Despite having more yards on offense and 15 more minutes of possession, St. Mary’s football team still came up short at the Class A State Semifinal on Nov. 16.

Dawson-Boyd 27,

St. Mary’s 18

Despite having more yards on offense and 15 more minutes of possession, St. Mary’s football team still came up short at the Class A State Semifinal on Nov. 16.

It was a sluggish start at the Metrodome for the Knights. The 9 a.m. game began with a three-and-out by both teams followed by a Dawson-Boyd touchdown on the Blackjack’s second possession. Nerves must have set in for St. Mary’s as the Knights had another three-and-out drive while Dawson-Boyd continued to move the ball well.

The Blackjacks used their size advantage to push their way through St. Mary’s defense. Dawson-Boyd had 41 rushing yards on a drive near the end of the first quarter which ended in a one yard touchdown run in the third to give the Blackjacks a 13-0 lead. The touchdown came after an 11 yard pickup in the air in which senior John Brandl almost intercepted.

The Knights finally got things going toward the end of the first half. St. Mary’s defense stepped up and forced a big three-and-out by Dawson-Boyd. The Blackjacks had to punt from their own two yard line, which gave the Knights the ball on Dawson-Boyd’s 31. St. Mary’s first and only play was a 31 yard run for a touchdown by junior Brandon Helget. A two-point conversion pass from Helget to Brandl was no good, but the score was brought to 6-13.

The touchdown gave the Knights the much needed momentum to start the second half. Sophomore Kodan Kosak started things off with a 10 yard kickoff return. This was followed by two runs by Surprenant for 13 yards. After an offensive penalty was made, the Knights made their biggest play of the game. St. Mary’s perfectly executed a play where Helget fooled the defense into thinking he was going to run the ball himself. After Dawson-Boyd’s defense bit on the fake run, Helget stepped back and floated an easy pass to a wide open Surprenant who ran 63 yards down the field for a touchdown. The touchdown brought the score to 12-13. Instead of going for the tie, the Knights attempted a two-point conversion pass from Helget to senior Mike Hirsch which was no good.

The Blackjacks responded on their next drive with a 27 yard kickoff return. They further advanced the ball with their passing game. On Dawson-Boyd’s ninth play of the drive, a 24 yard touchdown pass was made. A two-point conversion pass was also made, and the Knights found themselves in a nine point deficit halfway through the third quarter.

This was when St. Mary’s had two hopeful drives that ended poorly. The first began with a 23 yard kickoff return by Brandl. After a few short runs by Helget and Surprenant, Helget found a bigger hole and made a 29 yard run. The Knights were looking to score after junior Jaden Wait ran twice to bring the ball down to Dawson-Boyd’s eight yard line. But St. Mary’s third down attempt ended in a loss of 10 yards while the fourth down pass was incomplete which brought the hopeful drive to an end.

The second opportunistic drive began at the end of the third. The biggest play was a pass from Helget to Kosak for 21 yards. The Knights brought it down to the Blackjack’s five, but once again failed to score because of a penalty and two incomplete passes. Dawson-Boyd took advantage of the missed opportunities made by St. Mary’s and sealed the deal with a 39 yard touchdown run made by the quarterback.

The Knights didn’t give up, as St. Mary’s scored off its next drive from a four yard run by Helget with a little over two minutes left in the game. This was only after a 25 yard reception was made by junior Jared Rothmeier. The two-point conversion was the Knights last hope for a comeback, but the pass from Helget to Kosak was no good as the score was brought to 18-27.

St. Mary’s ended the game with a total of 322 yards of offense while Dawson-Boyd had 311. The Blackjack’s made 10 penalties for 85 yards on the night while the Knights only made four for 20. Helget went 5-for-14 and 110 yards in passing. Surprenant led in both rushing and receiving with 16 carries for 105 yards and one reception for 63 yards. On defense, Carter Krzmarzick led with nine tackles while Hirsch and Surprenant had seven apiece. Brandl and Andrew Steffl each had six tackles as well.