ASHWAUBENON — Last season Ashwaubenon only scored 40 points in one game and it came against Green Bay West in a 48-0 rout, but based of its Week 1 win the Jaguars could be in store for more points.
In its season opener against Green Bay Preble last Thursday, Ashwaubenon thumped the Hornets, 40-7, behind the combination of James Morgan and Jake Zills.
Their effort is why Ashwaubenon is the Week 1 Team of the Week. Morgan threw three TD passes in the second quarter en route to a 221-yard effort and Zills rushed for 140 yards and a score.
It’s just one game but that’s all we have to go on so far this season, and if this one game is a forecast for the season Ashwaubenon should contend for the top of the Fox River Classic Conference title.
“If every team is like we are, our philosophy is to go after the quarterback,” Ashwaubenon coach Mark Jonas said. “You have to put pressure on the quarterback and if they do that from the edge we can run underneath that. You have to respect (Morgan’s) passing ability. I would think people are going to look at and respect Zills, too.”
Morgan, 6 feet 4, 200 pounds, is a junior but you can already see this kid has Division I talent. He stands tall in the pocket, has enough mobility and can throw any pass.
On more than one occasion he connected with receivers on fades that could not be defended. Give him time and the defense is at a disadvantage.
“It took a while to get going, but I had all the time in the world back there,” Morgan said. “Our receivers made some real phenomenal catches. They made me look good.”
Morgan also likes the idea of having a running back who can break long runs, as Zills did on a 58-yard TD scamper on the second play of the third quarter.
“Jake is such a threat on the ground; he’s an awesome weapon to have,” Morgan said. “The defense has to respect him and then that opens up my passing game.”
Defensively, Ashwaubenon didn’t let Preble QB Will Daniels get going. After Daniels threw a TD pass with 2:23 left in the first quarter, the Jaguars shut down Daniels and Co.
“We changed up a little bit of our responsibilities and that made a big difference,” Jonas said in explaining what happened after the TD. “I don’t like even giving up the seven points, but that’s just me. Defensive guys are a little whack.”
Friday, Ashwaubenon plays Manitowoc, which dropped a 40-14 decision to Green Bay Southwest. If Ashwaubenon can follow up the Week 1 win with another, then it has to be considered an FRCC threat.
However, a loss and the Week 1 win won’t mean so much.
“It’s a great statement for these kids,” Jonas said. “We tried to take what we did in the scrimmage and apply it here.”
Morgan likes Ashwaubenon’s potential.
“I’d say if we play together, then we can compete with anybody,” Morgan said. “I was happy with our performance.”
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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