47 first-half points send Saint Paul to 3-0 start

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Although the offensive numbers do not necessarily show it, the Saint Paul Saints dominated their I-70 Confer-ence match up at Orrick Fri-day.

The Saints amassed only 195 total yards, including 121 through the air, but they scored all 47 of their points in the first half, en route to a 47-0 triumph.

Saint Paul stuffed the Bear-cats on the first three plays of the game, forcing a punt.

The Bearcats shanked the boot, setting up Saint Paul on the OHS 34-yard line.

A screen pass from Jon Fos-ter to Gerhard von zur Mueh-len moved the ball to the 17, where Luke Stuenkel scooted in for the game's first touchdown on the next snap.

The Bearcats managed a first down on their next possession, but Stuenkel stole away the ball from an Orrick player on the ensuing play. In one motion, Stuenkel swiped the ball and raced 47 yards to paydirt.

The Foster's kick failed, the Saints held a 13-0 lead with 6:53 left in the opening stanza.

Just over two minutes later, Foster and von zur Muehlen hooked up again on a 15-yard pass. From there, it was all on von zur Muehlen as he ran away from the secondary on a 51-yard scoring play.

Two possessions later, the Bearcats were backed up deep in their own end, and a punt snap went awry, setting up Saint Paul on another short field.

With 8:57 left before the half, Stuenkel, who led the Saints with 39 yards rushing in eight carries, plunged into the end zone from two yards out.

Only 2-1/2 minutes later, Foster, who completed five of eight passes for 116 yards, hit Tim Mehl on a 14-yard scoring strike.

Foster took the honors on the Saints' next possession, scoring on a four-yard run.

Trying to make a play late in the first half, the Bearcats made another mistake as quarterback John Moore had his pass picked off by Michael Nebel. Nebel returned the pick for a touchdown from 50 yards out.

The Bearcats accumulated more yardage in the second half. Their best chance to score came in the fourth quarter when they moved the ball from the Saint Paul 39 to the 14 after an interception by David Moore.

But the Bearcats' drive stalled, losing the ball on downs.

Leading the Saints with 83 yards in three catches was von zur Muehlen.

Saint Paul accumulated 74 yards in 24 rushing plays. The Saints ran only 30 plays from scrimmage.

The Bearcats rushed for 153 yards, including 151 yards in 36 carries by Derrick Den-nis.

"He's a really tough runner," SPLHS head coach Larry Laubenstein said. "Orrick kept the ball on the ground and ate up as much clock as they could."

The Saints made most of their breaks, creating four turnovers, including fumble recoveries by Aaron Frerking and Mehl.

The Saints are 3-0 for the first time since 1998, a year they won their first six games, en route to a 7-3 campaign. They are 2-0 in the conference, having also shut out Sweet Springs 48-0 in week two.

Saint Paul hosts the 2-1 Concordia Orioles in another I-70 Conference game Friday night at 7.

"Concordia can be an ex-plosive team," Laubenstein said. "The strength is their line. They are big, strong and fast.

"We're going to have to figure out some way to control the line of scrimmage. We may have to stunt a little more on defense, and we need to be able to pass the ball a little better."

The last time the Saints beat Concordia was 44-7 in 2005.

The Bearcats, who fell to 0-2 in the league and 0-3 overall, travel to Centerview to tangle with Crest Ridge, which is 2-0 in conference play and 2-1 overall, Friday night at 7.

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