The weather conditions were frightful, but the ending for Valle Catholic
was so delightful. The Warriors outstanding Senior kicker, Devon Kutz,
knocked home a 27 yard field goal with 45 seconds remaining, to send the
Ste. Genevieve Catholic school back to the Edward Jones Dome in St.
Louis for the 7th straight year, 16-13 over Marceline, in a Class 1 Semifinal.
The game was played with temperatures dropping into the 30’s and
northwesterly winds 20-25 mph, bringing the wind chill down to around 20
degrees. To top it off, rain fell all morning mixed with a little snow,
making field conditions extremely muddy.
After a scoreless first quarter, Valle got on the board late in the
first half with a 3 play, 51 yard drive. Sr. QB Connor Basler found Cole
Wood on a catch and run 51 yard TD. It was the first points allowed by
the Tigers in 8 games. Basler threw 2 TD’s on the day, running his total
to 55 on the season. Basler had 244 yards on 16-30 through the air with
1 pick. Kutz’s kick made it 7-0 with 1:44 remaining in the half and that
was the halftime score.
Marceline, with their run-oriented offense. got back into the game on
their first possession of the 2nd half with an 8 play, 60 yard touchdown
drive. It was capped off by a 1 yard run by Jr. FB Duane Avila and with
the Dylan Ewigman kick, it was 7-7 with 8:23 to go in the 3rd.
It stayed that way throughout quarter 3 with the adverse conditions
affecting everything the teams did. Valle regained the lead early in the
4th against the Tigers 3-3 stacked D on a 5 play-62 yard drive as
Garrett Jaegers caught a 29 yard pass from Basler for a 13-7 Warriors
lead and 9:19 left. Kutz’s kick, however, went wide right.
The Tigers countered with a 9 play, 72 yard drive and tied the game as
Jr. RB Jarred Best went into the house from 10 yards away for a 13 all
tie. The kick was blown wide left and it stayed deadlocked with 5:34 to go.
The blue clad Warriors spread came right back down the field on a 9
play, 72 yard drive, culminated by the 27 yard Kutz FG through the
biting crosswind, for a 16-13 advantage with 45 ticks on the clock.
Marceline, who ended 0-3 through the air, had 2 passes picked off by
Cole Wood and Devon Kutz in the final 40 seconds, with Kutz’s pick on
the final play as Valle’s fans erupted with joy.
Valle Catholic finished with 392 yards of total offense, 148 on the
ground. The Tigers were held to 241 yards, all on the ground, on 51
plays. The Warriors ran 65 plays.
Sr. DE Colin Okenfuss led the Warriors with 15 tackles, 2 QB Sacks, and
3 tackles for losses. Sr. ILB Kurtis Meyer had 11 total tackles, and now
has 138 on the season. Jr. OLB Cole Wood add 10, including 2 tackles for
losses, and a pick. Sr. defensive tackles Brock Kertz and Matthew Skaggs
had 9 tackles apiece.
Valle Catholic advances to the Class 1 State Championship against Penney
(Hamilton) (11-3) Saturday, the last team to defeat the Warriors in the State
Title game in 2012, 60-34. Valle has won 44 straight games. Penney upset
Skyline, 29-12 in the other semi.
You can hear the Valle Catholic-Penney game on Prepcasts Ste. Genevieve.
Pre-game at 1:45, including the ceremony honoring the 1995 State
Championship Warrior team. Valle will be seeking their 14th overall
State Championship. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 2:15.