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No. 4 Gaels travel to CMB

St. Edmond trying to stay unbeaten

September 16, 2011
By DANA BECKER - Messenger Sports Writer (sports@messengernews.net)

MAXWELL - The fourth-ranked (Class 2A) St. Edmond football team is not only dealing with a short turnaround due to playing last Saturday, but the Gaels are also making one of their longest trips of the year this week.

St. Edmond (3-0 overall, 1-0 in 2A, District 7) travels to CMB-Baxter (3-0, 1-0) in a battle of unbeatens.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Sullivan Field.

The game has been designated the WOI (Cable Ch. 5 in Fort Dodge) Friday Night Blitz Game of the Week.

Last year, the Gaels earned a convincing 35-0 victory over the Raiders, running for 319 yards. With long-time head coach Dick Tighe continuing to pace the sidelines, St. Edmond will look to do more of the same.

"We want to control the game and chew up clock," said Tighe, who owns a state-record 385 career wins. "If we can play ball control, stay away from mistakes and play with a lead, I like our chances."

Fact Box

GAEL STARTERS

Offense

LT: Ryan Rodenborn, 230, sr.

LG: Teddie Harvey, 165, jr.

C: Joe Winge, 175, sr.

RG: Dillon Nelson, 180, jr.

RT: Jacob Salisbury, 223, jr.

SE: Nick Clark, 160, sr.

TE: Patrick Champa, 200, sr.

WB: Matt Stumpf, 150, jr.

FB: Alex Mericle, 190, jr.

TB: Neil Flattery, 190, sr.

QB: David Flattery, 175, jr.

K: Clark

Defense

DE: Champa

DT: Rodenborn

NG: Vinnie Harvey, 205, so.

DT: Nelson

DE: Ross Taets, 190, sr.

LB: Mericle

LB: Winge

CB: N. Flattery

CB: Stumpf

SS: Mericle

FS: Clark

P: McElroy

Graduated fullback Andrew Steinkamp and returning senior Neil Flattery both went over the 100-year barrier vs. CMB in that meeting, while Nick Clark - now the starting split end - was a perfect 4-for-4 passing, hitting Patrick Champa for two touchdown passes.

Flattery has been the focal point to the new I-formation offense, running for 407 yards and five touchdowns. Flattery, who has played in 22 games during his career in the green and white, has ran for 1,323 yards on 202 carries, including 14 touchdowns.

The St. Edmond defense was key against CMB in 2010, forcing four turnovers. So far this season, the Pat Schomberg-led unit has been stout, surrendering only 20 points through three games and registering five sacks and five interceptions.

"We just need to continue doing the things we have been doing on defense," Tighe said. "We have done a good job of getting after the quarterback and keeping teams out of the endzone."

The Gaels put on a clinic last Saturday inside Dodger Stadium, defeating then-No. 4 and defending state runner-up North Polk, 27-7. Flattery eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the second time this year, as SEHS outscored the Comets 20-0 in the second half.

"I thought our tackling was excellent," Tighe said. "(North Polk) was able to move the ball, but we came up with big stops when we needed to."

CMB, though, will test the Gael defense, as Raider quarterback Cody Schmite is the fourth-ranked passer in all of 2A in terms of yards thrown for this year. Schmite, who started last year under center, is 39 of 61 for 629 yards and four touchdowns, running for another 126 yards and five scores.

Schmite's favorite target has been Josh Zeiser, as the senior has 18 receptions for 345 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Zeiser's yardage total ranks first in 2A and 10th overall in the entire state.

"They use the shotgun and normally have one back with (Schmite)," Tighe said. "My biggest worry is that they get hot with a couple of long pass completions and get on a roll. We need to make sure we don't let them do that."

In a Week 1 victory over Lynnville-Sully, Schmite and Zeiser were unstoppable, hooking up seven times for 174 yards. Schmite finished the game 16-for-27 with 326 yards through the air and another 81 and three TDs on the ground.

The Raiders were down in terms of wins last year, going 5-4. In the three seasons prior, CMB went a combined 23-4, reaching the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs in 2007.

On the injury front for the Gaels, starting strong safety and backup tailback Aaron McElroy is listed as doubtful with a sprained ankle, while offensive lineman Jacob Salisbury is probable with a shoulder injury.

Contact Dana Becker at (515) 573-2141, or by email at sports@messengernews.net