Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The Ste. Genevieve Dragons Varsity Football team put up a fight, but fell to the Park Hills Central Rebels 28-14 on Friday.
Going into a season there are always a few games a coach knows will be a little different than the rest. For Coach Pope and the Ste. Gen football team, the Central Rebels coming to town was one of those games. The Dragons came into week six having won their previous two games over Fredericktown and Potosi on the road by a wide margin, with the offensive beating like a drum. Defensively, Ste. Gen had been just as dominate with their starters in the game.
Ste. Gen kicked off to Central to start the game and the Dragons defense shined, forcing the Rebels to a quick three and out. Central was then forced to punt to a high powered Ste. Gen offense as they got the ball into the redzone, but ultimetely turned the ball over on downs. That led to the Rebels moving the ball down field for their first score of the game with a 22-yard touchdown run to take the initial lead.
Ste. Gen didn’t get much more movement offensively as Central continued to shut down the biggest scoring threat in the duo of Aiden and Zach Boyer. Central would then strike again as they punched in a five-yard rushing touchdown that put them ahead 13-0 with 8:45 to go in the half. That would be a lead they would take into the locker room.
Ste. Gen came out strong running their opening kickoff back to their 35 yard line to start off the second half. The Dragons ground game started getting into a rhythm, striking first in the third quarter when Austin McBride found the end zone with his feet from six yards out to made it 13-7.
However, the Rebels came right back with a 15-yard touchdown pass before the third quarter ended. Central solidified the win when they punched in a one-yard touchdown that extended their lead to 28-7. McBride found pay dirt once more, but ultimately Ste. Gen came up short. They lost to the Rebels 28-14 and fell to 3-3 on the season.
“All I can say is that it was a closer game than what that scoreboard says,” Thomas O’Brien said. “I think as a group we played well against a team that averaged around 55 points a game prior to ours. We have the rest of our schedule to improve things we need to work on.”
McBride led the way for the Dragon offense in this one. He carried the ball 14 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Wyatt Springkamper had nine carries for 44 yards. As for the passing game, it just wasn’t effective in this one, with Aiden Boyer completing just four of his eleven passes for 22 yards. Springkamper and Kaden Flye had two catches each.
O’Brien led the way for the Dragons on the defensive side of the ball with seven total tackles (one sack and one tackle for a loss). Tanner Weiler and Carter Klump had six tackles each, while Kaden Buatte had five tackles and Klayton Squires had four.
This was a tough battle for the Dragons. They ran the ball well, but they struggled to stop the run, and the passing game they rely so heavily on never flourished. This is merely a bump in the road and a learning experience for this Dragons squad. Look for them to get back on track next Friday, October 8th when the Perryville Pirates come to town.