BEAVERTON, Ore. – Union coach Cale Piland stressed all week as his team prepped to face nationally-ranked Jesuit that the Titans had to play error-free football to have a chance at the upset.
One play into Friday’s game at Jesuit’s Cronin Field, that plan went up in smoke.
AJ Glass forced a fumble on Union’s opening play, then the Crusaders junior dragged two defenders into the end zone on the very next play — the first of his five touchdowns as Jesuit went on to a 48-12 victory.
Union (1-1) had three first-half turnovers and watched Jesuit (2-0) sprint out to a 41-6 halftime lead en route to the 400th victory in the school’s 54-year history.
“They’re one of the top teams on the West Coast,” Piland said of the Crusaders, ranked No. 1 in Oregon and No. 91 in the nation by Rivals.com. “With as many (Division I) players as they have, we knew we had to play a flawless game, and instead we played a flawed first half. When you do that, the results speak for themselves.”
One of those D-1 players is Glass, a 6-foot-1, 197-pound tailback running behind three D-1 recruits on the offensive line. He finished with 227 yards on 32 carries, many of them bursting untouched into the secondary.
“He’s a hard runner, and he’s hard to take down,” said Union senior Trent Cowan, who had a team-high 12 tackles at safety. “I commend him on his performance. He put on a great show.”
The Titans had a flicker of hope midway through the first quarter when Cowan turned a middle screen into a 64-yard touchdown, cutting the Jesuit lead to 14-6 with 4:55 left.
But Union fumbled the ball on each of its next two possessions, and the Crusaders cashed each in for touchdowns to take control for good.
Still, both Piland and Cowan took away positives from the second half, when Union kept Jesuit’s first stringers in check until late in the game.
“We don’t see that level of play around here too often,” said Cowan, who had four catches for 114 yard and two TDs. “But the second half, we played them even. That was the challenge at halftime. We could give up, or we could fight. We fought, and we’ll be a better team for it.”
JESUIT 48, UNION 12
Union 6 0 6 0–12
Jesuit 21 20 0 7–48
J — AJ Glass 11 run (Patrick Carley kick)
J — Glass 5 run (Carley kick)
U — Trent Cowan 64 pass from Nolan Henry (kick failed)
J — Trent Werner 40 pass from Christian Martinek (Carley kick)
J — Glass 4 run (Carley kick)
J — Werner 52 run (kick failed)
J — Glass 4 run (Carley kick)
U — Cowan 3 pass from Henry (kick failed)
J — Glass 6 run (Carley kick)
RUSHING — Union: Leon Siofele 11-52, Treve Ensley 8-24, Henry 4-(minus 5), James Munson 1-0, Alex Berfanger 1-3. Jesuit: Glass 32-227, Martinek 6-8, Buddy Webb 3-64, Werner 1-52, Alex Bolton 2-6, Josh Anderson 1-2, Joey Alfieri 1-3.
PASSING — Union: Henry 12-24-0-185. Jesuit: Martinek 3-7-0-58.
RECEIVING — Union: Cowan 4-114, Ensley 3-29, Siofele 2-25, Bryce Evans 2-9, Micah Merfeld 1-8. Jesuit: Werner 1-40, Alfieri 1-14, Henry Mondeaux 1-4.