CAL CITY — In case you missed the “Jeremiah Neal Show” it aired, literally, on Wednesday night at Cal City High School.
The senior quarterback threw for 240 yards on 9-of-13 passing and four touchdowns, three to his favorite target Kwamain Ross, to help lead the Ravens to an impressive 38-0 victory over visiting Lancaster.
“It was a pretty good game. It was a short week for us, but everybody did what they needed to do. Everything seemed to be clicking,” said Neal. “We started the season off slow, but the offense has been able to pick it up throughout.”
Neal also rushed the ball 10 times for 139 yards. So far this season he has tossed seven touchdowns in four games. Ross added to his touchdown collection and he now has six on the season.
It didn’t take long for the Ravens’ offense to get rolling as they took the opening drive 63 yards in six plays and Neal found Ross over the middle for a 35-yard score. Following the 2-point conversion, Cal City (3-1) led 8-0.
On their second drive the Neal-Ross Connection was at it again, this time from 63 yards out as Ross caught the short pass and did the rest as he sprinted up his own sideline for the touchdown. Neal completed his first six passes of the game.
“We’re starting to click. The guys are starting to pick up the offense. They know where they need to be and they’re playing confident,” first-year Cal City head coach Brandon Rivers said. “This is a team we definitely didn’t want to overlook. We wanted to make sure we executed and played hard.”
Cal City took a 22-0 lead when Neal hit Ross for the third time with a slant over the middle from 18 yards out to extend the lead. The Ravens led 25-0 at halftime.
Lancaster (0-2), playing in only its second game of the season after canceling a game to Heritage Christian because the football program at that school went defunct, had trouble moving the ball against a stingy Cal City defense. It didn’t help that the Eagles were playing without eight starters in the first half because they missed practice according to head coach Seth Johnson.
“It’s a commitment issue. When you miss practice I’m going to hold you out. I have to stay true to my word,” Johnson said. “They didn’t do anything we didn’t prepare for. We just didn’t execute anything. We didn’t tackle properly and mental errors killed us. It’s going to be hard to bounce back from this, but the best way is to have a commitment.”
The Ravens’ defense only allowed 21 yards of total offense to Lancaster and it spent much of the time in the backfield as it sacked Eagles’ quarterback Nathan Baer five times.
“This was a hard game for us. I’m just trying to get the guys to keep their heads up,” said Baer, who finished the game 2-of-4 for 14 yards. “At practice we have to work on a lot of things. We have to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball. We just haven’t been fired up to start any of our games. Everyone has to do their job.”
Neal capped his PS4-type night with a 42-yard strike to Roosevelt Toussain up the sideline for the touchdown. Neal connected with six different receivers.
“Our defense has been playing lights out all year. The guys relish playing defense,” Rivers said. “We love to have shutouts. I’m happy we got the win, but we’re not where we need to be. We have a lot to work on. We’re far from done.”
The game, which was originally scheduled for Thursday night, had to be pushed back to Wednesday to help accommodate the Eagles.
Cal City racked up 433 yards of total offense. Ross finished with 126 yards on four receptions.