Benefield: Windsor makes it look easy

Windsor's Hunter Hanson, left,  protects his quarterback Jalen Roman, right, during the game held at Windsor High School, Friday, October 3, 2014. (Crista Jeremiason, The Press Democrat)

Windsor’s Hunter Hanson, left, protects his quarterback Jalen Roman, right, during the game held at Windsor High School, Friday, October 3, 2014. (Crista Jeremiason, The Press Democrat)

By KERRY BENEFIELD
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

There was a moment in the fourth quarter Friday night that defined the dominance of the Windsor Jaguars.

The play didn’t seal the game, that was already nailed. But it put a resounding Jaguar stamp on the contest.

There were 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and Windsor was up 27-7 over the visiting Casa Grande Gauchos. It was Jaguars ball at midfield with five yards to go on fourth down. Go for it? No question. There was no look to the sideline by wizard-like quarterback Jalen Roman, he just called the play. And the Jaguars promptly picked up seven yards.

There was never any doubt. It’s as if when the Jaguars want something, they just take it.

“There’s no discussion,” Roman said. “We knew that play would get us seven, eight yards.”

That is the way these Jaguars roll. Without doubt. With a confidence that befits a 5-0 team that has beaten teams in the air and on the ground, but usually behind their dynamic leader, Roman.

“I told you he was special,” Jaguars head coach Vic Amick said.

Special? Well, only if 252 passing yards, 60 rushing yards and one touchdown indicates anything above average. And he would have had one more touchdown had a glorious scamper into the end zone not been called back for holding.

And the soft-spoken Roman said he started out a little nervous. After all, only one Windsor football team had ever beaten the Gauchos before.

Make that two.

The season has been a dramatic turnabout for both squads that squared off Friday night.

The Gauchos mauled opponents right and left last season, roaring to a 13-0 record before falling to Miramonte High School in the North Coast Section Championship game. That team featured two offensive and defensive stars who are currently suiting up for Division 1 programs.

That Casa squad took apart the Jaguars 42-7.

But that was last season.

This season, the Gauchos have yet to win a contest and a squad that routinely posted 40 points a game last year is having trouble getting on the board.

It’s a new story for Windsor, too.

Last season, the Windsor Jaguars went 6-6 overall and 3-4 in league.

This season, it’s a different story. Entirely.

Friday night’s game highlighted a team Amick said is good now but could become utterly dominating. Cut the mistakes, the interceptions, the fouls from Friday night’s game and the result could have been even more lopsided.

“That’s the scary thing about our team,” he said.

Despite “hitting for the cycle on mistakes,” according to Amick, the Jaguars were up 14-7 at the half. They were a breath away from adding six more but Roman’s pass just shy of the goal line was picked off with about 20 seconds left in the second quarter.

In the second half, there were more highlight-reel plays from Roman. A broken play that sent the speedy QB scrambling, then rolling to his right before lofting a pass to Mitchell Bruning. That was Roman’s favorite of the night.

“I kind of just floated it to him, kept my eyes down the field,” he said.

Remarkably, this is the first season at the helm for Roman. Last year, he was catching balls from senior quarterback Colin McAlvain.

But that was last year. This season, Roman’s the senior and Roman’s the guy.

“His arm is as strong as they come,” Amick said before the game.

“We could line up Jalen anywhere on the field and he’s going to be the best player at it.”

Part of what makes these Jaguars special, besides that 5-0 start, is their closeness. Most of these key players have been together since pee-wee football.

That pays dividends at this level, and this crop of Jaguars is reaping the rewards — and making life miserable for everybody else.

“We knew we had a special group of guys,” Amick said. “We knew we had the talent to do whatever we please to do.

“They are as tight a group as we have ever had,” he said.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com and on Twitter @benefield.