Some teams can come out a little rusty after a week off, but after a brief hiccup, the Valle Catholic football team looked like a fine-tuned machine once again in a 58-6 win over Kennett in a Class 3, District 1 Semifinal in Ste. Genevieve on Friday night.
For the first time this season, the Warriors did not score first. The Indians turned the tables on their hosts when Daniel Boatman raced 70 yards for a touchdown just 2:26 into the contest. The extra point failed, to keep the score 6-0.
But, as the final score would indicate, it was all Valle from here on out. The Warriors responded to the early adversity like champions and proceeded to score on all eight of their first half possessions.
Less than two minutes after Kennett stunned the home crowd with the game’s first score, Valle quarterback Chase Fallert kept it from one yard out. Will Kuehn booted the extra point to make it 7-6 at the 6:48 mark.
With 2:14 left in the first quarter, Fallert called his own number again and took it to the house from 25 yards out. The extra point made it 14-6.
Just for good measure, the Warriors crossed the goal line again with 22 seconds left in the opening period when Chase Fallert found his cousin Grant Fallert on a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-6 at the end of an exciting first 12 minutes.
Then it was time for the big-play defense to put points on the board. Sam Drury, who is used to catching passes from Fallert on offense, picked off the Indians’ quarterback and returned it 19 yards for the score. The PAT failed, so it was 27-6 with 9:37 left in the second quarter and the blowout was officially on.
At the 7:10 mark, the Warriors took advantage of a short field after a botched punt attempt as Bryce Giesler, who missed the game against Kennett two weeks ago, did what he does as well as anyone by finding the end zone on a ten-yard run. Grant Fallert’s rush attempt for the two-point conversion failed to keep the score 33-6.
Giesler would find the end zone again 41 seconds later after an Indian turnover. This time he was on the receiving end of a three-yard touchdown pass from Fallert. Harry Oliver caught the two-point conversion to make the score 41-6.
Then, Tim Okenfuss pushed the ball across the goal line from two yards out with 3:34 left before halftime. Giesler added the two-point attempt to make the score 49-6.
Just as they did at the end of the first quarter, the Warriors scored in the final minute of the second quarter when Giesler scored his second rushing touchdown and third overall of the game with 59 seconds on the clock. Kuehn added the extra point for a 56-6 lead at halftime. Giesler now has 19 rushing and five receiving touchdowns on the season.
The only scoring in the second half came in the fourth quarter when A.J. Basler tackled a Kennett player in the end zone for a safety to make the final 58-6.
With several short fields to work with, Valle did not produce some of the eye-popping statistics we have seen from them during the season.
But, in typical fashion, the Warriors showed their depth and spread the wealth as eleven different players had rushing attempts. Giesler led the way with a modest 51 yards, Chase Fallert added 46 with a pair of touchdowns on the ground to go with his two touchdown passes. He has now accounted for 32 TD’s this season with 23 through the air and nine in the running game.
The Warriors racked up 344 total yards with 225 rushing and 119 passing on just 40 plays.
Defensively, Noah Elbert and Jacob Calbreath led the way with seven total tackles each. Elbert also collected the only sack of the game. Another sign of this team’s depth is that ten different players made tackles for loss, giving the team 155 through ten games.
Valle turned Kennett over three times with Josh Fallert grabbing an interception and Alex Viox recovering a fumble in addition to Drury’s pick-six.
The Warriors win and Park Hills Central’s 35-0 victory over Ste. Genevieve sets up a rematch in the District Championship game between these two powerhouse programs, who gave us a tremendous duel at Father John Dempsey Field back on September 30th. Valle dealt Central its only loss of the season in a 40-30 shootout that the Rebels led 30-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Kickoff on Veteran’s Day will be at 7 p.m. and again it will be in Ste. Genevieve with a District Championship on the line. What else can you ask for? Other than maybe another thrill a minute game like we had in the first match-up.