In the City League football standings, Waite and St. John's Jesuit were even coming into last night's matchup at the Indians' Mollenkopf Stadium.
But it didn't take long for visiting CL preseason favorite St. John's to separate itself from the Tribe (3-3, 2-1) in a lopsided 52-0 victory.
The Titans (5-1, 3-0) scored three quick touchdowns in the first quarter to harness the game's momentum and held it throughout.
By game's end, St. John's had outgained Waite 373-111 in total offense, forced four Indians turnovers, and notched two TDs on special teams.
We came out ready to play tonight," Titans coach Doug Pearson said. "Special teams-wise we were pretty good. We saw some things on film we thought we could take advantage of, and the kids worked hard and made it work. We hit a couple big plays early, and I think that really turned the momentum on for the second half as well."
The Titans scored the first time they touched the ball when Rick Rattay returned a Jacob Moreno punt 62 yards for a TD 2:16 into the game.
Rattay would add a 41-yard punt return TD in the third quarter. His first score was the first of three St. John's TDs in a span of 7:49 in the opening quarter.
Two plays after Jalil Carter intercepted a pass from Waite quarterback Joey Imm, Nick Cherry ran five yards over left tackle for a score with 7:32 left.
Next came a 76-yard TD strike from Sean Patterson to Carter with 1:55 left in the first. Patterson was 7-of-11 passing for 154 yards, and ran six times for 64 yards.
After trading turnovers with the Tribe late in the first half, St. John's marched 79 yards on just five plays in the final 1:08, with Patterson running the final 16 yards for a 28-0 lead 37 seconds before halftime.
Waite's best scoring chance in the game preceded Patterson's TD run. The Indians sacked Patterson and recovered his fumble on the Titan 14 with 1:31 left in the half. But Imm was intercepted by Rattay at the goal line one play later.
"There's pretenders and there's contenders," Waite coach John Johnson said. "We're a pretender right now. We'll get better later on, but we didn't play well tonight. We've got a lot to work on."
St. John's opened the second half by moving 62 yards in nine plays for another score. Patterson hit Jim Schoen on a 17-yard TD pass 3:53 into the third quarter.
The win was St. John's fourth straight after a 34-10 loss in week two to visiting Columbus DeSales.
"The DeSales game woke us up," Pearson said. "We had a good week of practice and these guys really came out focused tonight."
Following Rattay's second return TD with 5:41 left in the third quarter. Titan kicker Bill Claus added a 24-yard field goal, and backup running back Ian Gaston added the final TD on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Waite's Edward Kynard rushed 25 times for 67 yards.
"At the end, it just seemed everything went the wrong way. But, no excuses, that's a real good football team. They play hard and they're well coached, and we just haven't reached that level yet,"Johnson said.
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