Aquinas delivers shutout against Scotus
It was a battle in the trenches.
The Aquinas football team steadily pushed Columbus Scotus against the wall in Friday’s game at Memorial Field. The Monarchs put up 29 and held Scotus scoreless for their fourth win this season.
Scotus could never get control of all aspects of the game. In the first quarter, Aquinas dominated with the run game and on defense. Scotus began to get leverage outside the tackles, but Aquinas recovered and stuffed the Shamrocks.
Aquinas dominated the first half, holding Scotus to a handful of first downs. The Shamrocks couldn’t move the chains until the final minutes of the first quarter.
Penalties and turnovers hindered the Shamrocks’ efforts. A blocked punt set up a short field for an Aquinas touchdown run by senior Lane Napier.
Napier carried the Monarchs down the field and took a few Shamrocks with him. The Monarch running back wouldn’t go down without being outnumbered 2-1. He ended with 108 yards on 22 carries. Aquinas had 406 yards on the ground.
“We were able to grind out plays,” Aquinas coach Ron Mimick said. “It was a very good game up front, from our offensive and defensive lines. We didn’t give Scotus an easy way to score or an easy way to win.”
“We could just never get off the field,” Scotus coach Tyler Linder said. “They converted every third down, they never punted.”
The Monarchs marched up and down the field, scoring on all but three drives.
After another Scotus three-and-out, Aquinas make a big break. Giving the ball to Matt Nadrchal on a reverse, he raced 33 yards for another Monarch touchdown.
After one quarter, Aquinas led 14-0.
As the second quarter clicked away, the Shamrocks finally got moving.
The Monarchs set the tempo and controlled the field inside the hash marks, forcing the Shamrocks to run and pass outside the tackles.
“We would have liked to come out a lot faster, a lot tougher and a lot more physical. This game was won in the trenches,” Linder said.
The Shamrocks began to move their way down field until a fumble ended their drive.
Aquains limited Scotus to 95 rushing yards. Wet conditions may have contributed to four Scotus fumbles.
In the final seconds of the second quarter, Trevor Siroky drilled a 34 yard field goal to give Aquinas a 17-0 halftime lead.
Aquinas continued to grind in the running game. Consistent four yard runs paid off with a few big gains.
Unable to get into the end zone, Aquinas settled for another field goal. Siroky hit another long field goal, this time from 36 yards out.
On the other side of the ball, everything went Aquinas’ way. And everything bad that could happen to the Scotus offense, did.
Avoiding a sack, Tyler Palmer grounded the ball while in the end zone, resulting in a safety.
Scotus stopped Aquinas from increasing its lead but couldn’t capitalize on the other end. After a first and goal on the seven, Scotus faced a fourth and 16. An incomplete pass gave Aquinas the ball and sucked all the air out of Scotus’ confidence.
Aquinas and Scotus traded turnovers in the final minutes. After an Aquinas fumble, Scotus’ Caden Pelan threw an interception with 55 seconds left to seal the 29-0 shutout.
Palmer completed just 2 of 10 passes for 8 yards in the loss and Aquinas threw the ball only three times, with a Gavin Rech completion to Napier going for 13 yards.
Scotus’ Dalton Taylor was held to a single reception for 7 yards.
Andy Lyons finished with 70 yards on eight carries for the Monarchs, Nadrchal had 51 yards on six attempts and Kyle Petree added 45 yards on eight carries.
Aquinas hosts top-ranked Bishop Neumann on Saturday, Sept. 24. Scotus plays Friday at Grand Island Central Catholic.