SLEEPY EYE - Complete domination might not be enough to describe the way Sleepy Eye St. Mary's played Friday night, but there might not be a better way to explain it.
The Knights trailed Cedar Mountain/Comfrey 12-8 after the first quarter, but a huge second quarter by St. Mary's and over-powering defense in the second half lead the Knights to a 62-18 Homecoming victory.
Jordan Anderson put on a show as he completed 18-of-24 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on seven rushes. John Brandl (five catches, 88 yards) was the recipient of two of Anderson's touchdown passes and Sean Mathiowetz caught four passes for 108 yards and a score. Mitch Neid added three rushing touchdowns on 14 carries for 68 yards.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s Brandon Helget (2) blocks Cedar Mountain/Comfrey’s Josh Green (25) as Knights’ running back Mitchell Neid carries the ball during the Knights’ win Friday at St. Mary’s.
Even though St. Mary's displayed a great offensive output, head coach Brent Kucera wasn't completely happy with his team's overall performance.
"The kids responded well and they made some huge plays," Kucera said. "We're still not 100 percent happy with the win. We made a lot of simple mistakes - the turnovers - the kick returns for touchdowns. We're happy with the win, but we're still not happy with our play for the whole entire game."
If there was anything positive for CM/C, it was the play of its special teams, or more specifically Brady Kerkhoff.
Kerkhoff returned the opening kickoff all the way for a touchdown, and late in the second quarter he returned another kickoff for a score.
Neid started the scoring for St. Mary's with 8:32 remaining in the first quarter, but not before a big catch and run by Mathiowetz that gave the Knights great field position.
Neid got stuffed twice at the goal line, but then on fourth down he found a hole and snuck in for the score. Neid caught a pass from Anderson to convert the 2-point conversion and gave St. Mary's its first lead of the game.
Kerkhoff got involved on the following possession as his defender fell down and he coasted 61 yards for a touchdown to re-take the lead.
Neid added two more touchdowns to start the second quarter. After Kerkhoff scored his third touchdown of the game, Anderson broke free up the middle and sprinted 67 yards to give the Knights a 38-18 lead with 1:23 remaining in the first half.
CM/C fumbled on the following possession and St. Mary's acted quickly to get another score up on the board before half.
Anderson found Brandl for 27 yards to advance the ball to the Cougar's eight-yard line, then on the following play Mathiowetz caught a pass in the end zone and put the Knights up 44-18 going into halftime.
Brandl caught another touchdown pass at the beginning of the third quarter and that essentially was the game as the Knights used mostly back-ups for the remainder of the game.
"They are the No. 2 team in state and they backed that up tonight," Cedar Mountain/Comfrey head coach Brian Longerbone said. "We were able to come out in the first quarter and shock them a little bit and they might have underestimated us a little bit, but when you have an aerial attack like that it's tough to beat. We were able to kind of quiet down Sean Mathiowetz, but John Brandl came out and was able to attack. We were challenging some other guys to beat us and those guys stepped up for St. Mary's tonight."
Freshman back-up quarterback Kodan Kosak added an 83-yard rushing touchdown for St. Mary's midway through the fourth quarter and Jon Kopacek led the defense with nine tackles.
St. Mary's improves to 5-0 on the season and will play at Wabasso next Saturday while Cedar Mountain/Comfrey falls to 1-4 and will host New Ulm Cathedral next Friday.