St. Joe Lafayette pounds St. Joe LeBlond

By Cody Thorn The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: October 18, 2013 - 11:47 PM



Drew Cortez wasn’t even sure he would play as the pregame clock ticked closer to kickoff Friday night.

The Lafayette quarterback went through warmups and deemed himself ready to play. Battling an ankle injury, the senior responded with a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes that helped spark the Fighting Irish past Bishop LeBlond, 31-7 at Alumni Stadium.

Coach Paul Woolard talked with the training staff and then conferred with his two-year starting signal-caller about his status after an ankle injury forced him out of last week’s game against Cameron.

“Coach asked me if I felt good and I said yes,” said Cortez, who finished 5-for-12 passing for 142 yards and two scoring tosses in three quarters of action. “My ankle managed to hold up the whole game. I was thankful for all the tape. It is really big there.”

Cortez, who leads the area in passing yards, admitted he was going to tell Woolard he felt good regardless of how his ankle truly felt.

After a rocky start that included an interception in the end zone on the first Lafayette drive, Cortez broke a scoreless game in the second quarter with a pair of long touchdown passes.

Preston Martin hauled in a pass and outran the LeBlond defenders on the way for a 60-yard touchdown.

“Whenever I just relaxed and stepped up in the pocket, I realized I was comfortable,” Cortez said. “It was good for everyone’s confidence to get the big play out of the way and get the pick out of our minds.”

On the second drive of the second quarter, Lafayette (5-3, 3-3) needed five plays to score; Cortez found Tyler Burgess on a 22-yard pass and then hit Shawn Ashford for a 51-yard touchdown with 4½ minutes left in the first half to help the Irish take a 14-0 lead.

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