Sunday, October 22, 2023

St. Joseph Christian knocks off #10 Stanberry to complete first winning season since 2016

by Jeremy Benson,

Sponsored by

St. Joseph Christian 28 #10 Stanberry 8

From 2019 to 2022, St. Joseph Christian had a record of 1-33.  They were picked to finish last in the Grand River Conference West.  No one outside of the St. Joseph Christian gave them much of a chance this season.  However, inside the program, there was some optimism that they had some winnable games, and if things fell into place, a winning season was possible.  A 6th win on Friday would guarantee the Lions a winning season for the first time since 2016.

In the Lion's way was the #10 Stanberry Bulldogs.  Stanberry had won their last four games against St. Joseph Christian and was 6-2 coming into the game. However, they were missing quarterback Colby McQuinn and running back Tucker Schieber.  But even without both players, the Bulldogs were still able to shut out North Andrew 38-0 the week before.

The Lions were able to get on the board with a drive over five minutes to start the game.  Cy Carlson ran it in from 4 yards out to put St. Joseph Christian up 6-0 with 6:44 left.  After Aiden Martindale recovered a fumble for the Lions, they would capitalize again when Peyton Hausman scored on a 9-yard touchdown run with 2:57 left in the first quarter.  The Lions ended the first quarter with a 12-0 lead.

The second and third quarters were dominated by defense.  Both teams recovered fumbles in the second, and then Stanberry's Colby McQueen intercepted Levi Miller.  Stanberry was able to move the ball inside the Lion's 5-yard line but was unable to convert when they turned it over on downs at the 7-yard line with 7 seconds left in the half.

In the third quarter, Peyton Hausman had a 40-yard TD reception but was called back due to an illegal block.  Stanberry got into the red zone but turned it over on downs.  St. Joseph Christian's lead remained at 12-0 after three quarters.

The Lions would score again early in the 4th when Hausman scored from a yard out with 10:59 left in the game.  After the conversion, the Lions were up 20-0.  Stanberry got on the scoreboard when McQueen connected with Treston Williams from 7 yards.  After a successful conversion, it was 20-8 St. Joseph Christian with 7:59 left.

Stanberry's still had some hope just under 3 minutes left when St. Joseph Christian had a 4th and 5 from the Stanberry 17-yard line.  But Mason Stewart found Vail Freuchting open, and Freuchting took it in for the score to make it 28-8 after the conversion with 2:40 left in the game.

A Martindale interception with 2:34 left sealed the game.  Both teams finish the regular season at 6-3 and 4-3 in conference, tied for 3rd place.

St. Joseph Chrisitan earned the #2 seed in District 5 and will host Bishop LeBlond on November 3.  Stanberry earned the #4 seed in District 7 and will host King City on October 27.

I caught up with both coaches after the game on the GRC Podcast:

Here are photos of the game including photos of Senior Night for Stanberry:

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Milan clinches share of GRC Championship with 28-7 win over Polo

by Jeremy Benson,

Sponsored by

Milan 28-7

Milan's defense was a big spark in the first half as the Wildcats knocked off the Polo Panthers to clinch at least a share of the GRC Championship Friday night in Polo.  Milan's GRC title is their 3rd since they joined the conference in 2016.  They won outright in 2018 and shared the title with Princeton and South Harrison in 2020.

Milan's special teams came up with the first big play when they blocked a Polo punt after a bad snap.  They took over at the Polo 34 with 10:13 left in the 1st quarter.  After Hunter Reed converted on a QB keeper at the Polo 25 with just under 9 minutes left, Reed connected with Keaton Weter on a 24-yard touchdown pass.  Keaton made a sliding catch in the back of the end zone.  The ball came out, but the refs said that he held on long enough for the touchdown, much to the chagrin of the Polo sideline.  The PAT was no good, so Milan led 6-0 with 8:29 left in the first quarter.

After Milan recovered a fumble at the Polo 48, Carlos Cotto took the ball and ran to the left.  He then found a hole and cut back to the right.  Once he was in the open field, he outran the Panther defenders for a 48-yard touchdown.  Ahmet Niasse converted two points to put Milan up 14-0 with 6:36 left in the first quarter.

Milan would recover another fumble with 7:26 left in the half.  A few plays later, Carlos Cotto broke a few tackles.  He then ran down the right sidelines as Coach Cole was yelling "That's why he is awesome."  After the broken tackles, Cotto once again outran the defenders with a 69-yard touchdown run.  A Jared Gonzalez PAT made it 21-0 with 5:57 left in the half.

There was no scoring again until late in the 4th quarter.  Polo drove deep into Wildcat territory to start the 4th quarter, but turned it over on downs with 9:36 left.  Then unlike their other scoring drives, Milan proceeded to go on a long drive eating up 5:40 off the clock.  Cheppe Ayala punched it in from 1 yard with 3:56 left to put the Wildcats up 28-0 after a Gonzalez PAT.

Polo finally got on the board on their next drive.  Ayden Baker returned the kickoff to the Milan 25.  Maverick Gentry then connected with Gage Gilbert from 5 yards with 1:13 left.  The PAT made it 28-7 Milan.  Milan ran the clock out to finish with a 28-7 win.

Coach Mark Cole talked to me about the game and winning the GRC title.

Here are my photos from the game:

Monday, October 2, 2023

South Harrison repeats as GRC Girls Golf Champions - Abby Owens of South Harrison wins the Individual Title

by Jeremy Benson,

Sponsored by

South Harrison won the GRC Girls Golf Championship played at Chillicothe.  They led the way with a score of 378.  Abby Owens of South Harrison was the individual winner with a score of 82.  She also repeats as the GRC Champion.  South Harrison dominated the tournament with all five of their golfers finishing in the top 10.  The title for South Harrison is their 2nd straight.

Trenton girls finished 2nd with a score of 464 while Marceline finished 3rd at 474.  Marceline will be a full member next season, but was invited to join the golf tournament this season.

Team Scores

  1. South Harrison 378
  2. Trenton 464
  3. Marceline 474
  4. Putnam County 478
  5. Gallatin 485
  6. Maysville 574

Individual Scores

  1. Abby Owens, South Harrison 82
  2. Abbie Koenen, Putnam County 91
  3. Paige Beaty, South Harrison 97
  4. Sarah Wright, Marceline 98
  5. Chloe Hodge, South Harrison 98
  6. Ashlee Cannon, South Harrison 101
  7. Reece Weldon, Trenton 105
  8. Kinsley Otto, Trenton 106
  9. Tenley Weller, South Harrison 108
  10. Tayla Turner, Putnam County 111
Here are pictures from the South Harrison Lady Bulldogs Golf Page

King City wins the first GRC West Girls Golf Championship - Clare Staley wins the individual title

by Jeremy Benson,

Sponsored by

King City Girls win the GRC West Girls Golf title with Clare Staley of King City winning the individual title.  Worth County finished 2nd and St. Joseph Christian finished 3rd.  The championship for King City is their first Girls golf championship.  

Team Scores

  1. King City 434
  2. Worth County 447
  3. St. Joseph Christian 483
  4. Princeton 525
Individual Scores
  1. Clare Staley, King City 90
  2. Bridgette Hightshoe, Worth County 92
  3. Jaci Davis, North Harrison 102
  4. Hayleigh Wink, Albany 104
  5. Zoe Tunks, King City 104
  6. Eva Engel, Worth County 106
  7. Lindsay Sherman, Stanberry 106
  8. Bella Wright, Stanberry 108
  9. Lani Briggs, North Harrison 111
  10. Marissa Schmitz, Worth County 111
Jon Dysktra of the Maryville Daily Forum talked with Clare Staley after the tournament about her title

Here are pictures that I took from the meet: