Warriors fade after good start
After only trailing in total yardage 129-84 and on the scoreboard 7-0 last Friday night, the Schuyler Central High School Warriors football team faded in the second quarter as the host Elkhorn Mount Michael Knights rolled to a 59-0 victory. By the time the final seconds had ticked away, the Knights had amassed 448 total yards of offense compared to just 114 for the Warriors.
“We were very excited about the opportunity to play the No. 10 team in the state. We felt really good about our game plan and taking on Mount Michael,” said head coach Aaron Thumann. They are a team that we have always played tough. We started out the game very well. We were playing tough and we were making stops and tackles for losses on defense against their pretty explosive offense.”
Mount Michael took control in the second quarter behind the arm and legs of quarterback Ben DeMayo. As has been the case several times this season, the opposing quarter became a one-man wrecking crew and gave the Warriors fits on defense.
DeMayo accounted for 219 total yards of offense, two rushing touchdowns and three passing scores to lead the Knights.
Schuyler racked up 84 yards of total offense in the first quarter with much of it coming from the arm of back-up quarterback Jesus Maganda.
With the starter and backup going down to injuries in the past three weeks, the Warriors asked Maganda to step up to the helm.
He responded well early in the game with passes of 30 yards to Elmer Salazar and 54 yards to Michael Hernandez on perfectly thrown rollouts. The Knights adjusted after Magnda’s early success and held him to just one more completion of 16 yards.
“We were getting the ball moving down field. We had some really good runs and had some nice passes downfield. We were doing some really good things,” Thumann said. “We battled back and forth with Mount Michael throughout the first quarter and a good part of the second quarter. We played tough with them, like we knew that we could, and were giving ourselves opportunities.”
As for his team’s second quarter and second half woes, Thumann said the Warriors simply didn’t take advantage of their opportunities.
“We would get ourselves in good situations and not take full advantage of them. We hurt ourselves with penalties and not doing the little things like finishing tackles, catching the football, and hanging onto the football,” he said. “When those things happened, Mount Michael took advantage and turned those opportunities into points, and that’s what a top team is going to do.
“They did a great job. If we could have kept playing the way we did in the first quarter there’s no question it could have been a different game for us.”
The Schuyler ground game was held in check once again by the stingy Mount Michael front seven. The Warriors were limited to 14 yards on 24 carries. Hernandez led the squad with eight yards on six carries followed by Maganda with seven yards on ten rushing attempts.
Travis Marxsen, the unsung hero of the defense, led the Warriors with six solo tackles and eight total. The outstanding junior has led the team in tackles for most of the 2018 season.
Maganda also had another solid game from his linebacking position with six solo tackles and seven total. Caden Yrkoski and Rosel Diaz each added five apiece for the Schuyler defense.
With Blair coming to town this weekend for a district game, coach Thumann feels his team can compete against another rated opponent.
“We can play with a top ten team, but we can’t make the mistakes and we have to take advantage of our opportunities. We have another rated team coming up in Blair. They are another team we have played tough in the past, and there is no reason why we can’t do it again. It’s going to be a challenge, but there is no reason why we can’t continue to grow and get better this week and step up to that challenge.”
Blair enters the game against the Warriors with a 3-2 record while the Warriors are looking to break into the win column at 0-5.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at the SCHS football complex