Spartans storm back for win over Gehlen Catholic
LE MARS — Gehlen Catholic Head Coach Jeremy Schindler saw a good quarter and a half of football from his team before things turned the wrong direction for the Jays. Leading 14-0 early in the second quarter, West Monona scored 30 unanswered points to come away with a 30-14 win.
“All of a sudden we get up 14-0 and we just kind of relaxed,” Schindler said. “You cannot do that in high school football. That’s part of the learning curve that this team has to get over that, they have to know you cannot relax. You relax and big plays happen.”
It was a good start for the Jays who picked up a pair of touchdowns on long pass plays. Ryan Livermore connected with Dylan Oloff late in the first quarter for the first points of the game on a 37-yard scoring play. The team added to their lead with an 84-yard pass from Livermore to Jacob Nemmers. Those two were the leading receivers in the game for the team with Nemmers catching six passes for 150 yards and Oloff snagging three for 51 yards.
After getting shut out the week before, Schindler said he saw improvement out of his offense in the first few drives.
“It was much better,” Schindler said. “We were able to run the ball, we got the power going. We were able to get a little boot action going. Ryan Livermore made some really good plays with his arm, got out of the pocket. He played well when we had the lead. We’re built for playing with the lead. We’re not built for playing from behind and when we had to start chucking it, it’s not good for us.”
Sean Pinkelman plunged in from a yard out midway through the second quarter to put the Spartans on the board. He was the team’s leading rusher with 131 yards on 13 carries in the game. West Monona tied the score with 28 seconds left in the half as quarterback Casey McMinneman threw a 45-yard pass to Pinkelman which tied the game going into the break.
“At the very least we should have gone into halftime up 14-8,” Schindler said. “We give them the ball back with 58 seconds left and they score. That can’t happen, you’ve got to be able to suck it up and play defense for a minute.”
The Spartans running game continued to wear down the Jays in the second half as the team ran the ball 43 times for 278 yards. Josh Heather picked up the go-ahead score with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter as he crossed the goal line from six yards out. It was one of his seven carries for 78 yards in the game.
West Monona didn’t throw the ball often, attempting just six passes, but were successful when they did including on a 57-yard pass to Dylan Collison for the team’s final score of the game a minute into the final quarter. McMinneman ended the game 4-of-6 for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also threw an interception which was picked off by Oloff.
Gehlen (0-2) will look for their first win of the season as they hit the road for the first time. They will travel to Moville to take on Woodbury Central (1-1) on Friday.
|W. Monona||0 14 8 8 30|
|Gehlen||6 8 0 0 14|