November 7th, 2010

Braves Back On Top With Toy Bowl Win

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer


Braves Back On Top With Toy Bowl Win
photo by Brad Knoop

St. Edward holds off Holy Spirit 22-16 to reclaim title

St. Edward’s 8th graders remembered walking off Trinity’s Harry Jansing Field with their heads buried in their chest a year ago, disappointed with a Toy Bowl loss.  But they erased those memories nearly immediately.

On the first possession of the game, the Braves had Holy Spirit pinned back deep in their own territory.  On third down, the Falcon snap got loose and sailed into the end zone.  Vincent Lococo's eyes were big and he was the first one to pounce on the ball for a St. Edward score, and a quick 8-0 lead less than a minute into the game.

Coach Marc Breit’s Holy Spirit squad was a little more poised on its next drive.  Quarterback A.J. Breit hit Jay Nunamaker for a big gain to the St. Edward 14-yard line.  Two straight carries by Chase Rowan got the Falcons fired up and on the board.  Rowan’s three-yard touchdown cut the lead to 8-6 before the end of the first half.  The Holy Spirit kick attempt failed. 

Following a couple of punts, Holy Spirit’s defense made a stand.  The Braves were forced to start their drive on their own one-yard line.  They went backwards.  Christian Fell tackled Hunter Guthrie in the end zone for a safety.  The two points tied the score at 8-8, with 4:25 remaining in the half.

St. Edward’s defense then upped the ante a bit.  Jack Deddens picked off a Breit pass at the Holy Spirit 32-yard line.  On the next play, Tony Meyer hit Justin Crabtree for a 32-yard touchdown and the Braves moved back into the lead with a 16-8 lead.

St. Edward’s J.T. Benningfield was all over the place and his interception return to the one-yard line with two minutes to go in the half set up another Braves score.  Guthrie again galloped into the end zone for a score.  St. Edward had some cushion on its halftime lead, 22-8.

Coach Bill Young’s Braves went back to the basics in the third quarter.  St. Edward used ball control to eat away at the clock.  Their opening drive lasted 8 and a-half minutes.  Holy Spirit needed a stop, desperately if the Falcons wanted to have a shot at a comeback.  On fourth down and inches at the Holy Spirit 21-yard line, the Falcons came through.  The team’s emotional leader, Adam King made a huge stop, forcing a turnover on downs and a little shift in momentum.

A.J. Breit hit Joe Stewart for a 13-yard gain.  That play ended the third quarter.  One minute into the fourth quarter, Breit hit Connor Crush for a 19-yard touchdown to pull the Falcons within a score at 22-16. 

Holy Spirit again held the Braves on downs and had a chance to tie.  Breit hit Nunamaker for a 22-yard completion and first down with two minutes remaining in the game.  With 41-seconds remaining and Holy Spirit still driving, the Falcons faced a fourth-and-four.  The pass is just out of reach and St. Edward celebrates the Class A Toy Bowl title, 22-16.

“Our offense didn’t see the field the first seven minutes of the game.  That’s scary,” said St. Edward coach Young.  Young said that lengthy third quarter drive really had an impact in the game.  “We are a smashmouth team and like to run.  But we did everything well today.  I’m proud of our eighth graders.  They go out winners.”

 

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