There is not much anyone can do when a team commits six turnovers, eight if you count the two turnovers on downs. And, to make matters worse, it does not help when you don't wrap up on defense.
Both instances happened Friday night at St. Martin as the Yellow Jackets stung the Rocks over and over again.
St. Martin (3-0) scored on their first possession of the game when Jay McGee crossed the goal line from 11 yards out with 8:06 left in the first quarter. The PAT by Gabriel Showalter was good, making the score 7-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, SSC returned the favor when Davien LaGarde ran the kick back 99 yards for a touchdown. The return distance tied a school record that is held by Owen Betz and Brandon Bordelon. Gene Hoffman missed the PAT leaving the score 7-6 .
The Yellow Jackets pushed the ball down to the Rock 25 yard line before Showalter tried a 35-yard field goal that was partially blocked by Grant Sides with 4:34 left in the opening period.
St. Martin held strong on defense and took over on their own 48 yard line.
Former SSC quarterback Pat Greer hooked up with Marquez Glispy for a 37-yard aerial. On the next play, McGee scored on a 15-yard run with 2:23 left in the first quarter. Sides broke through again and blocked the PAT leaving the score 13-6.
Max Favre got going on the next series for SSC with 12-yard gain to Bordelon. Two plays later, Favre hit Dallas Payne for a 34-yard aerial to the Yellow Jacket nine yard line. Payne was stripped of the ball and the Yellow Jackets took over.
The Rocks forced a punt and Payne returned the ball to the St. Martin 30 yard line. On the next play, Bordelon broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run with 10:17 left before half. Hoffman converted on the PAT knotting the score 13-13.
The Yellow Jackets answered on the ensuing series when Greer connected with Makia Hebert on a 55-yard scoring toss with 9:20 left before halftime. The PAT by Showalter was good making the score 20-13.
Favre was picked off on the next two Rock possessions. After the second pick, the Yellow Jackets added to their lead when Greer connected with Easton Wynn on a 59-yard scoring toss. Showalter's PAT missed leaving the score 26-13.
The Rocks got into St. Martin territory on the ensuing drive but on the sixth play of the drive a seven-yard aerial from Favre to Bradley Darby was stripped and recovered by St. Martin at their own 36 yard line.
The Rocks returned the favor as Thomas Williams intercepted Greer at midfield and returned the ball to the Yellow Jacket 12 yard line.
Favre hit Payne for a 11-yard scoring strike on the first play of the drive with 21 seconds left before halftime. Hoffman's PAT was good making the score 26-20.
However, that was all the scoring that the Rocks would muster.
St. Martin put together a nine-play drive to start the second half. McGee scored his third touchdown of the game on an 11-yard run with 7:29 left in the third quarter. Showalter's PAT was good making the score 33-20.
Favre was picked off in the end zone on the next series ending the drive.
After holding St. Martin to a punt, the Rocks put together a 10-play drive that saw Payne make two first down catches with gains of four and 24 yards while Lee Negrotto had a 19-yard pickup. But, a dropped pass on the three yard line by Birdelon cost the Rocks a chance to score and turned the ball over on downs.
The Yellow Jackets scored on a 43-yard run by Hebert with 6:56 left in the game to close out the scoring. Showalter's PAT was good making the final score 40-20.
SSC head coach Nate Encrapera stated, "The turnovers and poor tackling on our part was too much to overcome. St. Martin was more physical than we were tonight. Even when it was good for us, it really wasn't good. We had opportunities and we did not take advantage of them. We were also outcoached tonight and that is on me. We have to take care of our bodies during the week and simply get better. We need to put this one behind us and remember we are 0-0 tomorrow and get ready for a physical Pensacola Catholic squad on the road."
Favre threw for 298 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions on 22-for-37 passing. Bordelon rushed 17 times for 81 yards and a touchdown. Payne caught 10 passes for 125 yards and touchdown.
St. Martin was paced by Pat Greer who threw for 289 yards, two touchdowns and a interception on 16-for-28 passing. McGee rushed 20 times for 119 yards and three touchdowns.
The Rocks continue their month-long road trip next Friday on the road at Pensacola Catholic. The Crusaders (2-0) played West Florida last night but a final score was not available at press time. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. See you at the game!