Monday, October 6, 2014

Knights Stumble in Loss to Storm

October 3, 2014 also published in the Douglas County Post-Gazette
By Jim Steier

Elkhorn South traveled to Mount Michael on Friday night and capitalized on eight Knights’ turnovers en route to a 28-14 victory in high school football action. The Storm, who were the beneficiaries of three interceptions and five fumbles, remained unbeaten with the win and improved its record to 6-0.

Although Mount Michael outgained Elkhorn South 360-279 and had nine more first downs than the Storm, the turnovers proved to be too much to overcome. Elkhorn South used five first-half turnovers to build a 21-7 advantage at intermission. “The biggest difference in the game was the number of turnovers we had,” Mount Michael senior linebacker Andy Ernst said. “I think the result would have been different had we not given Elkhorn South so many opportunities.”

Each team added second half touchdowns to create the final 28-14 margin.  Mount Michael’s second-half points came on an 89-yard kickoff return by Senior Chris Riddle.

Offensively, the Storm were carried by running back Moses Bryant. The speedy freshman raced for 149 yards on 19 rushes. His three touchdowns included an explosive 58-yard sprint in the second quarter. “We came out fired up and played pretty well defensively,” Mount Michael senior Garrett Raabe said. “Although they had a few big runs, we worked well together as a team defensively.”

Elkhorn South quarterback Collin Point completed only six passes, but the aerial game was unnecessary as the Storm finished with 238 yards rushing. Point ran for 74 yards and Brayton Haley added 55 and a touchdown.

“Elkhorn South is a very athletic team with good size,” Mount Michael Coach Jon Borer said. “We knew they had a strong running game and stopping the run has been a challenge for us this season. Aside from a couple big plays, we played good team defense all night.”

Mount Michael quarterback Jake Batenhorst utilized his entire receiving corps by targeting six different teammates during the game. Riddle and Alex Miklas each had seven receptions and Mick Steier added five. Jake Mumby, Raabe and Caiden Groff each contributed multiple catches as well.

The Knights’ ground game featured a 50-yard performance by Batenhorst and 42 yards from Mumby, which included an 11-yard touchdown scamper in the first half.

“We moved the ball consistently throughout the game,” Steier said. “But the turnovers obviously killed us.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Elkhorn South’s Tanner Meyo led the way with 14 tackles. He also had one interception and a fumble recovery. Kohlton Bingham had 12 stops and Garrett Streeks added 10. Grant Nelson, Tyler Johnson and Cole Anderson each chipped in with six tackles. Anderson had two fumble recoveries, while Nelson and Scott Ritter each added one. Cole Butler and Tyler Johnson snagged interceptions for the Storm.

Mount Michael was led defensively by Groff’s 15 tackles. The sophomore’s strong outing included an interception and two fumble recoveries. The Knights benefited from strong performances by Raabe, Mumby and Steier, who combined for 24 tackles. Steier also added a leaping grab for an interception in the fourth quarter.

Mount Michael fell to 1-2 at home this season, but Borer said the home field atmosphere is fantastic on the school’s tree-filled campus. “It is an awesome experience and I love the backyard feel that we have at our home games,” Borer stated. “The fact that we can walk out of our own locker room onto our field makes a big difference to our guys. I am so thankful to everyone who made it possible.”

The Storm will now enter the tough stretch run on its schedule with upcoming games against Elkhorn, Omaha Skutt and Gretna. These three foes have a combined record of 17-1.

Mount Michael, which dropped to 3-3 with the loss, will travel to play 3-3 Bennington next week. The Badgers fell 26-14 to Waverly on Friday night.

                                                1st           2nd          3rd           4th           TOTAL
Elkhorn South              7          14         0          7          28
Mount Michael             0          7          0          7          14


1st Quarter
ELK SO - Moses Bryant 18 run (Jeremy Baker kick) 0:59

2nd Quarter
ELK SO - Bryant 58 run (Baker kick) 9:02
ELK SO - Bryant 3 run (Baker kick) 4:43
MMB - Jake Mumby 11 run (Matt Dugick kick) 1:26

3rd Quarter
No Scoring

4th Quarter
ELK SO - Brayton Haley 4 run (Baker kick) 1:52

MMB - Chris Riddle 89 kickoff return (Dugick kick) 1:38