Knights comeback over Cougars to remain undefeated

CJ Surprenant
Special to the Herald-Dispatch

The St. Mary’s Knights overcame the Cedar Mountain Cougars on Friday, Sept. 24. The home game showed a tough battle between two capable teams. 

The Cougars started with the ball, scoring on their first drive. A successful 2-point conversion brought the score to 8-0 in the first quarter. Neither team could find the end zone for the rest of the quarter. After halftime adjustments, the Knights looked like a different team immediately. The opening kick off of the second half was taken back 98 yards for a touchdown. Cedar Mountain was stopped immediately, punting the ball back to the Knights. The Knights punted back, but a fumble recovery gave them the ball in the red zone. They scored hastily, going up 12-8. The Cougars were kept out of the end-zone, while the Knights tossed a pair of touchdowns and ran for a 2-point conversion. 

The Knights’ offense found success in the air and on the ground. The passing game was headed by senior quarterback Carson Domeier. Domeier had a 61% completion rate with 128 yards passing and two touchdowns. The receiving core of the Knights was once again led by junior wideout Kaleb Wait. Wait had 5 catches for 50 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Junior Kaleb Wait made a flying reception in the Knights' win over Cedar Mountain on Friday, Sept. 24.

Jake Heinrichs, another junior wideout, stepped up big with 3 catches for 46 yards. Junior tight end Owen Weiss caught three passes for 26 yards. Freshman tight end Talan Helget caught one pass for 9 yards.

The ground game stayed strong throughout the entire game, with St. Mary’s offensive line simply out-working the Cougars. Senior running back Trent Steffensmeier rushed for 165 yards on 29 attempts. Junior fullback Brandon Tauer had 2 rushes for 10 yards. Carson Domeier rushed 5 times for 7 yards and a touchdown.

The defense was tested in some of its weaker areas, but showed up big in this game. The always reliable senior nose guard Jacob Stevens had an incredible 6 tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 assists. The next leading tacklers were junior cornerback CJ Surprenant and sophomore cornerback Jon Petermann. Surprenant had 6 tackles and 5 assists while Petermann had 5 tackles and 2 assists. Steffensmeier had 4 tackles, 2 assists, 2 sacks, and 2 tackles for loss. Kaleb Wait notched 4 tackles, one tackle for loss, and one interception. Carson Domeier had 2 tackles with one assist. Junior defensive end Owen Weiss had 2 tackles with one assist and a tackle for loss. Junior linebacker Brandon Tauer had 7 assists. 

Special teams showed a promising future for the Knights. Sophomore returner Jon Petermann took the second kick return of the game out from his own 2-yard line all the way to the house. Neither of the Cougars 2 punts were returnable. Talan Helget, the freshman kicker, showed noticeable improvement. Helget kicked 5 times for 189 yards, with a deepest kick at 44 yards. Domeier punted 4 times for 121 yards, with 2 of his punts pinning the Cougars inside the 20-yard line. 

The Knights (4-0) are ranked #5 in the state in their class. They’ll play their Homecoming game this Friday against the Granada-Huntley-East-Chain/Truman Jaguars (1-3).