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Gaels roll again

September 22, 2012
By JOSH MEYER sports@messengernews.net

HOLSTEIN - St. Edmond's recipe for success was a familiar one Friday night.

Relying on their punishing ground attack and opportunistic defense, the second-ranked Gael football team (5-0 overall, 3-0 in district) stayed unbeaten on the season with a 26-7 victory over Class 1A, District 2 foe Ridge View.

Senior Alex Mericle served as the catalyst again for SEHS, rushing for a career-high 232 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. Mericle, who entered last evening's game ranked fifth among all 1A rushers, reached the endzone from 1, 1 and 6 yards out respectively.

"Our offensive line did a great job like always of opening up huge holes," said Mericle, who has now accounted for 923 rushing yards and 17 scores on the year. "(Junior fulback) Vinnie (Harvey) also had a breakout game, and deserves a lot of credit for helping take some of the pressure off me."

Harvey added 125 yards and a touchdown on 17 totes for the Gaels, who found paydirt on four of their five drives before the break.

"We were able to move the ball pretty effectively on the ground with both (Mericle and Harvey) in the first half, but we kind of fell asleep then after that," said St. Edmond head coach Dick Tighe, who posted career win No. 396 on Friday. "It's hard to play with that same intensity level and focus once you get a big lead early."

Fact Box

SERV

First Downs1819

Rushes-Yards55-37443-188

Passing0157

Comp-Att-Int0-2-017-30-0

Total Offense374345

Punts-Avg.3-40.33-31.7

Fumbles-Lost4-34-2

Penalties-Yards8-11010-88

St. Edmond14 12 0 0- 26

Ridge View0 0 0 7- 0

Scoring Summary

St. Edmond - Alex Mericle (1-yard run), 7:15 left first. Aaron McElroy kick.

St. Edmond - Vinnie Harvey (12-yard run), 5:59 left first. McElroy kick.

St. Edmond - Mericle (1-yard run), 9:03 left second. Kick failed.

St. Edmond - Mericle (6-yard run), 1:01 left second. Run failed.

Ridge View - Ryan Garthoff (11-yard run), 10:20 left fourth. Jesus Nava kick.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing - St. Edmond: Alex Mericle 33-232, Vinnie Harvey 17-125, Aaron McElroy 1-12, David Flattery 2-3, Matt Stumpf 2-2. Ridge View: Ryan Garthoff 13-107, Dru Kenny 24-60, Matt Wandrey 5-22, Team 1-(minus-1).

Passing - St. Edmond: Flattery 0-2-0-0. Ridge View: Garthoff 17-30-0-157.

Receiving - Ridge View: John Kofmehl 6-49, Kenny 3-43, Michael Tiefenthaler 3-33, Austin Struchen 1-16, Joe Tokheim 2-10, Wandrey 2-6.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing - St. Edmond: Alex Mericle 33-232, Vinnie Harvey 17-125, Aaron McElroy 1-12, David Flattery 2-3, Matt Stumpf 2-2. Ridge View: Ryan Garthoff 13-107, Dru Kenny 24-60, Matt Wandrey 5-22, Team 1-(minus-1).

Passing - St. Edmond: Flattery 0-2-0-0. Ridge View: Garthoff 17-30-0-157.

Receiving - Ridge View: John Kofmehl 6-49, Kenny 3-43, Michael Tiefenthaler 3-33, Austin Struchen 1-16, Joe Tokheim 2-10, Wandrey 2-6.

After building a seemingly insurmountable 26-0 advantage at the intermission, the Gaels managed to hang on despite a ragged final two quarters, which featured a combined four turnovers and nine penalties for 115 yards. Of the six SEHS second-half possessions, three resulted in fumbles, two in punts and one more in a turnover on downs.

"Even though that second half was pretty sloppy, we'll gladly take this (victory) and move on," Tighe said. "We know we still have plenty room for improvement."

St. Edmond registered 374 yards of total offense - all coming on the ground - compared to 345 for the Raptors (1-4, 1-2).

Defensively, the Gaels received fumble recoveries from seniors Teddie Harvey and Dillon Nelson, upping their season's total in takeaways to 16. St. Edmond's defensive unit also stiffened on three different occasions in the red zone, forcing a Ridge View turnover on downs each time.

"Our defense bent a little, but we did a nice job of never really breaking," said Tighe. "No. 1 (Ridge View's Ryan Garthoff) is a heck of a quarterback, and he hurt us some with both his arm and legs."

Garthoff was the top offensive performer for the Raptors, rushing for 107 yards and a score on 13 attempts. Garthoff completed 17 of 30 passes as well for 157 yards. Ridge View's lone touchdown came on an 11-yard scamper by Garthoff with 10:20 remaining in the contest.

Through five games on the year, the Gaels have now outscored their opponents, 205-41.

St. Edmond welcomes No. 9 IKM-Manning (5-0, 2-0) for a Homecoming Showdown Friday. The Wolves kept their perfect season intact last night, prevailing over Sioux Central by a 35-6 count.

 
 

 

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