October 11th, 2015

St. Mary charges past St. Bernard

Matt Young 

Staff Writer

St. Mary charges past St. Bernard
St. Bernard quarterback Zachary Recktenwald looks to find an open receiver / photo by Matt Young

On the final weekend of the CSAA 7th/8th-grade regular season, teams were looking to gain some momentum heading into the playoffs.

St. Mary and St. Bernard will have to play each other again opening weekend playoff games next week.

In a tune-up for those playoff games, the St. Mary Monarchs used big plays on offense and a ball-hawking defense that forced three turnovers to charge past the St. Bernard Wildcats 45-8 at St. Lawrence.

But in the first quarter, it was the Monarchs who had the turnover bug.

St. Mary (4-3) took the opening kickoff and two plays later quarterback Elijah Byrne bobbled a snap. The Wildcats’ Ben Brutscher recovered, giving St. Bernard great field position at the Monarchs’ 25-yard line.


But St. Mary’s stout defense forced a three-and-out.


Two plays after the punt, however, Byrne fumbled again on a quarterback draw, and St. Bernard’s Daniel Toste recovered at the Monarchs’ 25 again.

Then the crazy plays really began. St. Mary’s William Cave sacked Wildcats quarterback Zachary Recktenwald and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Monarchs’ Chase Kormanis.

After the turnover, St. Mary went for a big play, throwing a go-route deep down the left sideline. The pass deflected off the pads of a defender to safety Cameron Donlon, who made the interception to get the ball back for the Wildcats (2-5).

Three straight plays led to three straight turnovers between the teams, and the first quarter ended with no score.

The game looked to be headed into a smash-mouth defensive battle, but then the Monarchs erupted.

On the first play of the second quarter, Carter Martin took a wide-receiver reverse play 41 yards down the left sideline, using his breakaway speed to fly past the Wildcats’ secondary for a touchdown. Cameron Tegge’s two-point kick made it 8-0 with 7:41 to play in the quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, Recktenwald lost the ball on a quarterback draw and Kormanis came up with his second fumble recovery.

Two plays later, Byrne hit Branden Stearman with a 19-yard touchdown pass down the right hash. Tegge’s two-point kick gave the Monarchs a 16-0 advantage less than two minutes into the second quarter.

Another St. Bernard three-and-out gave the ball back to the Monarchs with good field position.

St. Mary capped its big second quarter with Byrne taking a quarterback sweep around the left side of the line, and he went untouched 36 yards for another touchdown. St. Bernard blocked the kick, but St. Mary was up 22-0 at halftime.

St. Bernard came out of the break with some fire.

The Wildcats’ took the second-half kickoff and quickly drove down the field behind a 28-yard pass from Recktenwald to Grant Goodman.

Goodman ended the march when he took a wide-receiver reverse for a 9-yard touchdown run. Kevin McCubbin’s kick made it 22-8 with 6:21 to go in the third quarter. 

The Wildcats’ then built some more momentum when Alexander Gates recovered an onside kick.

But the Monarchs’ defense came up with another big turnover when Cameron Wuest tipped a deep Recktenwald pass into the air twice and intercepted it.  

The Monarchs never looked back.

Three plays later, Byrne blew past the Wildcats’ secondary for 57-yard quarterback sweep that made it 30-8 going to the fourth quarter.

Byrne added another huge play on the second play of the fourth quarter. This one was a 27-yard keeper where he broke at least five tackles running down the left sideline and cut back to the center of the field before scoring. Tegge’s kick gave the Monarchs’ a 38-8 lead with 7:43 left in the game.

The Monarchs’ added a late touchdown run by Heath Siebel.

Byrne finished with 147 rushing yards and the three touchdowns on eight carries. He also had 19 yards passing with a touchdown.

Carter Martin rushed twice for 49 yards and a touchdown for St. Mary.

St. Bernard had trouble all day against the Monarchs’ front seven.

Reckenwald completed six passes for 59 yards. McCubbin could not find any holes and finished with eight rushes for 3 yards.

With the win, St. Mary jumps past St. Bernard into the No.4 seed heading to the first round of the 7th/8th-grade “A” playoffs.

St. Bernard drops to the fifth seed, but the change in seeding does not mean much because these teams will play each other again in the first round next Sunday.

That game will be at 2:30 p.m. at St. Lawrence.

St. Patrick (No. 3 seed) will play St. Michael (No. 6) at 1 p.m. at St. Lawrence.


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