Undefeated Lions Ready for Trinity League Play

be6404108c3778d8b644b0aa63d4c34cBy Martin Henderson, Patch.com

Lions unleash a focused defensive effort, and the offense is steady in an impressive victory.

JSerra had never been ranked in the Orange County Top 10 andplayed another ranked opponent—until Friday.

And with all eyes on the seventh-ranked Lions and fifth-ranked Trabuco Hills, JSerra didn’t wilt under the spotlight.

The Lions remained unbeaten in impressive fashion, but more importantly, beat a team that was supposed to be more physical and could match their big-play offense.  Ultimately, JSerra didn’t have any big plays. But behind the effort of quarterback Nick Robinson, running back Casey Eugenio, and a defense that was dialed in, the Lions made plenty of little plays to emerge with the biggest nonleague victory in the program’s history.

Another important aspect: If Trabuco Hills—expected to finish second to Mission Viejo in the South Coast League—does make the playoffs, JSerra will have a feather in its cap should it be vying for a wild card berth. And if Trabuco is the team JSerra is competing against for a wild card berth, the Lions will have the head-to-head advantage.

Score: JSerra 37, Trabuco Hills 15

Key Stats: Casey Eugenio rushed 27 times for 122 yards and a touchdown, and Nick Robinson completed 14 of 20 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns for JSerra.

Pivotal Moment: JSerra had gotten inside the 10-yard line but was forced to kick a field goal for a 17-7 lead in the third quarter. On its next possession, again with first down inside the 10, a penalty moved the Lions back to the 20. Robinson connected with Dante Pettis for a 17-yard gain, and the next play D.J. Bailey scored to go up 23-7. It was a three possession lead and the Lions had clearly survived any momentum shift from Trabuco’s late score in the first half.

For more on the Lions visit, Facebook.

For game highlights, click here.

Big Plays Provide Power for JSerra in Win Over Dolphins

IMG_9931By Steve Breazeale, Dana Point Times

The JSerra football team may not have had possession for very long against Dana Hills but when they did, they made it count.

In a nonleague game filled with fumbles and penalties, the Lions were able to produce enough big plays to come away with a 28-12 victory on September 27 at Saddleback College.

On JSerra’s (4-0) first play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Nick Robinson connected with senior receiver Dante Pettis for an 80-yard touchdown pass, igniting the large homecoming crowd in attendance. It took 14 seconds for the Lions to get on the board.

The Dolphins (1-4) would answer with a drive that ate up five minutes of the clock, but not without a little help. After being forced to punt, JSerra fumbled the return and the Dolphins recovered, giving them prime field position. Facing a fourth-and-one during the ensuing drive at the Lions five-yard line, Dana Hills quarterback Mac Vail dove ahead and got the yardage the team needed. Senior running back Justin Scott would finish it off with a four-yard touchdown run. A blocked point after kept the Lions up 7-6.

The Lions would fumble again four minutes later, but the Dolphins could not capitalize.

After both teams were hindered by multiple penalties to close out the half, bringing the game speed down to a crawl, JSerra junior senior back Casey Eugenio broke for a 52-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that saw him bob, weave and avoid his way to the end zone. The Lions lead never came into doubt from then on.

Junior defensive end Mitchell Deamon returned a Dolphins fumble 42 yards for a score and Robinson would toss a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Zak to close out the scoring for JSerra.

The Lions will travel to play Trabuco Hills on October 4. Dana Hills will host Irvine the same day.

“We did enough to win the game as far as points are concerned. We hung in there defensively enough to keep them from winning the game but we have to improve between now and next week if we’re going to beat Trabuco Hills,” JSerra head coach Jim Hartigan said. “A week ago we had a decent amount of penalties too so we have to clean that up.”

For more on the Lions, visit Facebook.

JSerra Opens Season With Rare Shutout

Ethan Aguayo leaps for a touchdown catch as Samuel Liaga of Centennial of Las Vegas tries to block during the second quarter of the Brothers in Arms Classic football game at Mission Viejo High.
Ethan Aguayo leaps for a touchdown catch as Samuel Liaga of Centennial of Las Vegas tries to block during the second quarter of the Brothers in Arms Classic football game at Mission Viejo High.

By Antonio Morales, OC Varsity

JSerra coach Jim Hartigan said that, on paper, this might be the best team he’s had since he began coaching the Lions.

On Saturday afternoon, they looked pretty good on the field, too.

JSerra dominated Centennial of Nevada in its nonleague season opener, 44-0, at Mission Viejo.

The Lions’ defense stood out with seven sacks and it held Bulldogs running back Lantz Worthington to 36 yards rushing.

“I thought we had good pressure, and I thought we covered, for the most part, pretty well,” Hartigan said. “We were prepared for a lot of pass, so we tried to give a bunch of looks, both zone and pressure.”

It was JSerra’s first shutout since the 2010 season, when it shut out Fullerton, 31-0.

The Lions’ offense and special teams also contributed to the resounding win.

Ethan Aguayo got them on the scoreboard when he blocked a punt for a safety in the first quarter to put them up, 2-0.

The offense followed with a 50-yard touchdown march, which culminated with Dante Pettis hauling in Nick Robinson’s 11-yard pass in the back corner of the end zone.

Casey Eugenio, Conor O’Brien and Aguayo each added a touchdown in the first half, which swelled the Lions’ lead to 30 points.

It was the first game JSerra played with its new look up-tempo offense.

“We’re kind of a run-pass option team, and we had a bunch of backs going in there,” Hartigan said. “We had Pettis catching some balls, too. We want to spread the ball around as much as possible.

“We want to speed the game up a bit. I’m sure there are things we can improve on, but it’s a good start.”

Robinson had a good day leading the offense as he went 9 of 16 passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns. He might have had a few more completions if it wasn’t for a few drops.

His play-fakes also set up some nice runs for his running backs. Eugenio led the way on the ground with 138 yards and two touchdowns.

Pettis left the game in the second quarter due to some heat exhaustion, according to Hartigan.

The Lions have a week off before they take on Huntington Beach at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 at Saddleback College.

For more on the Lions Football season visit them on Facebook.

Congratulations to the 2013 Underclassman Award Recipients

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2013 Underclassman Award Recipients

Each year, JSerra recognizes the stellar achievements of our 9-11 grade students at the annual Underclassmen Awards. The awards are presented at an all-school assembly in early June. On June 3, ten awards were given to 22 outstanding JSerra students. Congratulations to the recipients:

International Student Award

Haley Park

Faculty Awards

Ethan Worden and Haley Kempf (Freshman)

Nick Robinson and Kimberly Waszak (Sophomores)

Noah Mudd and Cayley Oliver (Juniors)

Class Awards

Joseph Santoro and Gemma Hartigan (Freshman)

Chandler Chaffee and Tiffany Nolet (Sophomores)

Zachary Johnson and Francesca Bacino (Juniors)

CEO Lion Challenge Award

Ben Joseph

National Latin Exam Award

Cum Laude: Tucker Squiers

Magna Cum Laude: Fergus O’Connor and John McGlinn

Maxima Cum Laude: Andrew Cameron

To view the complete album of award recipients click here.

Friday Night Lights Finishes with a Bang

JV Football after their victory against the Lancers, to become JSerra’s first undefeated football team.

The LA Times shows their support for the Lions, looking to the future in the 2013 season as the Lions finish the 2012 season with a 41-6 victory over Orange Lutheran.

Also, finishing off a great season with individual accomplishments in the Trinity League is Nick Robinson, named leading passer by the OC Varsity, with 1,337 yards and nine touchdowns for the Lions.

The Lions conclude a record breaking season ranked eighth in the county, a first in school history. The junior varsity team also made a mark on JSerra’s evolving history becoming the first team to come out undefeated in football in a decade.

To see all the highlights of the season closing game against Orange Lutheran click here.

OC Varsity Picks Robinson as the Player to Watch

Nick Robinson going for a pass during the game against St. John Bosco.

Damian Calhuon, OC Varsity

JSerra Sophomore, Nick Robinson is OC Varsity’s week eight player to watch, and with good reason. Robinson completed 25 of 40 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns in the near-upset over St. John Bosco.

Robinson proves to be a key player for the Lions as a strong defensive back, with only one previous season under his belt.

Join the Lions Friday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. as they take on Servite in the COX Game of the Week, at Saddleback Field. Watch as theLions are trying to get that first league victory.

Dispatch Recognizes JSerra Football

JSerra moved to 5-0 on the season in a hard fought victory over Trabuco Hills Friday at Saddleback College, getting a major assist from junior Casey Eugenio, who accounted for three scores, including an interception return for a touchdown, as the Lions won 31-21.

The Lions took advantage of some early Trabuco mistakes, recovering a fumble on the first Mustang Drive deep in Lion territory, then holding the Mustangs off the scoreboard after a punt snap was fumbled, which started the second Mustang drive on the Lion 18.

Eugenio’s first big play came near the end of the first quarter, as he picked off Nathan Perry’s errant throw and took it in from 45 yards out, starting the scoring for the Lions. Perry and the Mustangs responded on the next drive, going 85 yards in 11 plays. The Lions then responded, as Dante Pettis took in a 23-yard strike from Nick Robinson in for a score. The Lions had one more score in them too, blocking a punt on ensuing Mustang possession through the end zone for a safety and a 16-7 halftime lead.

Read the complete article here.