ILS Football Beats Westminster Academy



The ILS Football team picked up its first win of the season with a hard-fought 34-32 victory over Westminster Academy. The Royal Lions showed growth and grit to secure this victory.

Coming off a difficult loss last week against rival St. Brendan, the Royal Lions were focused and poised to pick up their first win of 2020 against Westminster Academy. The Lions of Westminster came into the game with a 1-4 record, but have been competitive in almost every game, and they were the home team, so they held that advantage. To further the obstacles for ILS, rain and wind made the playing conditions difficult, especially for the passing and kicking games.

Despite all that, the Royal Lions took control early when junior Jarrod Carr put ILS on the board late in the first quarter with his rushing touchdown. They pushed their lead to 12-0 in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Preston Landry, starting in place of injured junior Daniel Reboso, found junior receiver James Brill for a 28-yard touchdown pass. The Royal Lions converted on their two-point attempt after that to hold a commanding 14-0 lead.

But Westminster wouldn’t quit. The Lions ran off the next 16 points in a row against ILS and held a 16-14 advantage at the half. And in the third quarter, Westminster was driving to potentially go up double-digits when the Royal Lions defense came up with a huge quarterback sack. The sack pushed Westminster out of scoring position and ILS was able to take control from there.

Following the huge defensive stop, junior Jude Servius broke free on a 52-yard touchdown run that gave the Royal Lions the 20-16 lead. ILS covered the two-point try to take control, up 22-16. Then, after another defensive stand, Servius added his second touchdown of the game with a 16-yard score, putting ILS up 28-16.

Westminster responded with a touchdown and two-point conversion to narrow the game, 28-24. But ILS didn’t fold. Carr found a crease late in the fourth quarter and scampered for a 39-yard touchdown run. The Royal Lions held a commanding 34-24 lead at that point and wouldn’t relinquish it.

“I’m very pleased how we fought last Friday night,” said ILS head coach Helder Valle. “Everyone was picking each other up and we were confident we were going to come back and win the game. We grew up as a team that game.”

The Royal Lions dominated on the ground, as Servius and Carr combined to rush for over 300 yards. Carr carried the ball 28 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns. He gained 8.3 yards-per-carry. Servius piled up 111 yards on 11 carries, including a pair of touchdowns.

Landry connected on 8-of-13 pass attempts for 96 yards and a touchdown. He did throw two interceptions. Landry found junior receiver Joaquin Macia five times for 54 yards. Brill caught two passes for 37 yards and a score. Freshman La’Varis Stanford made one catch for five yards.

The defense played well, too. Sophomore Dario Melendez was particularly disruptive from his defensive line position and forced a key fumble. Junior linebacker Eric Islami continued his solid play this season as a sure tackler in this one. Sophomore Demetrius Johnson came up with a huge interception late in this one. And defensive backs freshman Jaylen Morris and junior Vashaud Williams played well on the back end, and Williams was key on special teams as well.

“It was a great win! The team was tested again after jumping out to an early lead, but allowing the team to come back,” said ILS Athletic Director Nick Fernandez. “The staff and players rallied together for a great team win! We’re feeling really confident going to this week that we will get another win against a tough Mater Academy team.”

ILS looks to improve too 2-1 this week when they face Mater Academy Charter at home at 7 PM on Friday night. Check out the video highlights of last week’s win here.