St. Mary’s 20
New Ulm Cathedral 14
It was St. Mary’s homecoming. It was a game that determined whether the Knights remain undefeated. It was a game that went from nothing to triple overtime madness. It was a night to remember.
For most of regulation, this game was uneventful. Both teams are known for their great defense, which is why neither team was able to score in the first and third quarters. This was an all-out defensive battle from start to finish. Other than a fumble in St. Mary’s opening drive, nothing much happened in the first quarter as a game of tug o’ war played out between the defenses.
Cathedral’s defense was the first one to break, but not until late in the second quarter. After back-to-back three-and-outs, the Knights had the ball again and made their first successful drive of the night. It began on St. Mary’s own 29 yard line, where a short run by David Surprenant set up a 17 yard throw from Brandon Helget to John Brandl. The Knights offense had a good mix of plays to keep the Greyhounds guessing. St. Mary’s was able to advance the ball down to Cathedral’s one yard line after three straight carries by Surprenant. Surprenant was handed the ball again and ran in for the first touchdown of the night. A two-point conversion attempt from Helget to Brandl was unsuccessful.
After another defensive third quarter, the Greyhounds had the ball to start the fourth. This is where the excitement began, and didn’t stop for the remainder of the game. Cathedral ran the ball six times in a row, which resulted in a touchdown. Determined to not be behind in score, the Knights were able to block the extra point kick.
Despite the 6-6 score, things were looking good for St. Mary’s as its defense was easily able to stop two drives by the Greyhounds, which led to a long drive down the field by the Knights. Brandl was able to make two receptions in a row, the second of which was a 31 yard one-handed bobbled grab. With the clock running out, St. Mary’s was threatening to score as Surprenant ran the ball down to the Cathedral’s nine yard line before he fumbled it and was recovered by a Greyhound. Into overtime we go.
In overtime, each team gets a single four-down possession at the other team’s 10 yard line. The Knights had the ball first, and after a short run by Surprenant, the game came to a halt after a Greyhound was injured on the play. The injury time out must have stopped the momentum, as St. Mary’s wasn’t able to score and committed two penalties in a row along the way.
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Cathedral’s turn. After a couple of short runs and a penalty made by the Knights, the Greyhounds had a short field goal attempt. All they needed to do was score to win the game, but the kick was blocked by St. Mary’s.
The Greyhounds scored eight points to start the second overtime. The Knights needed to score eight of their own to force a third overtime, which was all done by Lucas Heiderscheidt. Heiderscheidt ran 10 yards for a touchdown and ran in the two-point conversion as well.
Heiderscheidt wasn’t done there, as he ran twice to score six more to start the third overtime. Surprenant was stopped short on the two-point attempt and the score was brought to 20-14. It all came down to St. Mary’s defense, who stopped Cathedral on its next attempt which ended the game.
Brandl, a senior wide receiver this year, was ecstatic about the win.
“It was crazy, lots of excitement, a lot of ups and downs,” Brandl said. “It was tough. We fought through, proud of my boys.”
Knights Head Coach Brent Kucera had a different opinion.
“It was a fun game for the crowd not for the coaching staff,” Kucera said with a laugh. “I’m proud of our guys, we had a lot of mistakes tonight but they didn’t let it get to them and they kept fighting.”