Blue Jay Football 2019: Strong start to tackling the competition this season


Jackson-Milton Seniors

Shane Davis, Joseph Williams, John Landis, and Joseph Keller

August 30th the Blue Jays hosted the Southington Chalker Wildcats. The Jays had a slow start to the first half trailing by 6 in the second quarter. A long offensive drive would be capped off by a 4-yard touchdown rush from Sean Lengyel, putting the Jays up 7-6 at halftime. Aaren Landis would connect with Frank Prozy on a 33-yard touchdown pass to start off the second half putting the Jays up 13-6. Later the Jays would put together another drive resulting in a 3-yard touchdown pass from Aaren Landis to Noah Kramer making the score 19-14. The Jays then would have another explosive 33 yard play, this time a 33-yard touchdown run by Sean Lengyel. Putting the Jays up 27-14. Late in the fourth quarter the Jays would put the game out of reach from an electric 71-yard touchdown run by Sean Lengyel. The Jays went on to be 1-0 after 33-14 route.

The Blue Jays then traveled to Newton Falls the following week. The Jays would face adversity from the start after an opening drive touchdown from the Tigers. The Jays would battle back scoring on a 49-yard Sean Lengyel rushing touchdown. Newton Falls would score again putting them up 14-6 at halftime.

The Blue Jays came out the second half and running back, Sean Lengyel, would cap off a long 15 play drive with a 13-yard rushing touchdown making the score 14-12 Newton Falls. The Jays would get the ball back in fourth quarter and Sean Lengyel would have a 7- yard touchdown making it his third touchdown of the game. The 2-point conversion was good putting Jackson-Milton up 20-14. The Tigers would keep fighting and score again giving them a one point 21-20 lead over JM.

However, the Jays would get the ball back with less then 4 minutes of play. The Jays drove down the field and with 48 seconds and running left on the clock Aaren Landis would find Frank Prozy in the back corner of the endzone on 10-yard touchdown pass on a spectacular catch, giving the jays a 26-21 lead. The Tigers got the ball back with just 25 ticks left on the clock. Falls drove 30 yards down field but on 1st down with less then 15 seconds left Ethan Evans sacked the quarterback. On second down Newton Falls would throw a deep pass towards the endzone as time expired, the ball fell incomplete and the Jackson-Milton Blue Jays would upset The Newton Falls Tigers 26-21.

Prozy was asked about his clutch catch, in which he responded, “Well I was put in a position to make a play to seal the game, so I went out and made that play to help us win.”

On Friday the 13th the Blue Jays hosted the Windham Bombers in which they soundly defeated them 35-14. The Blue Jays elected to receive and would have a long 15 play, 7 minute drive resulting in a Sean Lengyel  touchdown. Extra point was good by Mark Martin. The Jays then forced the bombers to punt and on the first play of the Jays drive, Sean Lengyel would have his second touchdown on a 53-yard rush down the sideline. On their next drive the Jays would get in excellent field position after Aarem Landis found Frankie Prozy for a big gain. Lengyel would feed the ball again in the red zone giving him his 3rd touchdown of the half. The bombers would get the ball back with 3 minutes left in the half and Wide Receiver Bert Jones made a big play resulting in a Bomber touchdown making the score 21-7 at half.

The Bombers got the ball back and scored another touchdown shorting the Blue Jays lead to just 7. However, the Blue Jays drove back down the field and Lengyel would find the endzone for a fourth time. The Jays put the game out of reach with a well blocked 63-yard touchdown rush by Sean Lengyel for his 5th touchdown of the game.

Lengyel would end up with 25 carries for 289 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns, Noah Kramer would have 10 carries for 60 yards, Arren Landis would have 7 carries for 56 yards and 25 yard pass completion to Frank Prozy. In total offense the Blue Jays would total 455 yards led behind the offensive line consisting of Logan Pugh, Joey Keller, Harrison Lay, John Landis and Shane Davis. The final score 35-14 Jays.

Senior Captain John Landis was asked how he felt about an explosive start to the season, in which he replied, “As a unit we’ve been able to cooperate which has led us to our success over the past three weeks and hopefully we can do the same going into week 4.”

The Jays hosted Western Reserve on Friday September 20th and battled Mineral Ridge on their home field the following week.  The team is going into Week 6 with a record of 3-2.

Coach Brode, Coach Chick, Coach French, Coach Zayas, and Coach Lib all play special roles on the team. They can help the team as a whole, but all specialize in something different. Coach Chick has been around football since he was playing in high school. Coach Brode is the offensive coach, Coach Chick is the defensive coach, Coach French and Coach Zayas are the Offensive Line and Defensive Line Coaches, and Coach Lib is the wide receiver and defensive back coach.

Coach Brode states, “The season has had its ups and downs with starting out 3-0 and now losing 2 straight to have our record at 3-2 on the season. We hope to get back on track this week as we travel to Springfield to play the Tigers in an MVAC matchup.”

Coach Brode also states what is incorporated in practices, “Practices consist of film study, weight training, stretching, individual- group – and team parts of practices. We also like to incorporate stations such as tackling or agility throughout the week of practice.”

“The team has had to handle both success and now failure, however we still remain positive in our outlook to get better each day and execute the game plan on Friday nights. We have 13 seniors on our roster for the 2019 team. Friday night we play Springfield and we are looking to play hard, play sound and be physical, while executing the game plan,” said Brode.

On Friday October 4, 2019 the Jackson- Milton Blue Jays varsity football team traveled to Springfield Local High School to play the Springfield Tigers. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the game resulted in a loss at 49-8 as the final score of the game. 

Coach Nate Brode stated, “This is a tough loss for the team. Springfield is a good football program and we knew that going into the game. The score doesn’t show, but we were without a doubt in the game. We need to remain taking the rest of our season one game at a time.”

Coach Brode stated,  “Yes, the Jays are a very tough team, no doubt in my mind about that. We just need to go out and execute the football that we know how to play.”

That being said, the Jackson-Milton football team traveled to Lowellville High School on October 11, 2019. In an unfortunate turn of events, the Jays sustained a loss to the Rockets in a 22-14 final score.

October 25th was the Jackson-Milton Blue Jays senior night against Waterloo. The Blue Jays have 13 seniors and they are a huge part of the team. The game went back and forth all game long and was all offense. The Blue Jays ended up pulling it out in the end winning 42-40 for their last home game of the season and the seniors last home game ever.

The rushing game was a huge part of the Blue Jays win as Junior running back Sean Lengyel carried the ball 27 times for 308 yards on the ground. Senior running back Ryan Staton also had himself a night with 8 rushes for 48 yards and 2 catches for 31 yards along with 3 touchdowns. Senior running back Michael Liberato also contributed to the run game carrying the ball 6 times for 60 yards along with 1 catch for 10 yards with a 2 point conversion. This just shows how well this astounding offensive line was and how it helped lead the way to 490 rushing yards and 531 total yards.

After the win the Blue Jays now have a record of 4-5 and look to succeed as they traveled to Sebring to wrap up the season.  Defensively the Blue Jays were on fire getting 3 fumbles and an interception, with  junior defensive end Aaron Landis recovering 3 of the fumbles. Senior defensive end finished the game with 6 tackles, a forced fumble, and 2 QB sacks. Offensively, The Blue Jays put up 42 points for the 2nd time now in 2 weeks. Sean Lengyel carried the ball 17 times for 156 yards and a rushing touchdown. Michael Liberato added to that carrying 2 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Staton rushed 6 times for 39 yards including a receiving touchdown from Frankie Prozy. The Blue Jays definitely ended their season on a good note winning 42-0 and ending their season 5-5.

Senior Michael Liberato stated, “ I’m going to miss this man” when asked about his thoughts after the game.

All the seniors were very emotional knowing this was their last game putting on a jersey for Jackson-Milton although, they left their mark on the Blue Jays football program. Good luck to all the seniors in their life moving forward and it’s time to start lifting for the returning Blue Jays.