In the days leading up to the Break the Record Night lacrosse game against Jesuit, Davis High attempted to generate school spirit by pushing a slogan of “Get the Red Out” and accompanying it with a blood drive.
It paid off, as a record-breaking crowd of 817 showed up Friday at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium at DHS to watch the contest, which ended in the varsity Blue Devil boys topping the red-clad Marauders 8-6.
In addition to helping snap the previous attendance record of 632 — set during last year’s game between the same two teams — the publicity effort must have motivated the players as well. The Blue Devils (2-3) kept anyone in a red jersey from penetrating their defense for much of the game and roared out to a 6-1 lead before the end of the third quarter.
“We came out fired up,” DHS head coach Nick Juri said afterward. “It’s something that we really haven’t done all season and I think the crowd definitely helped and energized us for the game.
“The desire was shown (Friday), and you could see us hustling for ground balls, finishing our checks. We were moving the ball around quick, we were working together as a team. For the most part, we did all the things we needed to do (Friday).”
After taking a five-point advantage, the Blue Devils began to lose some of their momentum. The Marauders connected on a series of shots and started to make up ground.
But the locals made some adjustments to their play, and Willie Hawkins and Mark Bruemmer each added goals to keep Jesuit from making a game of it. Still, Juri emphasized the importance of his team finishing strong.
“We went into halftime (up) 5-1 and the final score (was) 8-6. We would have liked to extend that gap a little bit,” Juri said. “But the guys kept fighting hard and it wasn’t due to (a) lack of trying. We’ve just got to make sure that we play a complete 48 minutes.”
In the first half, the Blue Devils were rarely flummoxed.
After Jesuit took a 1-0 lead — its only one of the night — Kian Reno came careening around the side of the goal and skipped a shot across the turf and into the net to tie the score.
Moments later, Bruemmer set up Kevin Klenzendorf up for an easy goal inside, and the Devils were off and running.
Mikie Schlosser rifled a shot past the Jesuit goalkeeper from way out on the perimeter and then added another goal on a cut inside, and Hawkins scored just before the end of the second quarter to put his team up 5-1 at the half.
Hawkins found the net two more times, once early in the third to put DHS up 6-1, and once late in the third, to answer a 2-0 run by Jesuit.
The Marauders scored three times in the final quarter, but Bruemmer added his goal and goalie Will McPherson fended off several last-gasp attacks.
McPherson was brilliant for much of the game, holding Jesuit scoreless for a 26:41 stretch from midway through the first quarter to late in the third.
The Blue Devils now look ahead to a series of tough games this week.
“We’ve got Oak Ridge on Tuesday. They should be good. And then we have Bella Vista Friday and Novato Saturday,” Juri said. “So three pretty tough games. We’d love to come out of there with three wins.”
Saturday’s game will be the only one played at home and will follow the DHS varsity girls game against Novato.
— Reach Will Bellamy at firstname.lastname@example.org