Posted On: 09/29/18 4:47 AM

In a battle of undefeated football teams, the St. Thomas Academy Cadets broke open a close game with 14 unanswered points to defeat Hastings 24-6 at Todd Field in Hastings. Running back Brenden McFadden scored all three of the Cadets touchdowns with runs of 14, 14 and 46 yards.

The Cadets’ defense was the most impressive unit of the night completely shutting down the Raiders’ offense.

The defense set up the STA offense with great field position, but penalties and inconsistent play kept the Cadets off the scoreboard in the first quarter. STA spent the entire first quarter in the Raiders’ side of the field, but could not cash in.

The field position finally paid off for St. Thomas Academy. They were faced with a 2nd and twenty just outside the red zone, but quarterback Charlie Fafinski‘s pass to running back Jack Nozel in the flat took care of half of the yardage to gain, and McFadden broke free on third and long for the first of his three scores.

The Raiders came right back and cut the lead to one off a long kickoff return, and two long pass plays – the second resulting in a touchdown. The Raiders could not covert the conversion and STA hung on to a one-point lead.

Offensive penalties – especially for the Cadets – kept both teams from getting any offensive traction until Hastings used good field position to get deep into Cadets territory. They worked the ball to the thirty but faced a fourth and 5. It appeared the misdirection pass play was going to pick up the first down, but the Cadets’ defense closed quickly and stopped the Raiders just short.

A late interception by STA’s Will Herzog set his team up inside the thirty with a chance to add some points before the half, but the Cadets’ penalty fest continued, and they squandered a golden opportunity to widen their lead.

STA got McFadden going right out of the locker room. The offense put together the best drive either team could muster since early in the 2nd quarter. The Cadets were faced with a 4th and six at the 26-yard line. McFadden got around the corner on a sweep got just enough for a first down. Hastings would force another fourth down and this time they held. The Raiders’ offense would continue to struggle, and STA would get the ball right back.

A screen pass to McFadden ate up 25-yards and gave the Cadets a chance at a 35-yard field goal. John Copeland had just enough leg to inch the ball over the crossbar to push the lead to 10-6.

After another stop by the Cadets’ defense their offense was facing a 3rd and 8. McFadden found room around the corner and sprinted down the sidelines for a 46-yard touchdown run and a 17-6 lead.

The defense of the Cadets continued to dominate and forced the Hastings’ offense inside their own ten-yard line. The subsequent punt gave St. Thomas Academy excellent field position late in the game. McFadden and the offensive line would put together one more drive. On 4th and four, McFadden took a sweep to the outside and found a cutback lane for a first down and a first and goal. He would score a couple of plays later to complete the scoring.

St. Thomas Academy remains undefeated at 5-0. Hastings drops to 4-1. The Cadets next face Hopkins and Hastings will play Tartan.