September 7, 2022 at 8:54 p.m.

Streeters cast dominating performance in opener

Streeters cast dominating performance in opener
Streeters cast dominating performance in opener

By Mark [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Sauk Centre stifles Montevideo 36-6

Every team across the state relishes their season-opening football game. Fans, coaches and players are excited as they start a new campaign with a lot of optimism. 

It’s also finally a chance to gauge talents and schemes against an opponent.

Sauk Centre had their season opener at home on Friday and the results sent players and fans home gushing with anticipation for the upcoming season.

The Streeters dominated in all three facets of the game, and rolled over Montevideo 36-6 Friday night in Sauk Centre.    

“We played pretty well. We executed, we played hard and we kept playing all game,” Head Coach Charlie Warring said. “There were a lot of positives.”

Defensively, the Streeters were outstanding throughout the lineup. They had four fumble recoveries, several sacks, a safety, interception and, most importantly, didn’t allow a Montevideo offensive touchdown. 

“The defense played downhill and played aggressive,” Warring said. “They had a big line and a big runner. They wanted to play physical, but I thought we played more physical than they did. We had kids flying to the ball. We were swarming.” The tallest defensive task for the Streeters Friday night was limiting their bruising running back, Francis O’Malley, to short gains. O’Malley finished last season with over 1,000 yards rushing. On Friday night, the Thunder Hawks team could muster just 120 yards rushing on 39 carries. They added just 48 yards passing.

 “Keeping a team shut out defensively is a tough task that no person can do alone. We really worked together as a team to gang tackle and made sure they never fell forward to gain an extra yard,” said Sauk Centre defensive end, Corey McCoy, who recorded two sacks. “To get two in a game is a great feeling. I’m happy to even get one normally, but to get two in the first game of the season is a lot of fun.”

Offensively, Sauk Centre was nearly as stellar. 

Things started as good as they could for the Streeters. They had the ball first, methodically moved down the field and scored a touchdown halfway through the first quarter on an Eli Fletcher 5-yard burst. Jay Neubert converted the extra point. The Streeters’ lone hiccup came a short time later when the Thunder Hawks intercepted a short pass and returned it for a touchdown. 

Sauk Centre was unfazed. They took the ensuing possession and covered 70 yards in just two plays, runs by Fletcher, to go ahead 13-6 after one quarter.

The Streeters added a safety and another Fletcher touchdown run in the second quarter to extend the lead to 22-9 at halftime. The touchdown was set up by a fourth-and-11 conversion, a 26-yard pass play from Matthew Warring to Jay Neubert.

Sauk Centre scored via air early in the third quarter, when Warring connected with Danielson for a 19-yard touchdown. Neubert drilled the extra point to extend the lead to 29-6. The duo hooked up again in the fourth quarter from 48 yards out for the game’s final tally.

Fletcher was hard to tackle all night for the Thunder Hawks. He finished with 20 carries for 168 yards. The team had 218 yards rushing. 

“Oftentimes, you see the running back score the TD and the quarterback throwing, but the heart and soul starts with the line,” Warring said. “You don’t total 218 yards rushing if you don’t have something going on up front. Those front five (Ethan Riley, Aaron Kerfeld, Troy Hansen, Corey McCoy and Carter Schuster) did a great job. Eli runs hard, and you give him a seam and he keeps those legs moving. He was running hard and the linemen were blocking and getting downfield to the next level. The receivers did a wonderful job blocking their corners and safeties.”

Warring provided the perfect balance offensively by throwing for 172 yards.  

“We are not going to line up and run the ball 35 times a game. We have a lot of athletes that we can get the ball to,” Warring said. 

The special teams for Sauk Centre added a blocked punt, nice returns and booming kickoffs to give them a complete win. 

“There was a point in the first half we let some opportunities get away from us,” Warring said. “We squandered a couple good scoring chances. The kids kept playing. When things don’t go your way, get ready for the next play.” Sauk Centre has a tall task in front of them this Friday when they travel to Eden Valley-Watkins. The Eagles competed in the state tournament last year and lost just four seniors from that squad. 

“They do similar things to us. They line up with one back and four wide receivers and they are going to mix it up. It’s a teaser because they are very similar,” Warring said. “They throw it well and they run well and try to spread you out.”

The Eagles dominated Rockford 48-7 in their season opener. 

“We have to limit our mistakes and not give up the big play,” Warring said. “It’s a good measuring stick to see where we are at.” Scoring

M    6 0      0 0—6

SC  13 9      7 7—36

(SC) Fletcher 5-yard touchdown run (Neubert kick)

(M) 15-yard interception return (kick failed)

(SC) Fletcher 54-yard touchdown run (kick failed)

(SC) Safety

(SC) Fletcher 3-yard touchdown run (Neubert kick)

(SC) Danielson 19-yard touchdown reception from Warring (Neubert kick)

(SC) Danielson 48-yard touchdown reception from Warring (Neubert kick)

Individual stats: Passing, Warring 9-16-172 (2 TD, 1 Int.) rushing, Fletcher 20-168; Austin Helgeson 5-34; Warring 2-12; Receiving, Neubert 4-84; Danielson 4-82; Nathan Lahr 1-6. Fumble recoveries, Neubert, Schuster, Hunter Dickinson, Mason Hokanson. Interception, Neubert.


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