St. John's wide receiver Curtis Schwinnen scored the only touchdown of the game on a leaping catch near the goal line. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
St. John's wide receiver Curtis Schwinnen scored the only touchdown of the game on a leaping catch near the goal line. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
DELPHOS – High school football kicked off at Stadium Park on Tuesday as Jefferson and St. John’s battled it out in the first scrimmage of the season.

A nice crowd gathered to watch the battle of crosstown rivals play in the preseason game between the two schools. Every fan seemed filled with excitement that football has finally made it’s return. For the coaches, it gives the opportunity to evaluate the teams progress to this point and find areas they may need work on.

Jefferson had trouble with the snap early in the scrimmage that resulted in several loose balls.

“We have a new center and I think nerves got the best of him today,” said Jefferson head coach Luke Taviano. “It is something we need to work on. He is a good kid and he will get there but I just chalk it up as being new at the position.”

On the plus side, the Wildcat defense was sharp and swarmed the ball, something Taviano is happy to see.

“We did a lot of good things out there defensively as far as penetration and flying around to the ball. I know our defense will be confusing for most teams,” Taviano concluded.

The Blue Jays had the only score of the game when Jared Wurst connected on a 24-yard pass to Curtis Schwinnen. Wurst struggled to move the ball on the ground against the quick and responsive defense of Jefferson but managed to break a few for decent gains.

The Jays kept the Wildcat offense out of the end zone by playing heads-up football. St. John’s was there to capitalize on every mistake made by Jefferson and reacted to the ball with speed.

The young Blue Jay squad gained much needed experience at the scrimmage, something they will need after loosing 17 seniors to graduation.

“We will go watch film and see where we are at, but it was good to get out here,” said St. John’s head coach Todd Schulte. “We have some things to work on but both teams played a physical game today. We wanted to be aggressive and handle our assignments, it’s still early but it gave us a chance to apply what we have been learning on the practice field.”