Otis’ huge night grounds Flyers after pivotal pickoff

OTIS, MY MAN: Shreve’s Jamarlon Otis ran for a school record 313 yards and three touchdowns. (Journal photo by KEVIN PICKENS)


Finding a game-changing moment in a football game isn’t always the easiest thing to pinpoint. Sometimes there are subtleties that only a coach might notice that can turn the game around.

And then there are games like Captain Shreve’s 37-7 win over Loyola Thursday night at Independence Stadium.

You might not think a 30-point win would have a game-changing moment and in the end, it might not have mattered. But in the span of two plays in the second, the game went from being in doubt to being far less in doubt.

Both teams started slowly, but the Flyers were able to hang close thanks to a blocked field goal, a fumble recovery and an interception.

When freshman quarterback Bryce Restovich was inserted into the game in the second quarter, the Loyola offense began to show signs of life. Trailing 10-0 at half, the Flyers were going to get the ball to start the second half.

But on the first play, Gators’ safety Davy Donatelli perfectly read a pass over the middle and came up with an interception. Two plays later, Jamarlon Otis was in the end zone and it was 17-0.

“That was big,” said Shreve coach Adam Kirby. “I don’t want to say that the game got out of hand, but that was a big blow.”

“I felt like if we came out and scored to start then second half and make it 10-7, they might press,” said Loyola coach Mike Greene.

Instead, the Gators kept going with what they did best – giving the ball to Otis. Shreve had a school rushing record with 441 yards and Otis certainly did his part, picking 313 of them – also a school record.

“I thought Jamarlon made some things happen,” Kirby said. “He broke some tackles and the line did a good job.”

There were no tackles to break in the fourth quarter when Otis went for an 80-yard touchdown to cap off his night and give Shreve its final score of the night.

“Getting the win is nice, but I don’t like the way we came out flat,” Kirby said. “There wasn’t a lot of energy. I would have hoped in the first game that wouldn’t be the case. I’m happy we got the win but I’m not real pleased.”

After Shreve built a 24-0 lead, the Flyers certainly didn’t lay down. Restovich, who had never thrown a varsity pass before Thursday, found sophomore Jake Black, who had never caught a varsity pass, on a slant route and outraced the Shreve secondary to end zone for a 58-yard score.

In the fourth quarter, the Flyers had two deep penetrations into Shreve territory but both ended with end zone interceptions by Shreve’s E.J. McDonald.

Restovich threw for more yards in the game than any Flyer freshman has thrown for in a season, completing 14 of 22 for 192 yards, but did have three interceptions.

“He’s still young so he going to make mistakes, but you’ve got to give him some experience,” Greene said. “He’s an athlete and he can make plays. But it’s tough to get that experience against a really good (Class) 5A school like that.”

Shreve will take on another District 1-2A opponent next week – a veteran-laden one — when they face Calvary Thursday night at Independence Stadium. Loyola will travel to Logansport Friday night. 

Contact JJ at johnjamesmarshall@yahoo.com

Captain Shreve 37, Loyola 7  

Score by quarters  

Loyola | 0 | 0 | 7 | 0 | — 7  

Captain Shreve | 8 | 2 | 20 | 7 | — 37   

Scoring summary  

CS – Jamarlon Otis 1 run (Keaton Flowers pass from Quortni Beaner)  

CS – Safety  

CS — Otis 16 run (Chance kick)  

CS – Beaner 3 run (Chance kick)  

LCP – Jake Black 58 pass from Bryce Restovich (Evan Lirette kick)  

CS – Beaner 7 run (kick failed)  

CS – Otis 80 run (Chance kick)   

RUSHING – CS (42-441): Otis 21-313, Beaner 9-94. Javen Thomas 7-47, Antonio Thornton 3-7, Brodie Savage 1-3, DJ Waldon 1-minus-1. LCP (33-107) – Reagan Coyle 13-42, Patrick Gosslee 8-26, Colby Hamilton 4-15; Jude Gaitan 1-8, Bryce Restovich 4-5, Rowan Guthikonda 1-5, Casey Wall 1-4, Black 1-2.   

PASSING – CS (6-11-0-22): Beaner 4-9-0-22; Savage 2-2-0-0. LCP – (15-29-3-225): Restovich 14-22-3-192; Colby Hamilton 1-7-0-33.  

RECEIVING – CS, Gage Haley 3-14, Flowers 1-6, JT Hester 1-6, Thomas 1-minus-6. LCP – Coyle 5-61, Black 3-81, Guthikonda 2-31, Jude Gaitan 2-30, Gosslee 1-13, Hamilton 1-11, Carter Doyal 1-7,