Cooke County’s lone private school earned bragging rights after a dominant night.

The Sacred Heart football team crushed Era 60-24 on the road Friday night behind a big game from the Swirczynski brothers.

Sacred Heart (1-1) took an early lead and never looked back, at one point leading 60-0.

Era (0-2) finished the game scoring 24-straight points, but it only served to make the final score a little closer.

Sacred Heart coach Dale Schilling said the Tigers played fast and physical.

“I was real happy with the way we came off the ball and just executed really, really good in the first half,” Schilling said. “We played real good assignment football on defense. Also, I’m real happy with our special teams play. That’s something we really addressed during the week.”

The Tigers needed just 2:06 to take the lead. Ryan Swirczynski broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run. His brother, Seth, did the same later in the first quarter.

Sacred Heart really broke it open in the second quarter by outscoring the Hornets 33-0. Seth Swirczynski later scored on runs of 52 and 80 yards in the third quarter to hit 60 points.

Kyle Greer got Era on the board late in the third by catching a 54-yard touchdown pass from Jarren Twiner. Seth Velasquez added a 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth, followed by a second connection from Twiner to Greer. The Hornets had successful two-point conversions on all three touchdowns.

Schilling said the Tigers’ speed helped them build the massive lead.

“We were able to get the Swirczynski boys on the edge early on,” Schilling said. “I think that made a lot of difference. But also, with that said, I’m just so, so happy with our perimeter blocking, our young guys especially with their blocking out on the edge. We just executed.”

Ryan Swirczynski completed two passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Seth Swirczynski caught the 80-yard touchdown pass, his only reception.

Sacred Heart did the real damage on the ground. Seth Swirczynski rushed 10 times for 267 yards and four touchdowns. Ryan Swirczynski rushed four times for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Nathan Hesse carried the ball three times for 30 yards and a score.

Schilling said he spoke with Seth before the game.

“I told him I needed a big game out of him,” Schilling said. “Last week, he was such a marked man, he had less than two yards a carry last week. He was really chomping at the bit to get out and really turn on the jets and go. He performed. He came through. He did a great job.”

The conversation seemed to work. After averaging 1.9 yards per carry last week, he averaged 26.7 against Era.

This was Sacred Heart’s final non-district game thanks to having a large, mixed district with several TAPPS Division III opponents. While those games won’t count for playoff purposes, they will present the Tigers with some big challenges before the three games against fellow Division IV schools later in the year.

With district play looming, Schilling said the Tigers needed this bounce-back win to build confidence.

“They got together and had each other’s back all week,” Schilling said. “We didn’t have a real good practice Monday. We kind of rallied together. We had a good little talk Monday after practice, and we finished up Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday very, very focused.”

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