Things could not have started better for the undefeated St. Agnes Aggies when St. Paul Humboldt kicked off to start this early season matchup of undefeated teams. The Aggies returned the opening kickoff to mid-field, and after six running plays, the Aggies’ Javon Jones put the home team on the board with a one-yard touchdown run.
The Aggies’ defense forced a three and out, but a bad snap on the punt turned into a first down for the Hawks when Mathew Behnke – Humboldt’s punter – was able to get the corner and pick up a first down. The Hawks would get no further, and after they failed to convert on a fourth-down, the Aggies had the ball at midfield again.
“We communicated well on defense and punched back whenever they came at us,” linebacker and fullback Jones said.
Humboldt safety Michael Casarez McCampbell stopped the Aggies’ drive with the first of his two interceptions. St. Agnus’ defense – who controlled the entire game – forced a punt. This time the Aggies would cash in.
Off play action, sophomore quarterback Isaac Schmidt threw a deep post pattern to tight end Tim Tibesar – who’s blocking early in the game helped the Aggies’ offense establish the running game that set up the pass. The thirty-yard completion gave the Aggies a 14-0 lead.
The lead would stay at 14 until early in the second half. After forcing a three and out on defense – the Aggies got a short field because of a bad snap on Humboldt’s punt attempt. With excellent field position, the Aggies widened the lead to 21-0. Running back Andrew Brownell – who was playing his first game ever at running back – set up the third touchdown of the game with a physical run around the right side of the offense giving the Aggies a first and goal.
“The coaches prepared me well,” Brownell – who played tight end and fullback before moving to running back this week. “The offensive line opened huge holes for me all game. I have been in this system for a while, so I think I can play anywhere for the team.”
Later in the drive, Jones slammed in his second short touchdown of the game.
“We were able to make some adjustments at halftime to allow us to move the ball more consistently in the second half,” St. Agnes head coach Tom Flood said. “We got the ball three times in the second half, and we scored three times.”
After converting on a fourth and long, the Hawks would score their lone touchdown of the game to stay in the game temporarily, but the Aggies would answer thanks to a great run by Schmidt. He spun out of a tackle that would have dropped him for a loss. Then he got loose around the corner. He cut back all the way across the field and scored at the opposite pilon – ending a 31-yard touchdown run.
After giving up a touchdown drive, the Aggies’ defense got back on track. Linebacker Jones not only scored two touchdowns but also was a problem for the Hawks’ offensive line. Along with the interior of the defensive line, he didn’t allow the Hawks’ running game to get going. Defensive lineman George Stark started to get consistent pressure on the quarterback – including a second-half sack.
“Our defensive line and linebackers are active,” Flood explained. “We don’t have a lot of size up front, so we have to rely on our speed. We knew we had to force them to bounce runs outside and have our outside linebackers and defensive backs come up and make tackles.”
Brownell would get into the next. His thirty-yard touchdown run would end the scoring for both teams making the final score 35-6.
St. Agnes (3-0) will stay at home next week and play Concordia Academy. St. Paul Humboldt (2-1) will travel to St. Paul Harding.