There were plenty of reasons for Matt Dillon to smile here Friday night inside Dodger Stadium.
Dillon’s St. Edmond football team posted a resounding 60-16 victory over Eagle Grove for their second consecutive win of the season.
Sean Newell ran for 200 yards and scored four touchdowns as part of a 462-yard performance on the ground by the Gaels (2-1 overall). Peyton Spangler added 82 yards, including a 45-yard scoring run, and Sean Flattery chipped in 49 more and a TD.
And then there was Kase Baker, as the sophomore handled the ball three times in the fourth quarter and accounted for 146 yards and two scores.
“That was a lot of fun,” Dillon said. “It’s a lot of fun to win at home, no question. This was a good win for us because we executed the way we needed to from about the end of the first quarter on.
“And we were able to get all the young guys in the game. Kase Baker, that was just awesome for him. He created some great memories for himself down the road.”
When the final horn sounded, SEHS players were greeted by the fans and embraced, winning for the first time at home almost a year. The 60 points were the most scored since posting 55 in a 2015 victory over Woodward Academy.
“There’s nothing better than a Gael football win,” said Jackson Bemrich, who made a sack on defense. “It’s such an amazing experience being able to come out and win with my teammates and coaches. The crowd was amazing and we couldn’t have done it without all of their support.”
St. Edmond’s 462 yards on the ground were the most since they accounted for 466 in a 42-3 victory in the 2013 state playoff quarterfinals vs. South O’Brien.
In the second half, the Gaels ran just eight plays from scrimmage, but accounted for five touchdowns and 36 points in all. All five scores came on plays of at least 45 yards.
“I thought the entire team executed very well,” Newell said. “We came out sort of slow, but got it rolling in the second quarter. We ran a mixture of runs, which kept the defense guessing every play. That allowed us to take advantage of them.
“It was a blast out there being able to break big runs. I feel proud being able to prove my worth in our backfield, so big thanks to Coach Dillon. I’m extremely proud of how every single one of my teammates came ready to go.”
Leading 16-8 late in the second quarter, the St. Edmond defense forced a turnover on downs and took over with just 14 seconds left on the clock. Spangler broke off a 21-yard run, Eli Litwiller hit Drew Schaeffer for a 25-yard pass to the two and Newell punched it in as the clock expired.
“I thought that really broke (Eagle Grove’s) backs,” Dillon said. “We haven’t really worked on our two-minute offense, so for us to come out, connect on a big pass and score, I was really happy to see that.”
Eagle Grove (0-3) got on the board when DeMarion Friedl picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown. Joel Mendoza, who rushed for 153 yards on 21 carries, also had a 2-yard scoring run.
The Eagles, who had scored just six points entering the night, recorded 249 yards of total offense — five more yards than they had combined in the first two games this year.
Along with Bemrich’s sack, Newell and Ethan Lursen also recorded sacks, with Flattery, Jake Rossow and Thornton Aljets picking up fumbles.
Next up for the Gaels will be second-ranked (Class A) Bishop Garrigan, which won its 30th consecutive regular season game last night by besting Lake Mills, 48-28.
“The road gets a lot tougher starting next week,” Dillon said. “The guys know it, the coaches know it. We’ve got the No. 2 ranked team in the state in Class A on their home field. They are big, physical and have been dominating teams along the lines.
“When I looked at the schedule, I was hoping this was the point (being 2-1) we would be at and we are here.”
First Downs 15 13
Rushes-Yards 33-462 56-248
Passing 25 1
Comp-Att-Int 1-3-1 1-5-1
Total Offense 487 249
Punts-Avg. 3-41.3 3-29.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 4-3
Penalties-Yards 5-30 3-15
St. Edmond 8 16 24 12– 60
Eagle Grove 0 8 8 0–16
St. Edmond — Sean Flattery (28-yard run), :11 left in first. Sean Newell run.
Eagle Grove — DeMarion Friedl (75-yard interception return), 9:40 left in second. Jake Darland-to-Mark Dawson pass.
St. Edmond — Newell (43-yard run), 8:53 left in second. Newell run.
St. Edmond — Newell (2-yard run), :00 left in second. Newell run.
St. Edmond — Newell (55-yard run), 11:42 left in third. Newell run.
Eagle Grove — Joel Mendoza (8-yard run), 5:42 left in third. Mendoza run.
St. Edmond — Newell (77-yard run), 5:18 left in third. Peyton Spangler run.
St. Edmond — Spangler (45-yard run), 2:13 left in third. Newell run.
St. Edmond — Kase Baker (58-yard run), 8:08 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
Rushing — St. Edmond: Sean Newell 12-200, Kase Baker 3-146, Peyton Spangler 6-82, Sean Flattery 7-49, Tyler Rossmanith 2-4, Jake Rossow 1-(minus-8), Eli Litwiller 2-(minus-11). Eagle Grove: Joel Mendoza 21-153, Mark Dawson 11-61, Jake Darland 15-22, Roberto Calles 4-9, Thomas Matthes 3-4, Andrew Dencklau 1-1, Team 1-(minus-2).
Passing — St. Edmond: Eli Litwiller 1-3-1-25, Drew Schaeffer 0-0-0-0, Isaac Landwehr 0-0-0-0. Eagle Grove: Jake Darland 0-4-1-0, Thomas Matthes 1-1-0-1.
Receiving — St. Edmond: Drew Schaeffer 1-25. Eagle Grove: Enzo Gebara 1-1.