September 5, 2014
By Jim Steier
SPRINGFIELD - With heavy hearts due to Wednesday’s death of teammate Dylan Johnson, Mount Michael’s football team improved to 2-0 on Friday night with a decisive 35-17 victory over Platteview in Springfield.
“We are a family at Mount Michael and this was a tough week for us,” senior Mick Steier said. “The loss of Dylan brought us even closer together and unified us. Dylan was with us tonight.”
In his third season leading the Knights, Head Coach Jon Borer is excited about the start to the season. “We told the guys that we needed to play good team defense and execute on offense,” Borer said. “We were sharp tonight and it was a great team victory.”
A swarming defense and big plays propelled Mount Michael to the lopsided win.
The defense shut down the Platteview running game, which featured a healthy dose of motion, jet sweeps and misdirection. “The difference in the game is that our defense dominated,” Steier said. The Knights even added a defensive score in the fourth quarter when senior Chris Riddle jumped an out route at the Platteview 41-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. It was Riddle’s second interception of the season.
Garrett Raabe and Eric Sullivan led the Knights with nine tackles each, while Jake Mumby added eight and Riddle six. Steier and Andy Ernst each chipped in with five stops. Platteview finished with 251 yards rushing, but 143 of that came in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach.
The nine times that Platteview faced third down during the game, Mount Michael never allowed the Trojans to make a first down.
Offensively, Knights running back Jake Mumby ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns and Ashton Legenza also scored twice, including a 98-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. “This was a tough week for us with the loss of Dylan,” Jake Mumby said. “When we lost here last year, we weren’t ready to play. This year, we were focused.”
In addition to senior Jake Mumby’s rushing totals, his sophomore brother, Matt Mumby, ran for 50 yards and Jake Batenhorst scampered for 44 yards from his quarterback position.
Through the air, the Knights were led by Steier, who had six catches for 60 yards. Riddle had five grabs for 43 yards and Legenza hauled in two passes for 96 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Batenhorst had his second strong showing of the season, going 14-for-22 for 197 yards.
The Knights piled up 445 yards of total offense.
“Our offensive line played very well tonight,” Borer said. “Our seniors are the anchors: Chase Goddard, Ryan Anderson and Andy Ernst. Patrick Halpin improved a lot from week one to week two and Drew Goddard stepped up for the injured Sam Clements. On defense, Raabe seemed to be all over the place.”
Mount Michael built a 21-3 halftime lead by scoring on a 45-yard touchdown run by Jake Mumby and Legenza’s kickoff return and an 80-yard touchdown reception. The Knights extended the lead to 35-3 before Platteview added two touchdowns in the final 10 minutes.
The Trojans fell to 0-2 with the loss.
Mount Michael now begins preparation for an historic occasion as it will host its first home football game in school history on Friday night versus Nebraska City. A successful fund drive to install bleachers, lights and a press box was conducted and will enable the school to now host games on its campus.
Nebraska City will enter the game with a 1-1 record, having defeated Auburn and fallen to Omaha Roncalli in its first two contests of the year.