St. Mary’s football team is quickly advancing through the Section 2A playoffs with easy wins over Loyola Catholic School and BLHS.
On Oct. 22, the Knights hosted the Crusaders. Even though the temperatures were near freezing, St. Mary’s got things rolling right away with a touchdown by Brandon Helget to John Brandl for 15 yards. The extra point kick was made by David Surprenant and St. Mary’s had a 7-0 lead. Soon later, the lead became 13-0 from a 10-yard touchdown run by junior Jaden Wait. This time the PAT was no good.
Despite being a 0-8 team, the Crusaders tackled hard on defense and were able to score six in the first quarter with their offense. But they were still no match for the Knights, who blanked them in the second quarter with two more touchdowns. The first was a short run by Surprenant, who also kicked in the extra point. Surprenant kicked his third extra point on the night, a few minutes later, after a pass from Helget to Brandl for a 36-yard touchdown play.
St. Mary’s made more statements in the third quarter with two more touchdowns. The first was a huge, 44-yard touchdown run by Helget. The second was only a minute later from a short run by Wait. Surprenant successfully kicked in both extra points and the Knights were up 41-6.
Loyola scored their second touchdown of the game in the third, but it didn’t matter as a final score was made by St. Mary’s in the fourth from a run by Nathan Schroepfer for two yards. The Knights won it 47-12.
Helget was the MVP of the night, completing 9-of-15 passes for 128 yards on the night, and ran for another 114. Wait and Surprenant added 82 and 64 rushing yards, respectfully. Surprenant also led on defense with eight tackles and one sack. Brandl led in receiving with 128 yards.
On Oct. 16, the Knights became Southern Minnesota Conference Champions after they blanked Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 26-0 at home.
St. Mary’s got to work right away with an opening drive that took four minutes off the game clock and ended with a touchdown. After two running plays by Surprenant for 15 yards, Helget showed his versatility as a quarterback when he took the ball himself and ran 37 yards down the field. The drive ended with a pass from Helget to sophomore Kodan Kosak for a 12-yard touchdown play. The two-point conversion attempt from Helget to junior Jared Rothmeier was no good.
The second quarter was even more successful than the first, as the Knights first two drives ended with touchdowns. The big play from the first drive was a pass from Helget to Kosak for a 33-yard gain. Helget gave the ball to Surprenant for the next two plays and Surprenant was able to score. This time the two-point attempt was a failed pass from Helget intended for senior Michael Hirsch.
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Only a couple minutes later, St. Mary’s had the ball again and fans witnessed some serious Déjà vu as Helget made another 33-yard pass to Kosak to start it off. With two and a half minutes remaining, junior Lucas Heiderscheidt was barely able to stretch across the goal line for a touchdown. Another two-point attempt was botched, this time from a run by Wait.
The rest of the game turned into a defensive battle, as St. Mary’s main goal was to run the clock down. The score turned into 20-0 after the Knights blocked a punt attempt which went back into the end zone for a safety. At the end of the third and into the fourth, Surprenant ran four times in a row for 43 yards which resulted in a five-yard touchdown run by Heiderscheidt. The fourth two-point conversion in a row was failed, this time by Surprenant.
Helget went 9-for-18 for 119 yards and a touchdown, while Surprenant led in rushing with 17 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown. Kosak led in receiving with three receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown.
The next game for St. Mary’s will be against Springfield on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s field.