St. Charles East 'Jetts' past Oswego East

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/28/2017 10:59 PM
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Oswego East had its fair share of issues neutralizing Justin Jett Saturday evening.

The St. Charles East defense, conversely, was in attack mode the entirety of the second half in the teams' Class 8A first-round playoff game.

Jett, the fullback in the Saints' triple option, feasted on the Wolves, rushing for 134 of his game-high 185 yards in the first half.

The Saints' feature back had scores in both halves, including a game-clinching 5-yard run in the last minute of play as St. Charles East advanced with a 24-14 victory in Oswego.

St. Charles East (8-2), the No. 17 seed, will meet consensus top-ranked Lincoln-Way East (10-0) next weekend in St. Charles.

Sixteen-seeded Oswego East had its season close at 7-3.

"That Jett kid was a ton," Oswego East coach Tyson LeBlanc said.

But Jett and quarterback Isebell Clayton combined for 4 first-half fumbles.

The Saints' fortune for recovering their own muffs ran out when Oswego East do-it-all junior Justin Clark opened the scoring with a 79-yard fumble return in the first quarter.

"It was the sleeves (underneath our jerseys)," Jett said. "Once we took them off, it was a huge difference-maker."

Jett had the equalizer from 8 yards out on the Saints' second possession, and the St. Charles East defense set the tone for the remainder of the game by allowing only 1 first down in the second quarter.

Jett rumbled 6 times for 44 yards, only to let Abe Swanson cover the last 5 yards of the 8-play, 49-yard drive to give St. Charles East a 14-7 at halftime.

"It's an old-fashioned style of football," Jett said of the Saints' offensive system. "We rely on trying to eliminate their best (defensive) players."

On offense, Clark gained the overwhelming majority of his team-high 139 yards for Oswego East out of the Wildcat formation.

The junior had a burst from a yard out to knot the game at 14-14 after the Wolves' first second-half drive, but St. Charles East linebackers Nico Piaskowy and Pat Griffin would wreak havoc the remainder of the game.

The former had an interception -- inconceivable without the pressure of the latter -- and sack on fourth down to completely turn the game in the Saints' favor.

"It was very easy knowing they didn't have a quarterback who could throw the ball," Piaskowy said. "We capitalized and won the game."

The teams combined for 53 yards passing on 4 completions.

St. Charles East place-kicker Matthew Burns -- after an earlier miss -- gave the Saints the lead for good at 17-14 with a 35-yarder with 6:03 to play.

"We had to refocus after the first (miss)," Burns said. "I basically forgot about that one."

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