NJSP blasts past Falcons in 2nd half

WALKERTON — John Glenn’s football team dodged a number of first-half bullets against North Judson-San Pierre Friday.
In the second half, though, the host Falcons felt the full force of the Bluejays’ assault on both sides of the line.
Starting with Tim Stasiek’s 62-yard interception return of a deflected throw in the first possession of the second half and accelerated by junior quarterback Caston Sanchez’s 91-yard touchdown pass to Eric Beckman on third and long, North Judson fired off 28 third-frame points and ran away with a 41-15 season-opening win over the Falcons.
“It was a winnable game the first half,” Glenn head coach Justin Bogunia, whose team trailed 13-7 at the intermission, said. “We had some good defensive stands in the first half, otherwise it could have easily been 26-7.
“Then we gave up a pick 6 in the first drive of the second half and then it compounded on us. It’s human nature; we start getting down on ourselves. There’s no excuse for giving up a 90-yard touchdown pass on third and forever.”
Defensively, the Jays held Glenn to minus 16 yards of total offense in the third quarter.
“We missed some opportunities in the first half; 13-7 is not what we had a chance to have it, and we talked about that at halftime,” North Judson head coach Kevin Cox said. “To score on defense to start the third quarter was huge; it was the turning point of the game. That gave us a two-possession lead, and Glenn was having trouble moving the ball.
“Defensively we played extremely well,” he added. “We were very physical. We did a good job in run defense and created turnovers. I thought that side of the ball played extremely well.”
Sanchez threw for 130 yards — all to Beckman — including a 10-yard go-ahead strike to give North Judson a 13-7 lead with 21.1 seconds left in the first frame. Sanchez also recorded the game’s first score with a 53-yard scamper.
North Judson’s Wes Derflinger finished with a game-leading 70 yards rushing on 12 carries, led by a 49-yard run in the third frame. Bayland Brown capped off the Jays’ offensive explosion with a 7-yard blast to make it a 41-7 game with 34.7 seconds left in the third stanza.
“Offensively it took us a while to click,” Cox said. “Caston Sanchez is a good football player. We had some protection issues early. We dropped some passes that should have gone for scores. We just weren’t in synch. We have a quarterback that throws and runs well and some good receivers. When we’re all playing the way we should we’ll be a tough team to defend.”
For the Falcons, Derek Hiler rushed for 47 yards, highlighted by a 6-yard run to knot the score at 7-all with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
In Glenn’s final possession, sophomore second-string quarterback Cameron Mester marched the Falcons down the field and plunged in from 1 yard, and then hit Jake Strong for the 2-point conversion.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that this was their first varsity game; we’ve got a lot of seniors that this was their first varsity game,” Bogunia said. “We’re going to take our lumps. Offensively we’ve got to get some consistency. We just couldn’t get first downs. If we could’ve gotten some first downs we might have been able to stay in the game.
“Hiler ran well, and we’re going to see more of (Adam) Dodson, a sophomore,” he added. “I saw some good things out of (Zach) Combs, another sophomore. I thought Mester came in at the end of the game and took control, and he’s a sophomore.”
Glenn opens Northern State Conference play next Friday at Jimtown, while North Judson hosts county rival Knox.
At Walkerton
Score by quarters
North Judson: 13 0 28 0 — 41
John Glenn: 7 0 0 8 — 15
Scoring summary
First quarter
NJ — Caston Sanchez 53 run (David Jachim kick), 6:24.
JG — Derek Hiler 6 run (Michael Schmeltz kick), 3:19.
NJ — Eric Beckman 10 pass from Sanchez (kick failed), 21.1
Third quarter
NJ — Tim Stasiek 62 INT (Wes Derflinger run), 10:57.
NJ — Derflinger 49 run (kick failed), 7:43.
NJ — Beckman 91 pass from Sanchez (Jachim kick), 4:26.
NJ — Bayland Brown 7 run (Jachim kick), 34.7
Fourth quarter
JG — Cameron Mester 1 run (Jake Strong pass from Mester), 1:11.
North Judson stats
Rushing: 36 carries for 226 yards (Derflinger 12-70, Sanchez 13-69, Michael Minix 1-56, Keaton Leszek 3-17, Bayland Brown 4-16, Evan Howard 1-1, Mavrick Pitts 2-(minus)2.
Passing: Sanchez 3-7, 130 yards
Receiving: Beckman 3-130
First downs: 12
Fumbles-lost: 3-2
Punts: 2-31.5
Penalties: 3-35
Tackles: Howard 9
John Glenn stats
Rushing: 39 carries for 68 yards (Hiler 13-47, Adam Dodson 5-22, Zach Combs 4-14, Cameron Mester 4-12, Chase Bierly 1-1, Schmeltz 8-(minus)5, Kyle Liedtky 4(minus)23.)
Passing: Liedtky 3-5-2, 34 yards; Mester 1-3, 6 yards
Receiving: Schmeltz 2-39, Ryan Price 1-6, Dodson 1-6.
First downs: 8
Fumbles-lost: 3-1
Punts: 5-27
Penalties: 3-30
Tackles: Dodson 7.
Records: North Judson 1-0, John Glenn 0-1.