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Home opener for Gaels vs. Warriors

Matt Dillon is hoping to see significant improvement from his St. Edmond offense on Friday night as the Gaels make their 2019 football debut at Dodger Stadium against North Union.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Last week, St. Edmond (0-1 overall) was unable to get on track at Panorama, falling, 25-0. The Gaels were held to just 59 total yards and only four first downs.

“We just weren’t prepared on offense for the kind of defense Panorama played,” Dillon said. “That’s not what they did last year so they definitely caught us (off guard).

“We weren’t able to find a lot of answers on the sidelines to fix things, but we did a good job this past week in practice of cleaning up several key areas.”

A year ago, St. Edmond held on for an 18-12 victory in Armstrong over the Warriors, as Sean Flattery accounted for all three touchdowns and ran for 186 yards. The Gael defense forced four turnovers and were able to halt a late drive by North Union for the win.

“It’s going to be another hot night and with so many kids playing both ways, we’ll have to be smart out there,” Dillon said. “We wore them down and overcame a 12-0 deficit in the fourth last year to score 18 points and win. Hopefully, we can be the stronger team again late if we need to be.”

Senior Jackson Bemrich led the SEHS defense in Week 1 with 10 tackles, while Nick Lawler added six and both Parker Oswald and freshman Caleb Schaeffer had five each. All 10 of Bemrich’s stops were solo.

The Warriors (1-0) opened with a 26-6 triumph vs. Central Springs, as Noah Morphew threw two touchdown passes and Ryan Lang ran for 97 yards and a score.

Morphew, a senior replacing all-stater Isaac Engeman, completed 8 of 13 passes, including six connections with classmate Brendan Anderson. Anderson finished with 108 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yarder. He had 31 receptions for 536 yards and eight touchdowns a year ago.

Lang, a junior, had 20 carries, and senior Jacob Bollinger added a touchdown for North Union. He was the starting running back as a 10th-grader when Engeman shifted to quarterback, running for 443 yards and two scores.

The Warrior defense, led by Anderson, had six tackles for loss, with Bollinger picking up three of them. Morphew and Robert Ortman each picked off passes.

“Our offense has to do a better job of putting together drives to keep the defense off the field,” Dillon said. “(The defense) played outstanding last week for three full quarters, but it’s just so tough to expect them to do it all game long like that. It’s no discredit to them — they just wore down.”

St. Edmond have claimed wins over North Union in each of the past two seasons.