It would be easy to look at the final score of Valle Catholic’s 48-20 win at Festus Friday night and think the Warriors’ offense stole the show. But, a deeper look would tell you the defense was a major contributor in helping Judd Naeger’s team improve to 2-0.
The Warriors collected seven sacks and 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage against the Tigers. Tim Okenfuss was the star of stars with four sacks and six tackles for loss. He now leads the team after two weeks with five sacks and nine TFL. Brandon Giesler added two sacks and four TFL.
But, make no mistake, the offense had plenty to hang its hat on as well.
Bryce Giesler showed off his 2021 First Team All-State credentials with 235 yards rushing on 19 carries and two touchdowns.
After relying heavily on the arm of Chase Fallert in a week one win over Seckman with his 365 yards passing, the Warriors did most of their damage at Festus on the ground. As a team, Valle rolled up 425 yards and averaged a whopping 11.5 yards per attempt.
Fallert attempted only ten passes, connecting on seven of them for 93 yards and his sixth TD pass of the young season. He didn’t attempt a pass in the second half.
Valle fans, stop me if you’ve heard this before, your team scored first and it didn’t take long. Just 44 seconds into the game, Bryce Giesler’s big night was off and running, literally, as he took it to the house from 53 yards out. Will Kuehn booted the PAT to make it 7-0 before anyone had a chance to get settled into their seat.
Not to be outdone, Festus answered back right away on a 66-yard TD pass from Jeremiah Cunningham to Will Reese to tie the game 7-7 with 9:28 still to go in the first quarter.
But, the Warriors took control from there.
Valle retook the lead, again on a lightning-fast touchdown drive, as C. Fallert scored from five yards out. Kuehn’s PAT made it 14-7 and there was still 9:10 left in the first quarter.
It took the Warriors just over three minutes to score again…an eternity compared to their first two scoring drives. C. Fallert hit Sam Drury on a 13-yard TD pass and with the PAT it was 21-7 with just under six minutes left in a highlight-filled opening quarter. Drury finished with a team-high four receptions for 83 yards. He now has 11 catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games.
Valle’s hectic scoring pace slowed a bit more, as it only found pay dirt once more right before halftime, when Giesler earned his second TD of the game from one yard out to give the Warriors a comfortable 28-7 lead going into the locker room.
Valle blew the game wide open with two more scores in the third quarter.
To go along with his standout performance on defense, Okenfuss had some fun on the other side of the ball as well. The Senior found the endzone from 20 yards out to make the score 34-7.
Then, Grant Fallert raced home on a 64-yard run and, with the two-point conversion, the Warriors took a commanding 42-7 lead into the final quarter.
Festus was able to tack on a pair of scores in the fourth quarter, starting with a 27-yard run by Cunningham to make it 42-14.
Valle’s backup QB Alex Viox finished off the scoring on the night for the high-powered Warriors when he ran it in from 14 yards out to make it 48-14 with about seven minutes left. Valle’s offense was so good it only had to punt once, a 44-yarder by Viox.
The Tigers capped the scoring about three minutes later when Hayden Bates cross the goal line to make the final 48-20, dropping Festus to 0-2 on the season.
Valle Catholic will play the second of three consecutive road games on Friday, September 9th at Fredericktown. The Blackcats are 1-1 after a win over Jefferson and a loss to Herculaneum.
Rewatch the Warriors take down the TIgers on the Streamline Sports App: