Posted: 3:25 pm Thursday, July 31st, 2008
By Jason Lieser
Jupiter Christian stormed through Day 1 of the adidas 7-on-7 national championship, but Richland High (Fort Worth, Texas) crushed the Eagles 32-0 in the title game Thursday.
Jupiter Christian quarterback Marshyl Rothman completed 9 of 18 passes, including an interception, in the loss.
“Our defense really stood out,” Richland High coach Gene Weir said. “The tournament preparation has brought our team closer together this summer and will definitely help us down the road.”
In the first day of competition, the Eagles went 4-0, posting one-point wins over Crenshaw (Los Angeles) and Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield, Ill.), then toppled Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Mesquite (Texas).
Jupiter Christian plays in Florida’s smallest classification (1B), but the defending state champs appear poised to stun some of the country’s best programs.
“Yeah, of course it’s surprising,” coach Bill Powers said. “We just wanted to come up here and be respectable.
“But if you can compete in Florida, like we have, I think you can compete with anyone.”
Rothman, who had a big passing day Wednesday, said it’s easy for teams to take Jupiter Christian lightly, but they’re making a mistake in doing so.
“If you look at our guys standing around, we look like the worst team here,” he said. “We’re the smallest team, but we’re kicking butt.”
Wide receivers Danny Myer, Weston Peterson, Cobie Graham and Mark Ballatori each caught at least one touchdown pass today.
Jupiter Christian enters tomorrow’s single-elimination championship bracket as the top seed, and plays its first game at 10 a.m.
The Eagles were semifinalists at adidas’ Florida tournament in Orlando, but were invited to replace Pahokee and Booker T. Washington. Pahokee and Washington coaches withdrew their team after they brawled at Nike’s tournament in Miramar on July 12. Plant High (Tampa) was invited as a replacement, too, but declined.