The rivalry began in 2003, but it wasn’t made official until last year, when Father Lopez Catholic Green Wave beat the Warner Christian Eagles for the first time in the series. In case the Eagles supposed last year’s loss was a fluke, the Green Wave (1-1) left no doubts in their latest duel, taking down their rivals 45-21 Friday, Sept. 4, at Lopez.
“It feels good,” coach Dunlap said. “They had the same offensive line that we played last year, and we started two new guys, but we knew we had better skill players, so we knew it would come down to winning the trenches. Our teams know each other so well, and we’re happy to come out with the victory, but they never quit. They were down the whole game, but they never gave up.
Quarterback Josh Spencer, who owns both wins over Warner Christian as quarterback had his way with the Eagles. The only thing that stopped him all night was game clock. Spencer played the best game of his career, going nearly perfect except a couple of dropped passes and a near touchdown pass where the receiver missed the corner of the end zone by a foot.
“Honestly, I was doing stuff I don’t usually do,” Spencer said. “Instead of trying to force things, I just allowed the game to flow. I made all of my reads, choosing to throw to the right receivers, who made the plays; I just threw the ball. And my lineman played really well, although they are young. Everything just seemed to work for us. This was a huge boost for our confidence.”
“I had a quarterback that has played in the NFL, and that’s who I compare Josh to,” Dunlap said. “I’ve never coached a kid who has an arm like this. If he can continue to mature and become a man, his senior year, next year, will be off the charts. He has the arm to make NFL throws.”
In their season opener, the Green Wave took the field missing a few key players, including team leader Juwan Ross. Now, with everyone in the game, they will look to continue their momentum and be ready for Atlantic on Friday, Sept. 11, at Lopez.
BOX: Josh Spencer completed 23 of 27 (85%) passes for 392 yards and rushed for 47 against Warner Christian. After going down in the first quarter, Spencer hit Dominic Digioia for a 40-yard touchdown pass to tie the game. In the second quarter, he found Ryan Atkins down the sideline for a 50-yard score, called his own number for a four-yard touchdown run and, with less than 30 seconds in the half, hooked up with Digioia for a 15-yard touchdown to give Lopez a 31-7 halftime lead.
After a Warner Christian fumble return for a score, Spencer, again, found Digioia for an eight-yard score, a third touchdown catch for him and a fourth touchdown pass by Spencer. Hogan Wilder finished the Eagles off with a four-yard run in the fourth quarter to put the game out of hand. Kicker Colin Figenscher nailed a 28-yard field goal and was perfect on all extra points for the Green Wave.
Digioia finished with 140 receiving yards, and Atkins led all receivers with 190 yards. Jacob Porto had 60 yards on the ground.