Keith MacPherson, Sports Editor
Gainesville Daily Register
ERA — Kason Reeves did it all Friday night.
Passing, running and even kicking – the Sacred Heart freshman played like an upperclassman in the Tigers’ 27-6 win over Era that spoiled the Hornets homecoming.
“(Kason) has been off and on a little bit this year,” Sacred Heart coach Dale Schilling said. “We’ve played a couple of very physical teams the two games before this – he took a couple of shots. Luckily we had a bye week last week so he could get his mind right.”
Reeves’ mind was in the zone as he and the Tigers took on the Hornets. The signal-caller threw for two touchdowns and ran in another, while also connecting on 3 of 4 point after touchdown kicks.
On the night, Reeves finished with 273 yards on 15 of 25 passing, including touchdown throws of 65 and 51 yards. He also ran a 21-yard touchdown up the right side of the Tiger offense to begin the scoring on the team’s first possession.
“We thought we could throw on them coming into the game,” Schilling said. “We knew they ran a Cover 2 and we would have some openings.”
Isac Walterscheid was Reeves’ favorite target on the night, catching six passes for 122 yards. The sophomore caught a 22-yard touchdown pass to put the Tigers’ up 14-0 late in the first quarter and added another score on a 51-yard pass late in the second quarter – the game’s final points.
Sacred Heart (2-0) came out firing on all cylinders, scoring 21 points in the first quarter alone. All three scores came from different variations of plays – a run, pass and a kick return.
“We really pushed over the last two weeks to come out and play intense football from the start,” Schilling said. “The last two games we didn’t and it hurt us, so the biggest thing we pushed was being intense to start the game.”
Era (2-3) found the scoreboard late in the first quarter when quarterback Jacob Metzler found a wide-open Bobby Riley up the left hash marks for a 63-yard touchdown.
The Tigers answered the Hornets’ touchdown quickly when John Paul Hesse found a lane in ensuing kickoff, returning it 82 yards for a touchdown to put Sacred Heart up 21-6 with 35 seconds left in the first stanza.
“Era jumped right in with the touchdown and got back into the game,” Schilling said. “(The kick return) took a lot of air out of their balloon.”
Metzler finished with 132 yards passing while completing 6 of 16 attempts. His lone blemish came on an interception to Hesse, which set up Walterscheid’s second touchdown before the half.
Sacred Heart’s defense stifled Era throughout the night, holding the Hornets to 194 yards of total offense and only one first down in the second half. Hayden Schilling and Luke Cochran both had sacks for the Tigers.
Hesse led Sacred Heart rushing with seven carries for 40 yards. Keith Metzler had 25 yards on six carries.
After two consecutive losses, coach Schilling said he is happy to see his team bounce back but he knows there is still work to do.
“I was surprised we couldn’t run the ball as well as we wanted to – I credit Era for that,” he said. “I was real proud of how we played over all. It was a good night for us.”
Sacred Heart 27, Era 6
Sacred Heart 21 6 0 0 – 27
Era 6 0 0 0 – 6
SH – Kason Reeves 21 run (Reeves kick), 8:18
SH – Isac Walterscheid 22 pass from Reeves (Reeves kick), 2:40
ERA – Bobby Riley 63 pass from Jacob Metzler (kick failed), :47
SH – John Paul Hesse 82 kick return (Reeves kick), :35
SH – Walterscheid 51 pass from Reeves (kick failed), :03
First downs 14 8
Total yards 363 194
Rushing 28-90 34-62
Passing yards 273 132
C-A-I 15-25-1 6-16-1
Pen-Yards 9-90 4-20
Fum-L 1-1 2-0
Rushing – Sacred Heart, John Paul Hesse 7-40; Keith Metzler 6-25; Kason Reeves 7-12; Juan Salinas 4-7; Justin Brown 4-6. Era, Austin King 8-49; Jamie Vincent 10-8; Bobby Riley 6-8; Jose De Los Santos 2-8; Jacob Metzler 5-(minus-11).
Passing – Sacred Heart, Kason Reeves 15-25-1-273; Era, Jacob Metzler 6-16-1-132.
Receiving – Sacred Heart, Isac Walterscheid 6-122; Justin Brown 2-77; Keith Metzler 5-49; John Paul Hesse 2-25. Era, Bobby Riley 2-89; Tim Farr 2-47; Caleb Thompson 1-6.