Gaels roll on the road
PAULLINA — The St. Edmond football team didn’t let a little adversity rattle them here Friday night.
Cade Naughton ran for 153 yards and scored three touchdowns, Andrew Gibb passed for 233 and had three scores, and the Gaels improved to 2-0 in district play with a convincing 34-7 victory over South O’Brien.
Naughton ran in touchdowns from 74 and 19 yards out, also catching an 18-yard TD pass from Gibb, who added a 1-yard score and also connected from 31 yards out with Jackson Bemrich as part of a 20-point fourth quarter.
Isaac Lursen had his third 100-yard game of the season for St. Edmond (2-2 overall, 2-0 in Class A, District 2), catching nine passes for 121 yards.
“We wanted to start fast because we’ve done that in our two home games but didn’t the last time we were on the road,” SEHS head coach Jon Borer said. “We had some issues getting here. It’s a two-hour bus ride and we hit a detour on the way, which delayed our arrival, but the kids responded.”
That they did, as the Gaels marched 69 yards over 19 plays on the opening possession of the game, finishing it all off with Gibb’s score. They converted 3 of 4 third-downs on the drive, including a third-and-20 when Gibb found Lursen for 25.
After recovering a fumble deep in their own territory, Naughton broke free on his 74-yard TD jaunt, giving SEHS a quick 14-0 lead over the Wolverines (0-4, 0-2), who were district runners-up last year and playoff qualifiers.
“South O’Brien is a good team with some solid skill players, so we knew we had to keep on them,” Borer said. “We’ve talked about finishing the game strong and I thought we really did that. We played a great fourth quarter.
“There are still things we can improve upon, but I was proud of the kids.”
Gibb, a junior, completed 12 of his 18 attempts in the opening half for 170 yards, including eight connections with Lursen. He set a new single-game record for yards, just passing the 232 Mike Cosgrove threw for in 1966. His 16 completions are second-best for a game, one behind Greg Sells from 1963.
The Gaels also converted 7 of 9 third-down attempts in the first 24 minutes, out-gaining South O’Brien 258-103.
“Andrew continues to build those key traits that a quarterback has to have,” Borer said. “It’s not always just about running the plays. You have to lead and direct the offense and I think that’s been the biggest improvement in Andrew’s game over the last four weeks.”
Along with continuing his strong connection with Lursen, Gibb hit four other receivers. Bemrich, a sophomore, had the first catches of his varsity career, finishing with three receptions for 55 yards including the long touchdown. Naughton, Charlie Shelly and Elijah Litwiller all caught passes from Gibb, who even added 32 yards on the ground.
Lursen’s nine receptions tied a school record previously set by Dave Conell in 1979 in a game against Carroll. His 27 catches this year places him in a tie for fifth on the single-season list.
St. Edmond finished with 466 yards of total offense, with the Wolverines recording just 188 — all of which came on the ground. The only points scored by South O’Brien were on a 42-yard punt return by quarterback Carson Louscher.
Clayton Leng carried the ball 29 times for 106 yards, but had just two runs over 10 yards.
Jake Rossow and Bemrich each recovered fumbles for the Gael defense.
“We had guys all over the field once again,” Borer said. “Our defense just continues to get better and better with each game.”
With just over a minute to go in the first half, the field lights went out, causing a delay.
St. Edmond remains on the road next Friday, heading to Holstein to face Ridge View. The Raptors (3-1, 2-0) defeated Hartley-HMS last night, 26-22.
First Downs 19 9
Rushes-Yards 43-213 42-188
Passing 253 0
Comp-Att-Int 17-27-0 0-1-0
Total Offense 466 188
Punts-Avg. 2-33.5 6-32.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties-Yards 9-75 10-65
St. Edmond 7 7 0 20– 34
South O’Brien 0 7 0 0–7
St. Edmond — Andrew Gibb (1-yard run), 5:42 left in first. Isaac Lursen kick.
St. Edmond — Cade Naughton (74-yard run), 9:51 left in second. Lursen kick.
South O’Brien — Carson Louscher (42-yard punt return), 9:14 left in third. Drew Faust kick.
St. Edmond — Naughton (18-yard pass from Gibb), 11:51 left in fourth. Lursen kick.
St. Edmond — Jackson Bemrich (31-yard pass from Gibb), 7:59 left in fourth. Lursen kick.
St. Edmond — Naughton (19-yard run), 1:07 left in fourth. Kick failed.
Rushing — St. Edmond: Cade Naughton 14-153, Andrew Gibb 9-32, Charlie Shelly 19-18, Isaac Lursen 1-10. South O’Brien: Clayton Leng 29-106, Carson Louscher 7-64, Drew Faust 6-18.
Passing — St. Edmond: Andrew Gibb 16-26-0-233, Charlie Shelly 1-1-0-20. South O’Brien: Carson Louscher 0-2-0-0.
Receiving — St. Edmond: Isaac Lursen 9-121, Jackson Bemrich 3-55, Charlie Shelly 2-45, Cade Naughton 1-18, Elijah Litwiller 2-14.