St. Edmond renews rivalry with EG

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Sean Newell of St. Edmond scores a touchdown against Panorama earlier this season.

St. Edmond first-year head coach Matt Dillon saw an added spark in his football team this past week following a victory.

The Gaels return home to Dodger Stadium Friday night to face Eagle Grove. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Last week, St. Edmond (1-1 overall) went on the road for the first time this season, picking up an 18-12 come-from-behind victory in Armstrong over North Union. Sophomore running back Sean Flattery set a career-high 186 and scored three touchdowns in leading the come-from-behind victory. Sean Newell, a senior, added 113 yards on the ground.

Flattery broke free for runs of 14, 56 and 74 yards to paydirt, with the final one ending up as the game-winning score.

“Our offensive line blocked as well as they have all year on those three scoring possessions we had,” Dillon said. “And as we’ve shown this season, we have guys in the backfield that can make some pretty special plays when that happens.”

On the year, Flattery is averaging 14.4 yards per carry, leading the way for St. Edmond with 245 on 17 carries. Newell has 188 yards and Peyton Spangler 113, with both posting five-plus yards per tote.

“We are going to get all of them the ball,” Dillon said. “Sean (Flattery) is going to get some work at multiple positions, Sean (Newell) is going to get some carries and Spangler too. They are all capable of breaking the big one and I’m hoping we can do a lot of that (Friday night).”

Newell and Flattery were also busy on the defensive side of the ball vs. the Warriors, recording a combined 25 tackles — with Newell in on 13 solo stops. Eli Litwiller and Spangler each had interceptions, Mason O’Brien and Spangler recovered fumbles, and both Drew Schaeffer and Nick Lawler made 10 stops.

St. Edmond’s defense has forced seven turnovers after recording just 10 in all of last season.

“Our defense really came up big with those turnovers (vs. North Union),” Dillon said. “And when you can get points off of turnovers, it is a huge confidence boost for your team.”

The Gaels play three of their next four on the road starting with second-ranked (Class A) Bishop Garrigan next week. They open district play vs. IKM-Manning with away games after that at Sioux Central and Ridge View.

St. Edmond and Eagle Grove last met in 2013 with the Gaels scoring a 48-7 victory on their way to playing for the state title that season. Tate O’Tool, currently a junior on the Central College football team, ran for 137 yards, with new SEHS head wrestling coach Vinnie Harvey adding 110 more on the ground.

In 2012 they played at Dodger Stadium, with the Gaels posting a 35-0 triumph behind 100-yard games by Harvey and Alex Mericle. St. Edmond has won five in a row in the series, with the last Eagle Grove victory coming in 2002 (22-14).

The Eagles (0-2) have scored just six points in losses to No. 4 (A) Belmond-Klemme (61-6) and Clarion-Goldfield/Dows (49-0). Joel Mendoza leads the team with 90 yards and the lone score, with Jake Darland, Mark Dawson and Nick Halverson all recording at least 11 carries.

“We’re a very young team, which is putting a lot of pressure on kids to compete at the varsity level that probably are not quite ready for it,” EGHS head coach Paul Hansch said. “We’ll do good things, then have some mistakes that really hurt us. After graduating 13 really good seniors (from a 6-3 team last year), we knew we’d have some growing pains this season.”

Eagle Grove has recovered three fumbles this year on defense, and Nick Halverson, Mendoza and Enzo Gebara have recorded six tackles for loss.

Next Friday, the Eagles play their final non-district game vs. South Hardin. Dates with Pocahontas Area and seventh-ranked (A) South Central Calhoun are on the docket in the coming weeks.

EAGLE GROVE (0-2)

Offense

E — Demarion Friedl, 155, sr.; LT — Carlos Figueroa, 240, jr.; LG — Aidan Vrba, 215, soph.; C — Draven Rasmussen, 230, jr.; RG — Reco Jolly, 205, soph.; RT — Eric Hernandez, 285, jr. or Leo Calles, 240, sr.; E — Nick Halverson, 175, sr.; WB — Mark Dawson, 145, jr.; FB — Enzo Gebara, 180, jr.; QB — Jake Darland, 160, soph.; HB — Joel Mendoza, 225, jr.; K — Nicolas Lentz, 130, sr.

Defense

DE — Peyton Larsen, 235, fr.; DT — J. Mendoza; NG — Eric Mendoza, fr.; DE — Vrba; LB — Dawson; LB — Jolly; LB — Gebara; CB — Friedl; CB — Roberto Calles, fr., 150; S — Halverson; S — Darland; P — Halverson.

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