This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but St. Pat’s has an excellent defense.
The Irish continued to dominate opposing offenses on Wednesday at Knights of Columbus Field, as St. Pat’s defeated West Holt 32-6 in the second round of the Class C2 playoffs.
The win lifted St. Pat’s to 10-0 on the season, while West Holt finishes with a 7-3 record.
The Huskies came into the game with one of the state’s better running backs in Class C1 in junior Josh Coyle and he had some early success, but the Irish never really let him get going.
“When you are playing a great athlete like him, you have to be disciplined, and fly to the ball,” said St. Pat’s head coach Kevin Dodson. “You could see what kind of runner he was on the fake punt early in the game, but we did a good job on him and their offense.”
The Irish opened the game on offense and drove the length of the field, but came away with no points on a missed 38-yard field goal that Brandon Niesen pulled left.
West Holt went three plays and appeared to be punting on fourth-and-5, but Coyle is the Huskies’ punter and he took off on a 17-yard run that crossed the width of the field.
The fake produced nothing, however, as the Irish defense held in three plays again and forced West Holt to give up the ball.
St. Pat’s took over on their own 6 and immediately got out of the hole as Niesen ran for 54 yards to the West Holt 40. A Sean Keenan to Mark Mayfield pass got the Irish to the 16 and three plays later Keenan scored from 2 yards out to put the Irish up 6-0. Nieson’s point after touchdown missed.
West Holt ran into more problems on its next possession. The Huskies didn’t move the ball and, on a fourth-and-10, were punting, but were missing a player. A player ran from off the field to a position, but never stopped moving before the ball was snapped, causing an illegal motion penalty.
As officials threw flags, all players stopped moving for a few moments before all realized no whistles had blown. Coyle ended up throwing a pass to Jeff Judge, but St. Pat’s took over on downs at the West Holt 44. Midway through the second quarter, the Irish scored again as Keenan scored from 4 yards out. Keenan added a two-point conversion run and the Irish led 14-0.
West Holt’s next two possessions ended in turnovers, leaving the Huskies trailing 14-0 at halftime.
The Huskies opened the third quarter with the ball, but fullback Austin Braun fumbled and then Braun was called for unsportsmanlike conduct and St. Pat’s had first-and-10 at the West Holt 23. The Irish cashed in as Keenan found Mark Mayfield from 4 yards out to take a 20-0 lead. The PAT was blocked.
“That was the biggest turnover,” said West Holt head coach Steve Neptune. “None of them are good, but we have the ball to start the third quarter and we’re moving it and, instead of getting a score we need to start the second half, we turn the ball over and St. Pat’s scores and we’re down even more.”
The Huskies didn’t get a first down on their next possession and punted to the Irish. Keenan raced 74 yards around right end — being tackled from behind by Coyle at the Huskies 4. Keenan finished the drive with a 3-yard run, but the PAT two-point attempt failed.
St. Pat’s intercepted a pass on the Huskies next possession, but a 37-yard field goal attempt came up short. With 4:01 to play, the Irish junior varsity punched in a score as Chase Kimberling scored on a 4-yard run.
West Holt finally got on the board, scoring on a 2-yard run by Coyle with 32 seconds left in the game.
“Sean [Keenan] had a good game,” Dodson said. “On that long run, he made a great read and got loose. Anytime your quarterback can make good decisions, it makes things easier.”
The Irish have given up just 44 points this season, an average of 4.4 per game. One coach mentioned the varsity has allowed just two scores all season.
St. Pat’s travels to Doniphan-Trumball, who defeated Crofton 49-33, next Tuesday.
“I don’t care who we play,” Dodson said. “As long as we’re still playing.”