Wildcats win big on Senior Night

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Senior Caleb Burger runs for daylight during the first half of Jasper's 48-0 Senior Night win Friday at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium. Burger ran for a game-high 80 yards.


JASPER — Jasper's football seniors have put their stamp on things during their tenure with the Wildcats (7-2, 7-2), and got to do so once again on Friday — with big help from the junior class.

The Wildcats held Senior Night at Jerry Brewer Alumni Stadium against rival Vincennes Lincoln, but the juniors had their say in how things went, too. Whether it was catching multiple touchdown receptions, or setting things up through a big play, the juniors helped Jasper's seniors end their regular season careers in style as Wildcats took this Southern Indiana Athletic Conference matchup, 48-0.

Senior quarterback Blake Mann has been a dynamic force on the keeper this season, but he reminded people on Friday what he was capable through the air, too, as evidenced by his connection with junior wideout Jack Ahlbrand.

The Wildcats went for it on fourth down with 13 yards to go in the first quarter, as Mann avoided a sack and ran to his right to chuck a pass to Ahlbrand in the lower right corner of the end zone for a 27-yard score. Senior kicker Alex Sermersheim, just like he's done so many times this season, connected on his first of five extra points for a 7-0 Jasper lead with 7:09 to go in the opening quarter. Mann would find Ahlbrand again for a 23-yard touchdown with 9:33 to go in the first half for a 21-0 Jasper lead.

“We talked all week — we wanted to send our seniors out the right way, and I thought our kids came out and executed well,” Jasper coach Tony Lewis said. “We had some penalties again, but overall, our offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. Our defense kept them out of the end zone. Anytime you can shut a team out — Vincennes is a good team.

“We told our kids all week they’re well coached, they play hard — that’s a great sign of a good team is they play hard, and we just happened to get on them early, get on a roll and our kids kind of snowballed,” Lewis continued. “(I’m) very of our senior group to finish the right way.

Mann also made sure to get his rushing scores in, too, and junior Isaac Day helped make one of them easier for him at the end of the first quarter. Day broke daylight as he bolted for 54 yards to put Jasper in the red zone. An offensive penalty set the Wildcats back five yards, but it proved no deterrent, as Mann kept it for an eight-yard score with 58.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Jasper's senior quarterback has also demonstrated he can get the long one, too, and he did exactly that when he broke free for 47 yards and his second score of the night, giving him his fourth total touchdown with 6:43 to play in the opening half. He completed the hat trick on a the goal line quarterback sneak with 2:00 remaining.

“It’s awesome, it was a great feeling coming off with a win,” Mann said.

Sermersheim's kick made it 35-0 to trigger a running clock in the second half, and Jasper went to its reserves. Sophomore quarterback Grant Young scored in the third quarter on a 4-yard keeper, while Evan Crowder got his moment on Senior Night on a 6-yard run for the final touchdown of the evening.

The Wildcats will get their opportunity for payback when they are scheduled for the Oct. 23 sectional opener against Evansville Central, who ended their season last year in the sectional semifinal, and also handed Jasper its first loss of the season. The Bears came away with a 24-17 win Sept. 25.

“We’re out for revenge,” Mann said. “We’re ready for them.”

Lewis said Jasper is excited for the opportunity to play the Bears again, and to do so at home this time. He knows the Wildcats need to have a great week of practice.

“It all goes back to preparation and who’s healthy come playoff time, who’s kind of hitting their stride come playoff time,” Lewis said. “Obviously tonight was a good launching pad for us going into the playoffs, but it all starts again tomorrow.”


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