Undefeated Irish prepare to host winless Chatard

But don’t discount the Trojans, Coach Peebles says

The+student+section+will+be+out+in+full+force+when+the+varsity+football+team+hosts+Bishop+Chatard+on+Sept.+10.+

Kylee Lucas

The student section will be out in full force when the varsity football team hosts Bishop Chatard on Sept. 10.

Will Mayer, Sports Editor

After putting a 37-0 beat down on Penn, a perennial powerhouse and a historically good football team, the Fighting Irish now make their final preparations for Bishop Chatard in what should be a classic: Undefeated vs. winless. 

Head Coach Mr. Bill Peebles ‘88 provided insight to how the Irish plan to make sure the Trojans do not win their first game of the season on Sept. 10 at Arlington Middle School. 

Peebles said, “I think the Number-1 factor going into this game is that we can’t overlook it. This is the perfect trap game for them, 3-0 vs. 0-3. They’re our biggest rival and if they beat us, it erases their three losses. They’re putting everything into this game. We can’t overlook them. 

“I thought last year against Chatard, as (our coaches) spoke in meetings (on Sept. 6), was one of the worst games we played all year because we had a ton of penalties, we gave up a ton of yardage on special teams, and I think we have to prove that we’re a better football team than how we played against them last year. Even though we beat them last year, we were not happy with the way we played.” 

Peebles, on the other hand, said he was very happy with the way the Irish played against Penn on Sept. 3. Peebles has been saying throughout the whole year that the offense needs to establish its identity. The Irish are getting closer and closer to doing just that. 

Peebles said, “I think that we did some things on Friday that are allowing us to define who we are. I think Jaron Tibbs had a big game. We can build off that and build around what he did to grow the offense and tie everything together. I think it was also a good game for Danny O’Neil to get comfortable offensively.” 

O’Neil went 20 for 22 passing with 236 yards and three touchdowns in the air and one on the ground. Tibbs had nine receptions for 148 receiving yards and two touchdowns. All of those stats were thanks to the offensive line minimizing penalties as they have seemed to struggle with in the early season. Peebles said, “This was a big confidence booster for us. I think that the bottom line is, as we pointed out why the penalties occurred the previous two weeks, the guys responded well and made adjustments on what they were doing in order to minimize penalties.”

Both of these football teams won State championships in their respective classes last November, but Chatard is not looking like a championship team with an 0-3 record so far this year. The Trojans have some talent on their roster, but they haven’t been able to put it together just yet.

Peebles said, “Carter St. John, their quarterback, is a really good player. Jack Anee is probably their best all-around football player in my opinion. He plays outside linebacker and receiver for them. Tommy Hannon is an outstanding runner. He’s super strong and he gets better as the game goes on. I think they have some really dangerous players, they’re a really good team and they’re well coached. We have to play well or an unexpected result could happen.”

The Irish defense has shined so far this season, allowing only one score over the course of three games. Peebles said, “There’s nothing ordinary about shutouts. Shutouts are hard to get against good teams. Even sometimes, when you have a blowout, and everybody gets on the field, sophomore through senior, you might give up a touchdown or two even at the end of games because you have backups in. So there’s nothing normal about a shutout. 

“We’re very happy with the way the defense is playing. The reality is, we can’t shut everybody out, the averages are going to come up. Teams might hit a long pass on us or something like that. We’re not worried about shutting everybody out. We’re just worried about just playing consistently good, fundamental football on defense.”