Before Lejeune’s season-opening 62-0 blowout win against Jones Senior High School at home on Aug. 23, the Devil Pups’ last victory in football came in 2015. As if breaking the streak wasn’t enough, Lejeune dominated the Trojans, putting up 62 points in the first half and shutting them out in a statement win.
Senior quarterback Darnell Collins got the scoring started on Lejeune’s second possession of the game when he broke loose up the middle for a 52-yard touchdown run with 3:09 left in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Alexander Suszko stripped a Trojan ball carrier and returned it for another Lejeune touchdown.
A fumble recovery returned for a touchdown from Deshawn Grant, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Collins to Enrique Martinez and two more extra points from kicker Sam Perdue put LHS up 28-0 at the end of one quarter.
The Devil Pups didn’t stop there. Their next touchdown came from Jacob Livesay, who returned an interception for a touchdown on the second play of the second quarter. The Trojans’ next possession ended in a three-and-out which led to a 10-yard touchdown pass from Collins to senior Devin Morley. A two-point conversion from Dillon Turner made it 43-0 halfway through the second quarter.
Two Trojan fumbles and an interception from Morley in three straight possessions led to scoring opportunities for Lejeune, which they would capitalize on. Collins found both Jebez Hunter and Zach Furness for touchdowns, and Jayden Berkin scored a rushing touchdown to round out the scoring for Lejeune all before halftime.
Collins, who didn’t play the entire second half as Turner stepped in at quarterback, was at a loss for words following his team’s historical win.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had this feeling,” Collins said. “I’m just speechless.”
First-year head coach Jonathan Delle, who admitted he was surprised by his team’s offensive outburst, said that it was nice to finally see his team in live action versus another team.
“You can only do so much in practice against each other before you know what’s going to happen, and you really don’t know what they’re capable of until you get them out on the field,” Delle said. “Up to this point, they’ve just been chomping at the bit to get out here, not knowing whether they’re going to do (well), if it’s going to be a continuation of years past or if it’s going to be a new [start].”
The Devil Pups’ performance showed that they are ready to turn the page and begin a new chapter of Lejeune football. Conditioning, Coach Delle said, was the difference maker Friday night and will be all season.
“[The key] is the conditioning, and they understand it and they appreciate it,” Delle said. “From that is their drive and determination, and this is just the culmination.”
Though Lejeune got a standout performance from Collins with five total touchdowns, the entire team made a difference in the win. Whether it was Corbin Lewis and Ethan Skillings putting pressuring on the opposing offense, or the work in the trenches from Jonathan Wyble and the Lejeune offensive and defensive fronts, every one of Lejeune’s players who stepped on the field impacted the game.
The Devil Pups will look for win number two at Spring Creek High School in Seven Springs this Friday, Aug. 30. Spring Creek, who went 1-10 last season, lost its season opener 34-0 to Smithfield-Selma.
The Trojans’ 23-game losing streak continues following the loss.
Lejeune – 28 34 0 0 – 62
Jones Sr. – 0 0 0 0 – 0
Darnell Collins 52-yard TD run (Sam Perdue PAT), 7-0
Alexander Suszko fumble recovery for TD (Perdue PAT), 14-0
Deshawn Grant, fumble recovery for TD (Perdue PAT), 21-0
Collins 25-yard TD pass to Enrique Martinez (Perdue PAT), 28-0
Jacob Livesay interception return for TD (Perdue PAT), 35-0
Collins 10-yard TD pass to Devin Morley (Dillon Turner 2 pt. conversion), 43-0
Collins 25-yard TD pass to Jebez Hunter, (Perdue PAT), 50-0
Jayden Berkin 25-yard TD run (PAT blocked), 56-0
Collins 25-yard TD pass to Zach Furness (PAT blocked), 62-0