Story and Photos by ANDREW DYRDAL

Father Ryan couldn’t overcome a 23-point deficit on Friday and lost 23-7 at home to Ensworth School.

Father Ryan gave up a safety early in the first quarter and a 20-yard screen pass with one minute and 35 seconds left in the quarter to trail 9-0. The Fightin’ Irish had a chance to trim the lead in the second, but a trick – wide receiver pass – play resulted in a drop near the end zone and set up a missed 42-yard field goal.

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Trailing 16-0 to start the second half, Father Ryan opened with an onside kick that was recovered by Ensworth. The Tigers scored moments later on a short run to go up 23-0 with 12 minutes left in the third quarter.

Quarterback Jay Shoop, who completed one pass for four yards and added 25 rushing yards, scored on a 12-yard run with 9:35 left in the game to pull Father Ryan within 23-7.

Shoop said a lack of execution in the first half led to the loss.

“They outplayed us in the first half and we didn’t come out with enough fire in the second,” he said. “If you play two quarters of football you’re not going to win a game.”

Jackson Byrd led Father Ryan in rushing with 13 carries for 71 yards, including a 22-yard run. Elton Nkwembe chipped in 52 yards on 10 carries and Sage Warren had six yards on three carries and the team’s lone reception.

Seamus O’Connell and Auston Crow led the Fightin’ Irish with four and three tackles, respectively, and Byrd recorded the team’s lone sack.