October 21st, 2012

CSAA Football: Holy Trinity, St. Bernard Advance

Lee Handel

Staff Writer

CSAA Football: Holy Trinity, St. Bernard Advance
St. Bernard's Austin Tharp following his blockers / photo by Cam Sutherland

CSAA: Holy Trinity and St. Bernard record first round playoff wins

Holy Trinity downs St. Raphael 34-7

Will Ginter and Ryan Dougherty each had 2 touchdown runs and Max Masterson added another score as Holy Trinity defeated St. Raphael 34-7 Sunday afternoon at St. Pius Field. The five rushing touchdowns for the Eagles established a ground game that will need to be on point next week, as the Eagles advanced in the 8-AAA tournament to face St. Albert.

The game opened with each team trading defensive stops. Ginter would get the Eagles going in the second quarter though, running the ball down to the 3 yard line. Dougherty punched it in two plays later and the Eagles were on the board 6-0. On the ensuing kickoff, Masterson recovered a pop-up kick at the 21 yard line. QB Jack Albers then hit Masterson on an out route and drove it down to the 1 yard line. Dougherty then hammered home his second TD of the day and made it 14-0 Eagles.

The Eagles would intercept the ball on the next possession and drive the ball all the way to the two yard line. Cameron Short would get a big sack to push Holy Trinity back and Short's pass breakup on 4th down would give St. Raphael the ball with 20 seconds to go before the half. Short then appeared to notch a Giants touchdown on a 58 yard run, but an inadvertent whistle sent the Giants to the locker room in a 14-0 hole.

It was Masterson who extended the lead for Holy Trinity, taking a reverse 42 yards to paydirt thanks in part to great blocks from Lee Isaacs and Sam Werner. A blocked extra point would leave the margin at 20-0.

Alex Thorpe would be the one to score for St. Raphael, taking Short's screen pass 49 yards to the end zone to open the fourth quarter and cut it to 20-7. Ginter would end it with the final two scores for the Eagles on a dive at the pylon from 4 yards out and then taking a sweep 59 yards to the house with under two minutes to play.

Eagles head coach Ray Hundley credited the 7th grader Ginter for their team's success, but knows next week will be tough for his youngsters.

"Half of our starting lineup is seventh graders, so we're just now coming into our own. I know we have a tough game coming up with (St. Albert), so we'll just have to be ready to line up and give it a go."

St. Bernard gets by St. Michael 28-26

After St. Mary handed coach David Secor and his St. Bernard Wildcats a tough 28-3 loss last week, he knew his team would have to refocus. And apparently, refocusing meant "Get the ball to Austin Tharp".

Tharp scored 4 touchdowns on the ground, including a bruising 21 yard run on fourth and long late in the fourth quarter to help St. Bernard stave off a late rally from St. Michael, in a tight 28-26 game Sunday evening.

"(Tharp) really stepped it up today. He knew the playoffs were starting and we told him before that he was going to be a big part of what we were going to be doing the next couple of games," said Secor about his star running back. "He really responded today and we are really proud of him."

It seemed like the game would be all Tharp as the Wildcat defense was keeping the power run game of St. Michael in check for most of the game. But after spotting St. Bernard a 20-0 lead, Knights running back/quarterback Mitch Sirohman decided to get going.

Sirohman would rip off a 30 yard run and another 10 yard carry on fourth down to set up Ian Bentz's 11 yard TD run to cut the deficit to 20-6. Connor Schaefer then had a huge sack on the following Wildcats possession and a stop on 4th and 12 gave St. Michael the ball on their own 20 late in the third quarter. Sirohman took the next snap 50 yards to the end zone and Cameron Carnes' PAT conversion made it 20-13.  An intentional grounding call and a failed 4th and 5 conversion by the Wildcats gave St. Michael a real chance. After three failed rushing attempts, Sirohman hit Sam Leffert 35 yards downfield on 4th and 6. With 3:05 to go in the game, Sirohman then handed it to Bentz who put it across the goal line to make it 20-19. Sirohman was stuffed at the 1 on his extra point try and it was going to take some more magic for the Knights to pull it out.

It was Tharp's night though, and his fourth touchdown with 1:12 remaining was spectacular by itself. Tharp ran over, around and through the Knight defense from 21 yards out to put the Wildcats up, 26-19. Evan Konermann's PAT kick made it 28-19 and would be the final margin, as St. Michael would tack on a late TD with 15 seconds to go.

"We already knew we were going to play St Edward next week, so I thought I'd get the ball two or three times. I didn't really know it was going to be like this," said Tharp. "Our blockers are just amazing. I love those guys."



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