Titans aiming for final City League titleWritten by Chris Schmidbauer | | firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a rumor going around that St. John’s Jesuit football coach Doug Pearson said that his 2010 team was the best Titans team he has coached since 2001. If Pearson did say it, that’s news to him.
“I never said that,” he said with a laugh. “For my money, the best St. Johns team was that 2003 team that went to the state final four. Until a team reaches that level in the playoffs, then they are not the best team I have coached here.”
Even if it isn’t true, Pearson’s Titans are doing their best to prove that they are indeed the best football team in Northwest Ohio.
The Titans were picked to finish third in the City League this season behind Central Catholic and Whitmer, but after four games, St. John’s looks like the team to beat in the league’s final season as it is currently comprised.
“We have played well so far,” Pearson said. “This team has great chemistry and I have been impressed with what they have done so far, but we still have to work to keep getting better.”
The Titans’ undefeated start has been due in large part to the play of sophomore quarterback Brogan Roback. While many sophomores are still riding the bench, Roback has taken the reigns of one of the most potent offenses in the area and looked good doing it. It is something that he is thankful for everyday.
“I am truly blessed,” he said. “Coach Pearson has faith in me, and he has always thought highly of me. I know he took a big risk by putting me in there, and hopefully it continues to work out for the best.”
St. John’s is coming off their most dominant performance to date, beating arch rival St. Francis de Sales 42-10 at BGSU’s Doyt Perry Stadium on September 17. The Titans jumped out to a 21-3 lead early on and never looked back.
Roback was one of the key contributors, completing seven of eight passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, St. John’s scored on all but three of their possessions in the ball game. The lopsided final score was a surprise to many in the area, including the Titans.
“St. Francis is a good football team, but some felt that they might be better for playing a tougher schedule than us to that point,” Pearson said. “We challenged our kids to come out early and remove all doubt who was the better team and put them away early. I felt like we did that last week.”
Roback felt that the game was won last week during the Titans’ practices leading up to the big game.
“We worked hard to be prepared and we were very confident heading into that game that we had a good football team,” he said. “They are a good team, but I felt confident with the teammates around me that we would come out on top.”
Despite winning handily last week, coach Pearson and the rest of Titans know that the job is far from over to win a City League championship, something the team has not won outright in Pearson’s tenure as head coach.
St. John’s still has matchups left against Whitmer (3-1, 1-0 CL) on September 24, and they close out the season on the road against Central Catholic (4-0, 1-0 CL) on October 29.
Pearson said to make it through a grueling City League season, the Titans must continue to improve in every facet of the game.
“Even though we won last week, I still found plenty of things that we needed to work on in order to keep getting better,” he said. “There is room for improvement on both sides of the ball, and we are always working on those things to be better.”
Roback said that he and his teammates need to continue to work hard in practice in order to reach their ultimate goal.
“We just need to stay prepared and keep executing the way we have been. If we do that we can be successful.”
The sophomore will do all he can to make sure the senior class goes out with a final City League championship.
“We have leaned on them a bunch in the past,” Roback said. “We would like to come through for them and send them out as champions.”
Chris Schmidbauer is sports editor for Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com. He is also the co-host of the “Odd Couple Sports Show” on Fox Sports Radio 1230 WCWA and can be heard every weekday from at 10 a.m. to noon. He can also be seen weekly on the “Friday Night Frenzy Tailgate Show” on NBC 24.