November 7th, 2011

Cardinals Deal St. Edward Its First Loss

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Cardinals Deal St. Edward Its First Loss
photo by Chris Jung

Braves 8th graders lose for first time in 34 games played's 2011 coverage of the Catholic School Athletic Association (CSAA) Toy Bowl games is sponsored and brought to you by Publishers Press.

For video highlights from this game, visit:

The St. Stephen Martyr football team was handed the 7th & 8th grade Class A Toy Bowl championship trophy on Sunday afternoon after defeating St. Edward 32-28 in a back-and-forth affair at Trinity's Marshall Stadium.

Moments after hoisting the impressive piece of elementary football hardware, the Cardinals made an abrupt and collective pivot, fell into half-moon formation and ceremoniously presented it to Joey Sullivan, a member of the SSM football team who was diagnosed with madulloblastoma - a pediatric brain cancer - in 2010.

Wearing sunglasses and a St. Stephen cap, Sullivan grinned from ear-to-ear, reached out to touch the wooden base of the trophy from his wheelchair, and in a moment that the SSM community will always remember, Sullivan stood up to fully embrace the moment and celebrate the hard work and victory with his teammates.

The Cardinal win, which was secured on a 55-yard touchdown run by Tyler Dean late in the third quarter, was also the first loss of the season for the Braves and the first ever for the 17 St. Edward School 8th graders on the field Sunday.

After trading possessions in the opening quarter, St. Edward got on the board first with a 23-yard touchdown pass by Connor Tessier on a fly route and magnificent catch by Jake Woosley in the corner of the end zone. The Braves had a 6-0 lead after missing the two-point kick attempt.

St. Stephen, which adopoted the team motto of "Never quit," answered back quickly when Jared Phillips hit Carl Jackson for a 27-yard pass play, which set up a six-yard touchdown run by Karmah Fahnbulleh on a sweep to the left that tied the game. The Cardinals' Sammy McDonough’s kick proceeded to give SSM an 8-6 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, St. Stephen Martyr was able to recover the ball at the St. Edward 33 and went up 16-6 on the next play when Jackson stunned the Braves and broke off a 33-yard touchdown run, followed by McDonough's second two-point kick of the game.

The roller coaster game stayed true to form when St. Edward did some answering of its own on a 22-yard touchdown catch from Tessier to Luke Hardin with 2:05 to go before halftime, cutting SSM's lead to 16-12. Then, with 1:01 to go in the first half, the Cardinals were stuffed on an attempted fake punt play that allowed the Braves to take over the ball at the SSM 16-yard line.

Fifteen seconds later, Hardin caught his second straight TD reception from 21-yards out and St. Edward reclaimed the lead on the score and two-point kick from Matt Coontz, 20-16 just before the game's midway point.

The two teams combined for five touchdowns during the 8-minute second quarter.

SSM pulled back ahead in the third quarter on Jackson’s second TD of the game, a 17-yard run on a Cardinal misdirection play. McDonough drilled his third "points after try" of the game and St. Stephen went back up 24-20.

The boxing match swayed back in favor of St. Edward when Woosley scored his second TD of the game, this time on a catch, to put the Braves back ahead. Adam Haas knocked in the two-point kick for a 28-24 Braves lead.

Several plays later, on SSM’s next possession, Dean got loose for the aforementioned 55-yard touchdown run and McDonough converted his 4th straight two-point kick for a 32-28 SSM lead

The Braves got a couple more chances late in the 4th quarter, but St. Edward's halfback pass attempt was intercepted by SSM's Dean with 1:12 to go and Tessier was sacked by Jacob O’Shea on a 4th down play and 22.5 seconds remaining to give St. Stephen the emotional victory.

Scoring plays

1st Quarter

  • No scoring

2nd Quarter

  • 6:43 Jake Woosley (Edward) 23-yard catch from Connor Tessier (kick missed); 6-0
  • 4:06 Karmah Fahnbulleh (SSM) 6-yard run (Sammy McDonough kick good); 8-6
  • 3:58 Carl Jackson (SSM) 33-yard run (McDonough kick good); 16-6
  • 2:05 Luke Hardin (Edward) 22-yard catch from Tessier (kick missed); 16-12
  • 0:45 Luke Hardin (Edward) 21-yard catch from Tessier (Matt Coontz kick good); 20-16

3rd Quarter

  • 3:18 Carl Jackson (SSM) 17-yard run (McDonough kick good); 24-20
  • 1:24 Jake Woosley (Edward) 19-yard catch from Tessier (Adam Haas kick good); 28-24
  • 1:07 Tyler Dean (SSM) 55-yard run (McDonough kick good); 32-28

4th Quarter

  • No scoring

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