St. Joseph quarterback Blake Jaeckels carved up the Atascadero defense Friday night to the tune of four touchdowns and led the Knights to a 26-16 win in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs.
Jaeckles threw for one touchdowns and ran for two more and finished the game with 262 yards passing. St. Joseph receiver C.J. Cole caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jaeckels and fumbled a 27-yard catch and run into the endzone, but that was recovered by a teammate. It was that kind of night. Cole finished with nine catches for 94 yards.
Stopping Marc Martin: The St. Joseph defense held Martin, Atascadero’s leading rusher, to just 12 rushing yards in the second half and 48 yards in the game. Martin did score a touchdown on a 1-yard run in the second quarter to put Atascadero up 9-6. Atascadero running back R.J. Reusche did break a 77-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to give Atascadero a 16-12 lead before St. Joseph scored 14 unanswered points.
Atascadero Defense: St. Joseph knew that it was outmatched on the offensive line, so they came out throwing screens to wide receivers in the first half. The plan worked to perfection. The Greyhounds secondary struggled to make tackles on St. Joseph wideouts C.J. Cole and Justin Wong, and Jaeckles had 121 yards passing at halftime and a 12-9 lead. The defense did make some key stops, forcing a fumble and stoping the Knights inside the red zone, which resulted in a missed field goal, but it wasn’t enough.
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Atascadero Penalties: The Greyhounds offense struggled with penalties all night. A false start inside the 5-yard line in the first quarter that resulted in a field goal was costly but two penalties, one for intentional grounding and one for holding, in the fourth quarter killed Atascadero’s comeback attempt.