Breaking down — Mater Dei senior defensive back Garrett Foppe breaks down to tackle Freeburg’s Brendan Meng in the first half of the Knights’ 56-28 win over the visiting Midgets on Friday night. Mater Dei is now 4-0 on the season while Freeburg fell to 3-1.
    The Mater Dei Knights offense continues to roll on all cylinders as they dismantled previously unbeaten Freeburg 56-28 on Friday at home.
    Mater Dei outgained the Midgets 572-410 in total offense while senior quarterback Travis Jasper was responsible for 416 of those yards.
    “We are very pleased with where our offense is right now,” said Mater Dei head coach Jim Stiebel.  “I’m proud of the way we played, our effort was excellent.”
    The Knights rushed for 322 yards which included 19 carries, 182 yards and a score from Jasper.  Fellow senior Logan Ratermann ran the ball 12 times for 72 yards, two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
    Jasper was 12-of-17 for 234 yards through the air with three touchdown passes. 
    “He’s playing very well right now.  He goes about it with a quiet confidence and is always smiling,” said Stiebel. 
    Garrett Foppe’s two receptions were both touchdowns accounting for 61 yards.  Mitchell Haake added two catches for 87 yards and a score.
    “We have a lot of weapons on the field and Travis is doing a good job getting the ball to the right spot,” said Stiebel.  “They had no answer for our running game so we took advantage of that quite often.”
    Freeburg scored first in quick fashion in the first quarter as Cal Clossen hit Griffin Range on a 35-yard touchdown down the MD sideline as they led 7-0 just 37 seconds into the contest.
    Mater Dei responded on their first possession when Jasper hit Foppe on a 29-yard score that capped a 9-play drive before their 2-point attempt failed.
    Freeburg marched down the field only to see Foppe pick off Clossen and return the ball 78 yards for an interception score that gave MD a 12-7 lead.
    After the Midgets turned the ball over on downs, the Knights scored on their second offensive possession when Jasper scored from 1-yard out to cap a 47-yard drive as the lead was 20-7 after a Ratermann run conversion entering the second quarter.
    Freeburg scored on their first play in the second quarter when Clossen hit Tyler White with a 14-yard touchdown as they trailed 20-14.
    After the Knights turned the ball over on downs, their defense picked them up when Foppe picked off Clossen for the second time in the half.
    The Knights converted seven plays later when Zach Napovanice scored from 11 yards out in front of a Jasper to Ben Kassen conversion that made the score 28-14 in favor of MD at the half.
    Mater Dei scored on their first two possessions of the second half to start the rout as Ratermann scored from 6 yards out six minutes into the third quarter in front of a Jasper to Haake touchdown pass of 53 yards as MD led 42-14.
    Freeburg mounted a 7-play, 68-yard drive that cumulated in a 4-yard touchdown run from Tanner Little as FCHS trailed 42-21 with 43 seconds left in the third quarter.
    Jasper went back to work in the fourth quarter when he found Foppe for a 32-yard touchdown pass as MD extended their lead to 49-21.
    Ratermann added his second TD of the contest later in the frame as he scored from 1-yard out to give Mater Dei a 56-21 lead with 5:27 left in the game.
    Little busted through the MD defense later in the quarter as he scored from 77 yards out to wrap up the scoring.
    Little was strong for Freeburg as he ran the ball 17 times for 179 yards and two touchdowns. 
    Clossen was 16-of-29 under center for the Midgets with 227 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
    Freeburg senior Brendan Meng had 500 yards of total offense and eight touchdowns coming into the game where Mater Dei held him to one catch for 22 yards.
    Foppe led the defense with two picks and five tackles while Kassen Ratermann and Justin Thole each had a sack.  Thole and Nic Seelhoefer each had 10 tackles in the win.
    The Knights are now 4-0 on the season and will travel to play Central in the annual “Milk Bowl” game.
    Mater Dei owns a 32-9 record in the regular-season series and a 33-10 record overall which includes playoffs.
    Central enters the game with a 3-1 record with wins over Wood River, Salem and Carlyle and a loss to Freeburg.

by Bruce Hixon
for the Breese Journal


That’s two — Central senior tailback Jordan Spangenberg reaches for the goal line on a 2-point conversion in the Cougars’ 43-22 win over host Carlyle on Friday. Defending on the play for the Indians is Lane Heinzmann (left) and Colton Tilney.
    On a night where the Central Cougars had a tough time gaining traction with their offense, they turned to their defense and special teams units to get them going.
    Central’s defense forced five turnovers and had a pivotal kickoff return for a touchdown as it held off the host Carlyle Indians 43-22 on Friday in a Cahokia Conference contest. 
    While it does not go down as a turnover, Carlyle had the equivalent of two additional miscues with a pair of botched punt attempts. The win was the Cougars’ fifth straight in the series with the Tribe.
    The Cougars needed a spark from elsewhere as they also had their share of hanging on to the ball with an interception and two lost fumbles. Central managed a modest 108 yards of offense in the first half before it got going in the second half when it accumulated 199 yards.
    “We really struggled offensively for about the first quarter and a half. We didn’t have much rhythm for a while, but our defense was pretty solid during that time. We’ve had the bad habit of letting teams hang around, but I like the way we’ve been able to respond these first four weeks,” said Cougars coach Brian Short, whose team improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
    Twice in the first quarter the Indians put their defense in a tough spot with their inability to get off a punt attempt. The Tribe overcame the first miscue even though Central’s Jordan Spangenberg recovered a fumbled punt snap at the Carlyle 15. Two plays later the Cougars had a 19-yard touchdown pass from Max Kampwerth to Blake Markus nullified by a holding penalty. The next play Kampwerth was intercepted by Chase Taylor.
    Late in the first quarter Carlyle had another punt attempt go awry and allowed Central to recover in Tribe territory again, this time at the 35. A key 17-yard completion from Kampwerth to Markus set up an 18-yard TD run by Kampwerth on the first play of the second quarter that got the Cougars on the board. 
    Central’s lead remained at 6-0 when Jared VonderHaar blocked Colin Bade’s point after attempt kick.
    Central put together one of its best drives of the night late in the first half as it went 75 yards in nine plays. Kampwerth hit Camden Wempe for a key 38-yard gain and Kampwerth picked up 17 more yards on a keeper. Those two plays eventually set up a 12-yard TD run by Spangenberg with 1:58 left in the first half. The Cougars extended their advantage to 14-0 when Kampwerth found Alex Garcia on a two-point conversion pass.
    Both teams would turn the ball over twice in the next 78 seconds. Central got pass interceptions by Wempe and Tim Callahan, but Carlyle countered with a blocked punt recovery by VonderHaar and a fumble recovery by Keyton Mitchell. 
    Carlyle cashed in the second of its forced turnovers when Caleb Darr teamed up with Isaac Smith for a ten-yard TD pass. Darr also ran in the two-point conversion attempt as the Tribe narrowed Central’s lead to just 14-8 with 22 seconds left prior to halftime.
    The Indians opted to kick deep on the ensuing kickoff. It proved to be a costly mistake as Tyson Lobb returned that kickoff 74 yards for a TD. Spangenberg ran in the two-point conversion and sent Central into halftime with a 22-8 advantage.
     Carlyle’s defense gave the Tribe a much-needed lift after the Cougars were backed up to their own 3-yard line with a block in the back penalty on the second half kickoff. The next play Kampwerth was hit and Isaac Smith recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown and trimmed Central’s lead to 22-14. A two-point pass attempt failed.
    The Indians came up with a big stop late in the third quarter. Central advanced the ball to the Tribe 4-yard line, but was backed up by a personal foul penalty and the drive died when the Cougars’ next two plays went for no gain.
    Two plays after that stop Darr hit VonderHaar on a 73-yard completion, which set up a 2-yard TD run by Landon Smith two plays later. The Indians tied the game at 22-22 with 3:09 left in the third quarter when Darr found Smith for a two-point conversion.
    While most of Central’s big plays on this night were turned in by their defense and special teams, the Cougars offense supplied the go-ahead play with 10:05 left in the contest when Garrett Richter won a 72-yard race to the end zone for a touchdown. Bade’s PAT kick gave Central a 29-22 lead.
    Things continued to quickly fall apart for the Tribe as two plays later Wempe recovered a fumble at the Carlyle 31. That turnover led to a 5-yard TD run by Spangenberg. Bade’s PAT kick made it 36-22 with 6:30 left. 
    The Indians turned the ball over again on their ensuing possession as Richter intercepted a pass by Darr at the Carlyle 40. That turnover led to a 9-yard TD run by Lobb. Bade’s PAT kick made it 43-22 with 2:20 remaining.
    “Obviously we had way too many mistakes. I’m proud of the way we came back, but each time we did we gave up big plays. That kickoff return right before halftime was a killer. Then after we came back and tied it at 22, we gave up that long run to Richter,” said Carlyle coach Chris Birkner, whose team fell to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in conference action. “This was a game we felt we had to have. There is still a lot for us to play for. It’s up to each of the players and the coaching staff to decide what that is.”
    Central outgained Carlyle 307-224, which included a 192-86 edge in rushing yards. Richter had two attempts for 77 yards, while Spangenberg had 70 yards on 15 attempts. Kampwerth completed 14 of 30 passes for 115 yards. Markus had five catches for 49 yards, while Garcia had four receptions for 29 yards.
    VonderHaar led Carlyle’s ground game with 38 yards on six attempts. Landon Smith had 38 yards on 11 carries. Darr completed 10 of 23 passes for 138 yards. Taylor had three receptions for 10 yards, while Heinzmann caught two passes for 20 yards. VonderHaar had one reception for 73 yards.
    Central returns home this Friday for the annual Milk Bowl against Mater Dei. The Knights remained unbeaten and improved to 4-0 on the season when they downed Freeburg 55-28. 
    Carlyle hits the road for a conference game against unbeaten Columbia. The Eagles improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the league with a 40-13 victory over Wesclin.  

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