St. Francis taking advantage of abundance of offensive weapons


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — St. Francis enters Monsignor Martin play with a 3-1 record, and a big reason for their success this season has been because of their dominant offense.

Through the first four games, the Red Raiders have put together some pretty impressive numbers. Three running backs have combined for 763 yards and six touchdowns, and junior quarterback Jake Ritts has thrown for 1,094 yards with 15 touchdowns to a handful of different receivers.

“Obviously, the more diversified you can be, the better it is,” St. Francis head coach Jerry Smith said. “You can’t just take one person away from our offense.”

“With our running back, we can run the ball, we can throw the ball, we’ve got an assortment of catches, guys that can catch the ball, so you just can’t focus on one guy.”

“Some of the Ohio teams that we’ve played, when you have enough guys on the roster and you can take a lot of them away, that’s when our execution comes into play, and we’ve been able to do pretty well with that. We’re hoping to do the same thing this Saturday, when they take something away, we’ve got to be smart enough to capitalize on what their weakness is,” Coach Smith said.

“If I didn’t have these guys on my team, we wouldn’t do anything, we wouldn’t be able to do anything,” St. Francis quarterback Jake Ritts said.

One of the biggest weapons for this St. Francis team is in quarterback Jake Ritts. In his sophomore season as the starting QB for the Red Raiders, Jake threw for 3,366 yards with 36 touchdowns. Four games into the 2019 season, Jake is on track to surpass last season’s numbers.

“It’s great, he’s a hard worker and everything of that nature, he wants to learn, and he’s learning more and more, and he’s performing better and better, and that’s all you can ask from a young man,” Coach Smith said. “Reading the defenses has been astronomical for him, also he’s delivering the ball, he feels comfortable in the pocket, he has a couple more things to work on but when he wants to throw the ball, he throws the ball to where it needs to be.”

“He’s harder on himself more than anybody else, because he knows how good he could be.”

“He’s just executing better and better,” Coach Smith said.

While Jake may be the top performing quarterback in Western New York, he’s quick to put the praise towards his offensive line.

“Our line, 100%. Our line has given me so much time to throw, that’s what they’ve done for me this year,” Ritts said.

The Red Raiders open up Monsignor Martin play on Saturday against St. Joe’s at 7 pm.

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