Toledo St. John’s beats rival St. Francis; makes D-I playoffs


St. John’s 37, St. Francis 7
Toledo St. John’s has struggled for the past three weeks as they saw their once good season coming apart. Losses to Whitmer and Start and a poor performance against Waite, ended hopes of a City League title. The playoffs were slipping away as well until Frday. Led by unlikely hero, senior Ryan Ball, the Titans routed arch-rival, Toledo St. Francis 37-7.

TOLEDO – The Toledo St. John’s Titans have struggled for the past three weeks as they saw their once good season coming apart. First came the loss to Whitmer, a mediocre performance against a winless Waite team, and, finally, an upset loss to Start. A City League title was gone and a state playoff berth was becoming unlikely but, alas, along came a unlikely hero, senior Ryan Ball to keep the Titans’ playoff chances alive as he led his team to a big 37-7 victory over arch-rival, Toledo St. Francis on Friday.

According to predictions, the Titans are in the Division I, Region 2 postseason.

It had been a tough week for St. John’s. Outside circumstances resulted in the loss of their top two tailbacks and the remaining possibilities were untested and relying upon a young and inexperienced back in the special pressures present in a St. John’s-St. Francis game was unrealistic. TSJ coach Doug Pearson and his staff determined that a young man built more like a fullback than a tailback was the answer and, fortunately for the Titans, the coaching staff was right. Ball got the call and responded with 227 yards and three TDS on 27 carries.

“Ball ran like a man possessed,” Pearson said.

“It was a great night. The offensive line was just awesome,” Ball said. “They were really opening up the holes. All I had to do was carry the ball. They did the real work.”

As impressive as Ball’s individual performance was it was only a part of an overall outstanding night for the St. John’s team. The Titans overwhelmed the Knights in every phase of the game.

The Knights did not get on the scoreboard until the final five minutes of the game and until Knight senior Chris Weiland scored on a 67-yard run the Titans had amassed 364 yards in total offense to only 60 total yards for the Knights.

Ball was not the only offensive star for the Titans. Junior quarterback Walt Anderson shared in the dominance provided by St. John’s offensive line. Anderson passed infrequently, nine times, but effectively, four completions for 34 yards and a touchdown, and ran for an additional 99 yards.

After the game Ball could not say enough about the efforts of his offensive line but saved his highest praise for his entire team.

“We have been through a lot this week,” Ball said. “Coach Pearson reminded us that we are a family and that we need to stay together. I guess we did.”

The Titans improve to 6-4, while St. Francis finishes 5-5.

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