The Blue Jays are hoping for better, sustained success come State Tourney time
The Waseca Blue Jays have high expectations for the 2017 football season. The Blue Jays finished 2016 with an 8-2 overall record only to miss the section tournament final with a 40-19 loss to the first-seeded Marshall Tigers in the semifinals.
Waseca has competed at a high enough level to land themselves a 4-1 record in the season’s first five games. The potential revenge game against Marshall is Waseca’s one loss this season; the Blue Jays will have to wait for the postseason to arrive before they can get redemption for last year’s playoff exit.
The thorn in the side of the Waseca football team known as Marshall is dominating virtually every statistical category in the conference. Excluding the Tigers, Waseca can tout the best scoring offense and least scored-on defense.
The Blue Jays have 171 points in their favor with 69 points allowed a their recent game versus Marshall. The Tigers make up almost half of that total with the amount of points they scored against the Jays in week five. In this conference, Marshall is Goliath and everybody else is David. Waseca would like to get to the end part of the story when David wins. They certainly hope it happens this season in the playoffs.
Waseca has otherwise put on a football clinic against the first four opponents. Fairmont has given Waseca its most competitive game so far, this year. The 14-9 final score sealed the win for the Blue Jays after a second-half scoring gridlock between the home and away teams. Three points were scored in the entire second half of the game; those three points gave Fairmont a chance to take the lead with a touchdown.
After scoring their only points in the first and second quarters, the Waseca offense stalled. Fortunately for the Jays, their defense was able to ward off any Fairmont players from crossing the goal line. Waseca was victorious when time expired in the final quarter.
The other three Blue Jays wins were made to look easy. In games against New Ulm, at Tri-City United and hosting Albert Lea, Waseca has outscored the opposing team 144-16 according to MN Football Hub. The Jays shut out Albert Lea in their second home game, 57-0. The team seems to rely on the rushing game to outlast their opponent.
Three players on Waseca’s football team have at least 100 rushing yards. In the first two games this season, the Blue Jays averaged 14.3 yards per-carry; a good NFL running back will average around five yards for that measurement.
The junior quarterback Hunter Rodriguez is a serious threat in the run game on top of his role as field general for the Waseca offense. Through at least week two, Rodriguez had 65 more yards gained via rushing rather than through the air. The quarterback also led the team in rushing attempts and yards in those first two games.
Waseca can cut out some of the tougher competition in the Section 2AAAA race when it faces Jordan in its sixth game. Jordan shares the same record as Waseca and is also vying for a chance to dethrone the mighty Marshall Tigers, but not if Waseca stands in Jordan’s way.
The Blue Jays’ game against Jordan is followed by another home game at Waseca High School. The St. Peter Saints will go to Waseca on Friday, Oct. 13 then Waseca rounds out its season at Worthington on Wednesday, Oct. 18.