Another top-five program, another one-sided rout of a would-be contender from a powerful state. This time it was St. John’s College, the D.C. football factory, completely obliterating a quality squad from South Florida in the form of Miami Southridge.
So, what more do we know now, after the rout? Here’s a start:
Why would Southridge agree to this game?
Yes, St. John’s was the team that took to the road for this matchup, but it’s difficult to understand what the Southridge coaches were thinking when agreeing to take on St. John’s. Yes, Southridge is a definite state playoff team, featuring a defensive end committed to an ACC program (Emmanuel Belgrave, to Pittsburgh), and plenty of young talent. By season’s end, it might even be a contender.
But all of that together couldn’t score a point against a suffocating St. John’s College defense that features an LSU-bound, five-star wide receiver (Rakim Jarrett) catching balls from a BYU-committed dual threat passer (Sol-Jay Maiava) who may compete for the starting job in Provo as early as next year. That’s to say nothing about the St. John’s College defense, which features major commits to Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, Purdue, you name it. Heck, even the long snapper is committed to Notre Dame.
Preparation and confidence can go a long way toward changing a team’s fortunes, but in the end talent usually wins out. That was true in spades on Saturday.
Maiava and Jarrett are a legitimate connection, but the running game makes St. John’s College go.
Maiava gets as much attention for his ability to make defenders miss in the open field as connect with teammates on bombs, but that doesn’t mean he can’t fling it when he needs to. Three of SJC’s touchdowns came on Maiava passes, including a 33-yard dime to Jarrett for the game’s first touchdown. Yet it was the Cadets’ running game that completely overwhelmed the Southridge defense. SJC scored touchdowns on runs of 31 yards (Antwain Littleton), 3 yards (Littleton), 25 yards (Jamar Curtis), as 23 yards (Littleton). There were other road grade-worthy runs that helped Littleton earn the moniker “BabyBus”. If the Cadets are going to run the table and compete for the Super 25 national title, they’ll do it by leading on the ground and fitting everything else in from there.