Flattery leads Gaels to win
ARMSTRONG — Facing the possibility of an 0-2 start to their 2018 campaign here on Friday night, new St. Edmond head football coach Matt Dillon turned to Sean Flattery for a spark.
Flattery provided just that, rushing for a career-high 186 yards and three touchdowns as the Gaels rallied from a double-digit deficit for an 18-12 victory over non-district foe North Union.
Down 12-0 late in the third quarter, Flattery capped an 11-play, 72-yard drive with his first varsity score on a jaunt from 14 yards out. The sophomore would showcase his track speed on his following two touchdowns, darting through the Warrior defense from 56 and 74 yards out.
“No question about it, this was a character win,” Dillon said. “Nothing was going right down 12-0, but our kids dug deep and sucked it up. We made some plays when we needed to and Flattery came in and gave us a huge spark.”
Along with Flattery’s career-night, senior Sean Newell helped wear the North Union (0-2 overall) defense down, running for 113 yards on 20 carries.
“We came out with no energy in the first half that was a given with the score,” Newell said. “In the second half, we dominated on the defensive end which resulted in great offense. This first win feels great because of how hard we had to fight back.
“Peyton (Spangler) and I tired them out in the first half and when they were focusing on stopping me up the middle, (Flattery) used that state track speed and some quick moves.”
Newell, who played guard last year for the Gaels (1-1), also pointed out the play of those in the trenches including Mason O’Brien, Peyton Scott, Nick Bennett, Bryce Anderson and Nick Lawler.
“Our offensive line stepped up big and I’m very proud of them,” Newell said.
Flattery got St. Edmond on the board with his first score that came two plays after Jackson Bemrich recovered a fumble. The Gaels forced four turnovers on the night, with Bemrich and O’Brien recovering fumbles, and both Spangler and Eli Litwiller picking off passes.
“I thought the defense really played well,” Dillon said. “They dug deep and despite being out-manned, they played hard every single snap.
“I’m proud of these guys. This win is huge for their confidence because it shows them that they can battle back. It’s a great win for our program and a starting point for us to build off of.”
The 74-yard run by Flattery was set up by another turnover after Spangler picked off a pass with North Union marching for the game-winning score. O’Brien pounced on a fumble with the Warriors at the SEHS 29 and Litwiller picked off a deep pass to seal the win.
“I was really proud of the team because we were struggling on both sides of the ball in the first half, but in the second, we fought back,” Flattery said. “Our offensive line really stepped up, making it easy for us to run the ball through the holes they created.”
Isaac Engeman, one of three seniors on the North Union roster, ran for 145 yards, passed for another 58 and had a reception. He hit classmate Elliott Hagebock on a 25-yard touchdown pass and was also the leading tackler for the Warriors.
“That Engeman kid is a great, great football player,” Dillon said. “I was so impressed with how hard he plays and how physical he is. He’s a throwback player to the guys I watched growing up.”
St. Edmond returns home next Friday, hosting Eagle Grove (0-2) at Dodger Stadium. The Eagles fell to Clarion-Goldfield/Dows last night, 49-0. North Union travels to MMCRU (0-2), who was downed by Cherokee, 57-0.
First Downs 17 14
Rushes-Yards 41-326 44-184
Passing 19 60
Comp-Att-Int 2-5-2 4-11-2
Total Offense 345 244
Punts-Avg. 3-26.0 2-45.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-2
Penalties-Yards 2-15 2-15
St. Edmond 0 0 6 12– 18
North Union 0 6 6 0–12
North Union — Ryan Lang (2-yard run), 3:19 left in second. Conversion failed.
North Union — Elliott Hagebock (25-yard pass from Isaac Engeman), 6:50 left in third. Conversion failed.
St. Edmond — Sean Flattery (14-yard run), 1:42 left in third. Conversion failed.
St. Edmond — Flattery (56-yard run), 10:24 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
St. Edmond — Flattery (74-yard run), 5:04 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
Rushing — St. Edmond: Sean Flattery 10-186, Sean Newell 20-113, Peyton Spangler 7-31, Jake Rossow 2-(minus-1), Team 2-(minus-3). North Union: Isaac Engeman 28-145, Ryan Lang 8-24, Elliott Hagebock 6-10, Jacob Bollinger 2-5.
Passing — St. Edmond: Eli Litwiller 2-5-2-19. North Union: Elliott Hagebock 1-5-1-2, Isaac Engeman 3-6-1-58.
Receiving — St. Edmond: Drew Schaeffer 2-19. North Union: Elliott Hagebock 3-58, Isaac Engeman 1-2.