Knights topple Coyotes in opener

CJ Surpernant
Special to the Herald-Dispatch

Knights 36  Coyotes 14

The St. Mary’s Knights started the season off strong with a commanding victory over the Heron Lake-Okabena-Fulda Coyotes on Thursday, Sept. 2 in Heron Lake. The game itself was an experience for everyone present.

Day-long rainfall and strong gusts of wind made passing the ball a struggle. The Knights managed 95 yards passing from senior quarterback Carson Domeier. Domeier threw his only passing touchdown of the game to junior tight end Owen Weiss on a 29 yard seam. Senior running back Trent Steffensmeier caught two passes for 57 yards. Freshman tight end Talan Helget caught a pass for one yard late in the game.

The Knights’ rushing core proved that you can’t beat hard work. Steffensmeier rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion on his 28 touches. Senior wideout Joey Herzog ran for 57 yards and one touchdown on six carries. Domeier rushed eight times and recorded 38 yards with a touchdown and 2-pt conversion. Sophomore running back Jon Peterman rushed for 16 yards. The rest of the Knights combined for 11 more rushing yards.

The defense showed up this game, led by the linebacking trio. The Coyotes managed only 33 rushing yards against the Knights. Steffensmeier led the team with six tackles and two assists. Junior linebacker Brandon Tauer had five tackles, one assist, one tackle for loss, and a recovered fumble. Junior strong safety CJ Surprenant had three solo tackles. The defensive line took care of business in the trenches, anchored by senior defensive end Jacob Stevens. Stevens had two tackles, one assist, one tackle for loss, and a sack. Owen Weiss recorded two tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack of his own. Jon Peterman picked off a deep pass late in the game to snuff any hope the Coyotes had left.

Domeier shouldered his usual kicking duties, averaging just over 40 yards a kick with two touchbacks. He punted only twice and averaged 50 yards. He also had a successful onside kick to Herzog late in the game.

The player of the game was senior Trent Steffensmeier for leading the Knights in both offensive production and defensive strength. He had this to say following the big win: “Our offensive line played one heck of a game. They fired off the ball perfectly. Our defense against the run really kept them in check. The defensive line played great.”

The Knights will play at home against the 0-1 Nicollet Raiders on Friday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. 

Did you see the new fence going up at St. Mary's football field? Looked like a big crew of volunteers helped with the project.