns in a 42-point first-half avalanche that included scoring plays from offense, defense and special teams as the Eagles pounded Pasadena for the first St. Thomas head coaching win for Rich McGuire.
The first of two short-range touchdowns from wide out suddenly turned running back Blaine McDaniel ‘18 was followed by a scoop-and-score touchdown from defensive back Jackson Reece ‘18 on Pasadena’s first offensive snap.
On the ensuing kickoff following Pasadena’s only touchdown before liberal St. Thomas substitution in the second half, defensive back Brandon Hondros ‘19 bolted from the left corner to the middle of a congested pack, and back to the left sideline to race untouched 95 yards to the end zone and a commanding 21-7 advantage.
Matocha then dialed-up Nelms with a pair of scoring tosses in the second period, and in the face of absolute Red & White superiority, the white flag was effectively raised to the skies before halftime.
Head Coach Rich McGuire
“More than the final score this win represents the resiliency and guts of our guys. They buy-in and they battle. They really needed some positive results after what has been an eight-week grind … through fall practice … the interruption with Hurricane Harvey … injuries … adversity in so many forms. And they have never wavered. This group really deserved a night like this.”
Reece responded with his career-best performance that only began with the momentum infused fumble return for points.
In Pasadena’s next offensive possession, he batted down two long passing attempts while in iso coverage, added a third break-up in the next defensive series that forced a punt deep in Pasadena territory, and then added an interception on the final play of the first half with Eagle Football in firm control by 35 points.
“They attacked Jackson and he showed without question he was up for the challenge. His technique is unbelievable … has really honed his craft … obviously working with (former University of Houston standout and nine-year NFL cornerback) Stanford Routt is a huge factor. But give Jackson all the credit for championship work ethic. We work turnover drills heavy in practice and he took that mentality to the game. And to the end zone.”
The junior quarterback in this 15th consecutive start consistently poured sauce all over an overmatched Pasadena defense.
In the first offensive set of the game, Matocha capitalized on a clean pocket to find Nelms for 20 yards and later motored for 15 yards in a drive that McDaniel capped from the one-yard line for 7-0.
Operating with a 21-7 cushion in the second period, Matocha scrambled for 42 yards on a third-and-13, and two snaps later delivered to Nelms in stride alone to the end zone from 37 yards for 28-7.