Update: Due to points totals and head-to-heads, Stringer has not clinched a payoff berth. Title and article has been updated to reflect that.
Forty-two first-half points led by Omarion Bridges' three first-half touchdowns (two rushing scores, one reception) and Jared Hosey's two interceptions gave them a comfortable victory. Stringer can lock up the third seed spot with a win against Richton next Friday evening.
Head coach Morris Cascio was pleased with how his team played and happy that his team has clinched postseason play in his first season as head coach of the Red Devils.
"It is a big win for us. We came into the week and just got ready. Nothing else. We continued from our success last week. The guys were fired up. They knew we had to come down here and get a good win. I feel like we set ourselves up in a good position to go to Richton next weekend and secure third place for sure. That's what I'm going to keep repeating to our kids is we've got to win that ballgame."
Stringer started quick, with a three-play drive that saw Bridges score his first touchdown from five yards out.
The next series cornerback Jared Hosey stepped up, picking off an errant pass giving the ball back to the Stringer offense.
Jack Parker saw his first pass completion of the night result in a touchdown as he found junior Landon Duckworth on a 22-yard passing touchdown.
With under three minutes to play in the first quarter, Parker found Bridges on a 25-yard passing play on fourth down to go up 21-0 on Sacred Heart after the successful PAT.
With under one minute left in the first quarter, Hosey grabbed his second interception of the evening and stalled a Crusaders drive, taking the ball to the Sacred Heart 11-yard line. One play later, Cooper Rogers scored to give Stringer a 28-0 lead.
Jorian Sampson and Bridges both scored in the second quarter on rushing plays, giving the Red Devils a 42-0 lead as the halftime whistle sounded.
Stringer did not score during the second half, but the Crusaders were able to put points on the board and avoid the shutout as Anthony Boyette scored from seven yards out with 1:31 to play in the contest. A successful PAT made it 42-7, the final score.
Cascio discussed getting to the playoffs in his first season as the head football coach.
"It is huge. Especially with a young team like we have. We have four seniors and a slew of juniors that didn't get a lot of playing time last year. They have shown up this year and it pays dividends to our program, the assistant coaches, and the community. We have so much community support and I'm thankful for them."
His defense nearly pitched a shutout and they have performed well over the past few weeks. Cascio discussed how they've played and how well Hosey has played throughout the season.
"Coach Fall is our defensive coordinator and he makes our guys go. Coach Weathers is another assistant who takes our guys off to the side and goes through drills to make sure they can catch well. Hosey is a young guy that is going to be a good, valuable player for this team the next couple of years.”
Stringer (6-5, 5-2) will face Richton (6-5, 4-3) on the road next week as they battle for third place in Region 4-1A.
Player of the Game
Sophomore cornerback Jared Hosey’s two interceptions in the first half stalled any drives that Sacred Heart hoped to make to attempt to catch up in the game.
Quote of the Night
“You did exactly what I asked you to do and you put yourselves one notch closer to our goal for the season. Great job. Way to come out, we took the ball and marched down the field as we wanted.” - Morris Cascio, Stringer head coach