The one-man wrecking ball known as Jayden Harder derailed any hopes for a victory on homecoming for St. Edmond here Friday night.
Harder, a Sioux Central junior, carried the ball 45 times for 233 yards and found the end zone four times inside Dodger Stadium, as the Rebels posted a 37-18 victory.
Jake Saunders added 116 yards on the ground as Sioux Central (4-2 overall, 2-0 in Class A, District 2) ran almost 70 plays and controlled both the line of scrimmage and clock.
Drew Schaeffer threw for 242 yards, the second-highest single-game total in school history for the Gaels (2-4, 0-2), who fell for the third consecutive time.
“It was great effort by our kids and they really played their tails off,” SEHS head coach Matt Dillon said. “That part of it was gratifying to see because I didn’t feel that way after the game last week (at IKM-Manning).
“But (Harder) is just a heck of a player. He doesn’t go backwards — ever, he’s just a hard, hard runner and we didn’t win the battle against him.”
The Rebels put together a 10-play, 43-yard drive that consisted of nine runs by Harder for the first score of the night. He now has almost 200 carries and over 800 yards with nine TDs on the season.
St. Edmond, though, answered right back with a six-play, 56-yard drive that was finished off by Kase Baker’s run to the end zone. Baker, a junior, recorded 80 yards of total offense and scored twice.
“We did a lot of good things on offense,” Dillon said. “We knew after the first couple of drives that we had to throw the ball to beat them because they were loading up in the box. We were able to spread them out and used the weapons we have on the outside.”
Parker Oswald caught five passes for 88 yards before leaving the game with what Dillon could only describe as a “cut above his eye that makes him look like ‘Rocky.'”
“Honestly, I don’t know how or when he’ll be able to see out of that eye,” he added.
Baker had two catches for 66 yards including a 31-yard touchdown from Schaeffer on a play in which Sioux Central was flagged for pass interference, Jackson Bemrich had two receptions for 59 yards and Quinten McCarville hauled in four passes for 31.
“Drew really had a nice game throwing the ball,” Dillon said. “He is an extremely intelligent young man with a great idea of what to do with the football. The guys made some big-time catches and big plays.
“We just couldn’t put them in a situation where they had to throw it.”
The Rebels put together an 11-play, 85-yard scoring drive, another that covered 80 yards on 13 plays and one more that went for 13 plays and 63 yards.
Schaeffer’s yardage total is second to Andrew Gibb’s 278 from 2017 against South O’Brien. He surpassed Mike Cosgrove’s mark of 232 set in 1966.
Bemrich also blocked a punt for the Gaels, who will play for the final time at home next Friday vs. Ridge View. The Raptors (0-6, 0-2) fell to Alta/Aurelia last night, 27-14.
First Downs 13 22
Rushes-Yards 16-10 67-378
Passing 278 0
Comp-Att-Int 16-28-0 0-1-0
Total Offense 288 378
Punts-Avg. 2-25.0 0-0.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 4-35
St. Edmond 6 0 6 6– 18
Sioux Central 8 16 0 13–37
Sioux Central — Jayden Harder (1-yard run), 4:35 left in first. Jake Saunders run.
St. Edmond — Kase Baker (3-yard run), 2:58 left in first. Conversion failed.
Sioux Central — Saunders (17-yard run), 10:20 left in second. Teagan Pritchard run.
Sioux Central — Harder (2-yard run), 3:20 left in second. Pritchard run.
St. Edmond — Sean Flattery (9-yard run), 11:02 left in third. Conversion failed.
Sioux Central — Harder (6-yard run), 10:50 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
St. Edmond — Baker (31-yard pass from Drew Schaeffer), 9:17 left in fourth. Conversion failed.
Sioux Central — Harder (1-yard run), :57 left in fourth. Grant Gunderson kick.
Rushing — St. Edmond: Kase Baker 7-14, Drew Schaeffer 4-2, Sean Flattery 4-1, Devon Wirtz 1-(minus-7). Sioux Central: Jayden Harder 45-233, Jake Saunders 12-116, Teagan Pritchard 7-24, Kaleb Scott 2-15, Team 1-(minus-10).
Passing — St. Edmond: Drew Schaeffer 14-25-0-242, Devon Wirtz 2-3-0-36. Sioux Central: Jake Saunders 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — St. Edmond: Parker Oswald 5-88, Kase Baker 2-66, Jackson Bemrich 2-59, Quinten McCarville 4-31, Ethan Lursen 1-21, Sean Flattery 2-13.