St. Vincent found itself down two scores midway through the third quarter, and despite the deficit, coach Tim Schumer was calm.
“The game was not over at that point, you have to play four quarters,” he said. “We wanted to be physical and play hard from the opening kickoff to the final horn.”
That message was heard loud and clear as the Indians took advantage of multiple miscues and held on for a 28-26 victory over Scott City on Friday, Sept. 3.
When Scott City quarterback Devin Keller found wide receiver Logan Speakman for a 56-yard touchdown to give the Rams a 26-14 lead with 6:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, it looked as if Scott City would run away and cruise to a victory. Speakman, who ended the game with 155 yards and three touchdown catches, and the rest of the Ram offense sputtered when Keller left the game with a leg injury.
When the Ram quarterback returned to the game, the contest had flipped, in large part thanks to some miscues by the Rams.
The turning point seemed to be when St. Vincent stopped Scott City in the red zone after an interception put the Rams in favorable position to put more points on the scoreboard.
After that, it was all Indians.
Scott City had trouble with a handful of snaps later in the quarter, which included two snaps that sailed over the Ram punter’s head inside the five-yard line. Mason Light converted one chance and Connor McMillian converted the other on the first play of the fourth quarter. All of the sudden the Indians led 28-26 with 11:52 left in the fourth quarter.
“We were able to take advantage of some opportunities,” Schumer said. “It seemed like late in the game on every tackle there were multiple guys in on it. That wears on the other team and I thought that it did.”
The game was stalemated until the Rams stopped the Indians on fourth down with six minutes to go in the game and took over at their own 32-yard line.
Scott City moved the ball down the field until Matt Myers came up with a big third down sack. The Rams went for the end zone on fourth down and looked as if they would pull off the comeback with a long pass down the left sideline until the ball popped out of the receivers’ arms when he hit the ground.
“I can’t say enough about all levels of our defense, from our defensive line all the way back to our secondary,” Schumer said. “At the end of the game we wanted them to know that they played St. Vincent.”
The Indians jumped out quick as they completed an 11-play, six minute drive that was capped off by a 30 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Schaaf to Kaden Kassel that gave St. Vincent a 7-0 lead. That was Kassel’s only catch of the game.
The Rams answered with a two-yard touchdown run by Mark Pangos after a reverse set the Rams up inside the 10 yard line.
Schaaf connected with Jacob Kapp over the top with a 65-yard touchdown to widen the Indian lead to 14-6 in the second quarter. Kapp ended the game with 76 yards on two catches. Schaaf threw for 143 yards with those two scores, but did throw three interceptions, but Schumer was glad that the turnovers did not seem to rattle his young quarterback.
“It’s going to take Christian some time to pick up and learn the speed of the varsity game,” Schumer said. “We have to be patient and he has to have a short memory and move on to the next play.”
St. Vincent will stay home and take on Valle Catholic Friday at 7 p.m. The Warriors defeated Ste. Genevieve 46-0 last week and Schumer knows it will be a tough challenge for his squad.
“Anything can happen,” Schumer said. “We are a young team, so we have to focus on the things we can control and the little things that will help us win. We have to be ready, because I know they will be. I’m looking forward to the game.”