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Who has the edge?

November 7, 2013
By DANA BECKER sports@messengernews.net

Who has the edge?

The Gaels and Wolverines are both your typical old-school football programs, putting emphasis on running the ball and playing defense.

While others have caught on to the fast-break, spread era, these two have remained true to their ways.

So, who has the edge when they step out on the field this evening? Let's take a look:

Offense

Both rely on a workhorse, with St. Edmond having a little more balance to its run attack.

Led by Vinnie Harvey, the Gaels have ran for 3,057 yards and scored 46 touchdowns on the ground. Add in 536 more yards passing and seven TDs, and that gives you better than 3,500 yards of total offense.

South O'Brien, however, has been better, racking up 3,153 yards on the ground - fourth-most in 1A - and another 730 passing. They have 38 rushing scores and seven through the air, as well.

The edge goes to: the Wolverines

Defense

As efficient on offense as these two are, the defenses have been on lockdown.

St. Edmond pitched three shutouts and held five other opponents to just single digits, including playoff quarterfinalist Bishop Garrigan.

Through 11 games, the Gaels have allowed just 74 total points and forced 25 turnovers.

The Wolverines have one shutout and held the opposing team to single digits four times.

South O'Brien has allowed 148 points and caused 19 combined interceptions and fumble recoveries.

The edge goes to: the Gaels

Special Teams

St. Edmond's Hank Crimmins and T.J. O'Tool have formed an incredible kicker-punter combination.

Crimmins has made 45 of 51 extra-point attempts and handled kickoffs, including seven touchbacks, while O'Tool is averaging just a shade under 40 yards per punt.

The Gaels also feature Peed here, who has

South O'Brien counters with Duncan Schwebach, who has handled both chores as of late. The junior is 12 of 16 on PATs and averages 35.6 yards per punt.

Zach Nieman has also done some kicking on the year.

The edge goes to: the Gaels

Coaching

For now, no matter what South O'Brien head coach Mark Fuhrman does, he has nothing on Dick Tighe.

The all-time wins leader in Iowa, Tighe has racked up 411 wins in 60 seasons pacing the sidelines.

Fuhrman has guided South O'Brien to the playoffs the last three seasons. Tighe, meanwhile, has qualified 22 times.

The edge goes to: the Gaels

Intangibles

Regardless of their school size, St. Edmond has always come up big in the support category.

The Gaels have claimed five Sportsmanship Awards during the basketball playoffs, and the "Fish Tank" continues to fill up on a yearly basis.

South O'Brien will have a two-hour, 110-mile trip to make, but the Wolverines should bring a large contingent to Dodger Stadium - as this is the state quarterfinals after all.

The edge goes to: the Gaels

The Result

So, taking all of those factors into play, it looks like the Gaels will be making the trip to Cedar Falls next week and the UNI-Dome.

Final score: St. Edmond 27, South O'Brien 20

 
 

 

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