St. Mary’s 46,
It’s not very often when the quarterback leads in both passing and rushing. But for junior Brandon Helget, it was just another day at the office.
Helget went 8-for-12 and 192 yards in the passing game to lead the Knights past the Tigers on Oct. 26. He also put up 168 yards from 10 carries to lead in rushing, two of those carries being touchdown runs. Meanwhile, St. Mary’s defense was impenetrable, as Springfield couldn’t put a single point on the scoreboard despite multiple opportunities.
“We came out hard and just wanted to take care of business and that’s what we did tonight,” said Helget, who was named KNUJ’s player of the week in offensive football.
But the very first touchdown of the game for St. Mary’s didn’t even come from Helget and the offensive line. Instead, it came from senior Andrew Steffl on defense. With barely any time off the clock, Steffl made an interception and ran back almost halfway down the field for a touchdown. After a successful kick by junior David Surprenant, the Knights found themselves up 7-0 thanks to Steffl’s pick-six.
After two three-and-outs by the Tigers and one by St. Mary’s, the Knights had the ball again. On the first and only play of the drive, Helget ran the ball 53 yards down the field for a touchdown, the longest touchdown run so far this season by any St. Mary’s player. The two-point conversion attempt from senior John Brandl to Surprenant was no good.
But Helget wasn’t done there. With two minutes left in the first, Helget made yet another big running play, this time a 39-yard touchdown run. Not to mention, he ran for 12 yards earlier in the same drive. Surprenant kicked in the extra point and the Knights were up 20-0.
The rest of Helget’s touchdowns were made by his arm instead of his legs. The first of which, was a pass to Brandl for a 17 yard touchdown play in the second quarter. Surprenant made the kick and St. Mary’s went into halftime with a 27-0 lead.
The big play of the next scoring drive for the Knights was a pass from Helget to sophomore Kodan Kosak for 35 yards at the start of the third. It was then Surprenant who ran two yards for a touchdown and also kicked in the PAT.
Page 2 of 2 - The Helget and Kosak duo struck again five minutes later, with a 37 yard catch-and-run touchdown play. Surprenant missed his first extra point kick of the game following the touchdown.
The final score of the night came from a drive that began at the end of the third quarter and resulted in a four yard touchdown run by junior Jaden Wait in the fourth. Surprenant missed another kick, but it didn’t matter as St. Mary’s came away with the big victory.
The Knights had 449 total offensive yards on the night and held Springfield to only four and a half minutes of possession. Behind Helget, Surprenant had 14 carries for 57 rushing yards. Kosak led in receiving with four receptions for 137 yards. On defense, Kosak had two interceptions while Lucas Heiderscheidt and Carter Krzmarzick had five tackle assists apiece.
St. Mary’s moves on to host New Ulm Cathedral for the Section 2A final, which takes place on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The previous meeting between the teams resulted in a triple overtime thriller with the Knights on top. Helget said his team is ready for another exciting game.
“Last time we played them it was down to the wire and I’m sure it will be like that again,” Helget said. “We just got to finish it.”