SPRINGFIELD - After losing to Springfield at home on the first game of the year, the New Ulm Cathedral football team upset the Tigers in a rematch in the section 2A semifinal by a score of 33-14.
Cathedral received the opening kickoff and marched right down the field on the legs of Adam Schnobrich and Austin Cooper. Schnobrich eventually found his way into the end zone from two yards out to give Cathedral an early lead.
Springfield responded with a scoring drive of its own. On the first play from scrimmage, Springfield quarterback Jacob Menage found Christopher Kretsch for 41 yards down the sideline. Six plays later, Menage punched it in from a yard out to even the score at seven.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Springfield’s Nick Runk (left) and Jacob Menage (right) tackle New Ulm Cathedral’s Ben Kittler during the Greyhounds’ Section 2A Playoff win Saturday in Springfield.
Schnobrich then continued his quick start to his big night by taking the ensuing kickoff into Springfield territory. Six plays later, Schnobrich found the end zone again for his second of four touchdowns, this one from five yards out.
Springfield struggled to move the ball on its next possession and things got worse when punter Dylan Salonek mishandled the snap, giving Cathedral another short field.
With another short field to work with, Cathedral again pounded the ball down the field and capped off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run by Schnobrich.
After forcing another punt and putting the red-hot offense back on the field, Cathedral fumbled the ball away. Springfield took advantage of the fumble deep in Cathedral territory and again it was Menage running it in from seven yards out. Springfield went into halftime trailing 20-14, but had the momentum.
The second half saw Cathedral again moving the ball down the field solely with the running game. Cooper found the end zone this time, going 10 yards straight up the middle.
For Springfield, it was a real struggle finishing drives in the second half. On a few different occasions, Springfield moved the ball nicely into Cathedral territory. Springfield turned the ball over on downs and tossed an interception to Cathedral's Jake Stadick.
Cathedral put the game away for good at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Schnobrich scored his fourth touchdown, making it 33-14 Cathedral. The game ended with Cathedral pulling out the upset 33-14.
"This means a lot, we came into this season with a new group of guys, but to come to Springfield and get a win is special," Schnobrich said.
Schnobrich finished the night by rushing 32 times for 201 yards and four touchdowns, but credited his offensive line for his success.
"It was a great game, bottom line it was the offensive line, that's all there is to say," Schnobrich said.
Cooper finished with 74 yards and a touchdown as the Cathedral run game was dominant.
"We were fortunate to make the right blocks at the right times," Cathedral coach Denny Lux said. "Springfield had great pursuit, but we just made the right blocks."
"They (Cathedral) executed very well tonight," Springfield coach Paul Dunn said. "They had a great gameplan and exploited our weaknesses."
Springfield was led by Menage, who scored a pair of touchdowns, and Kretsch, who totaled 99 yards receiving on four grabs.
Springfield ends the season with a 7-3 record. Cathedral improves to 7-3 on the season, and will take on Sleepy Eye St. Mary's in the Section 2A championship on Friday in Sleepy Eye.