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Gaels entertain Ridge View under the lights

Photo by Tom Vogt Kase Baker runs the ball for St. Edmond last week inside Dodger Stadium.

The St. Edmond football team will hit the field inside Dodger Stadium for the final time this Friday night.

Kickoff between the Gaels and Ridge View is set for 7 p.m.

With road games at Alta/Aurelia and Manson Northwest Webster remaining in the regular season schedule, St. Edmond (2-4 overall, 0-2 in Class A, District 2) will honor its seniors a week after Homecoming.

“You want to leave with a great memory playing that last home game as a senior,” SEHS head coach Matt Dillon said. “For a lot of these seniors, this will be their final game in front of a home crowd and that can be a very tough, very emotional thing to overcome.

“Football is the only sport where you can’t just go out on a weekend and strap on some pads and go at it again. It gets in your blood and when it’s gone, it’s gone. That’s why I continue to coach because I love this sport, I love the game and I love being on the sidelines each week.”

The Gaels came up short against Sioux Central, 37-18, last Friday night, suffering their third consecutive defeat. Junior Drew Schaeffer returned after missing a week due to injury, completing 14 of 25 passes for a career-high 242 yards and a touchdown.

Schaeffer’s yardage total placed him second on the school’s single-game list behind only Andrew Gibb.

With Sioux Central forcing St. Edmond to the air, Dillon opened up the offense, taking advantage skill positions players Parker Oswald, Kase Baker, Quinten McCarville, Jackson Bemrich, Sean Flattery and Ethan Lursen.

Oswald caught a career-high five passes for 88 yards, Baker had a touchdown catch and 88 yards of total offense, and McCarville caught a career-high four passes.

“The kids have been very spirited in practice,” Dillon said. “We’ve had to make some changes with kids being gone for other events and the weather, but we are so fortunate to have the SE Arena to practice in. Not a lot of teams our size have an indoor facility large enough to organize and run a practice.”

For the season, Schaeffer has 39 completions for 540 yards and four TDs, Baker has 652 yards ot total offense and seven scores, and Oswald has 16 catches for 207 yards.

Flattery leads the defense, as the junior linebacker has recorded 35.5 tackles. Sophomore Tyler Rossmanith is second with 29.5 and senior Nick Lawler has 29 with a sack.

Lursen has three sacks, Bemrich has two with a pair of blocked punts, and Baker has two interceptions.

St. Edmond has forced seven turnovers on the season.

This marks the final home game for SEHS seniors Bennett McCarville, Charlie Shelly, Bemrich, Matthew McCrady, Bryce Anderson, Lawler and Lursen.

“Hopefully we will come out, be aggressive on both sides of the ball, block well, tackle well and do all the little things you have to do to win a game,” Dillon said. “We have come a very long way this season in regards to our progress and I want this to be another step in the right direction.”

Ridge View (0-6, 0-2), who went 3-6 last year, have scored just 36 points this season. They did have their closest game last week, falling to Alta/Aurelia, 27-14.

Dylan Wood has rushed for 215 yards and two touchdowns, Colton Dutler has 195 and Brody Deitering 146. Kole Winkel leads the team with 15 catches for 210 yards and Zander Ernst has 293 yards passing but has thrown 10 interceptions in 93 attempts.

The Raptors claimed a 26-0 victory last season in Holstein. They have won three in a row in the series, with the Gaels last winning in 2013, 626.

“Last year, we went there 2-4 and they were 0-6 and we ran 20 plays inside the red zone without scoring,” Dillon recalled. “They came out and took it to us in the second half, using that to win their final three games. We want to use this as our launching pad.”