by: Billy Derrick
First year Father Ryan Head Coach Brian Rector was looking forward to start off the new era of Irish football on a high note. Last night, Rector led his squad onto the campus of Hillwood High School attempting to make an early statement to prove to the rest of Division II-AA that they will not be taken lightly. Playing on a rain-soaked field, his players were able to produce a whopping 48-6 victory over Hillwood last night in the season opener.
Due to the wet conditions on the field, both teams found it extremely difficult to find success in the passing game. Therefore, the Irish heavily relied on the rushing attack while completing just one pass throughout the entire course of the game. The Irish were led by Senior QB Jay Shoop who rushed for two touchdowns and Junior RB Jackson Byrd, who rushed for three touchdowns. In the end, Father Ryan as an offense was able to rush for seven total touchdowns last night. It may not have been the most attractive or entertaining style of play but, the Irish feel like their talent in the backfield can take them a long way.
Defensively, the Irish were led by Patrick Beachom, George Hooker, Gray Erwin, and Seamus O’Connell. Linebackers Beachom and Hooker were making tackles all over the field the entire night against the opposing Toppers offense. Junior Gray Erwin and a pair of Sophomores Seamus O’Connell and Anthony Wright both had an interception a piece. The Irish defense was able to hold the Toppers offense to zero points in the first half and just six points the entire game.
After a huge season opening win over Hillwood last night, the Irish are now headed home to Giacosa Stadium as they get set host Clarksville Northeast in a 7pm kickoff next Friday night.