Wabasso sends KMS packing
FARGO -- Youth and inexperience finally caught up with Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Thursday. The Fighting Saints, with a freshman backup quarterback, a freshman running back and a number of young underclassmen filling in other spots on both sides o...
FARGO -- Youth and inexperience finally caught up with Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Thursday.
The Fighting Saints, with a freshman backup quarterback, a freshman running back and a number of young underclassmen filling in other spots on both sides of the ball, fell to an experienced Wabasso team 38-6 in the Section 5A championship game at the Fargodome.
"They found some spots where we were weaker and they did a good job of doing it," said KMS head coach James Cortez. "We just gave up way too many big plays in the first half."
The Rabbits rolled up the yardage and points in the first half, while flustering the Fighting Saints' offense in the first half. Wabasso scored on their first two possessions of the first quarter: a 19-yard run by Derek Riley and a 61-yard pass play from Christopher Eichten to Michael Ricketts.
Meanwhile, KMS struggled to move the ball. The Fighting Saints had only three first downs -- one on a penalty -- and finished the half with a total of 39 yards.
Freshman quarterback Jake Armstrong, playing for injured starter Kevin Steinhaus, couldn't escape Wabasso's pressure. He was sacked four of the first six times he dropped back.
"It's tough for any kid -- I don't care if you are a senior or a freshman -- coming to play quarterback and you haven't played most of the year," Cortez said. "They came at him pretty good, but he did all that we asked of him."
Wabasso scored twice more for a 25-0 lead at halftime.
"We couldn't move the ball in the first half and get anything sustained," said Cortez. "That added up. I wish we would have went in a couple of scores down, not 25, but maybe 13-0."
Mitch Hagen intercepted a Wabasso pass on the second play of the second half to give KMS a little momentum. Using a shorter drop and some play-action, Armstrong led the Fighting Saints to their only score, a five-yard run from freshman running back Joel Bauman.
But the youthful mistakes continued. KMS had Wabasso stopped for a second straight possession, but the Fighting Saints fumbled the punt and the Rabbits recovered at the KMS 2. Two plays later, Altermatt scored from the one-yard line.
Wabasso added a little insult to injury in the fourth quarter, faking a punt with 2:12 left and Ricketts ran the sideline for 44 yards and the final touchdown.
After allowing 279 yards in the first half, the KMS defense held Wabasso to only 90 yards in the last 24 minutes.
"Most of (their yards) came on long runs and that fake punt," Cortez said. "The kids did what we asked them to do. We're just a little weak in some places and Wabasso exploited it."
Bauman led the Saints with 22 carries for 105 yards. Armstrong completed eight of 15 passes for 72 yards. Sam Kavanagh caught six passes for 61 yards.
Wabasso 38, KMS 6
Wabasso (9-2).................................13 12 6 7 -- 38
KMS (8-3).....................................0 0 6 0 -- 6
Wab - Derek Riley 19 run (Ricardo Candia kick)
Wab - Michael Ricketts 61 pass from Christopher Eichten (kick failed)
Wab - Mitch Altermatt 38 run (pass failed)
Wab - Zac Kuehn 18 pass from Eichten (run failed)
KMS - Joel Bauman 5 run (kick failed)
Wab - Altermatt 1 run (pass failed)
Wab - Ricketts 44 run (Joel Grave kick)
First downs: 10 ... Rushing: 42-266 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 5-8-100-2 ... Fumbles lost: 1 ... Penalties: 2-30
Rushing: Mitch Altermatt 14-126, Derek Riley 19-61, Christopher Eichten 4-31, Zac Kuehn 1-20 ... Passing: Eichten 5-8-100-2 ... Receiving: Zac Kuehn 2-27, Michael Ricketts 2-70, Zach Wurscher 1-3 ... Punting: Michael Ricketts 3-43 ... Interceptions: Christopher Eichten 1 ... Fumble recoveries: Dan Riley 1, Zac Kuehn 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): not available ... QB sacks: not available
First downs: 13 ... Rushing: 40-117 ... Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 8-15-72-1 ... Fumbles lost: 2 ... Penalties: 8-42
Rushing: Joel Bauman 22-105, Mark Skoglund 8-47, Jake Armstrong 8-(minus 33) ... Passing: Jake Armstrong 8-16-72-1 ... Receiving: Sam Kavanagh 6-61, Taylor Freetly 1-7, Mark Skoglund 1-4 ... Punting: Alex Baker 7-33 ... Interceptions: Mark Skoglund 1, Mitch Hagen 1 ... Fumble recoveries: Mark Skoglund 1 ... Tackles (solo-assist): Cody Ruka 1-5, Mitch Hagen 1-3, Taylor Freetly 1-3, Mark Skoglund 4-10, Joey Bauman 1-3, Alex Baker 5-16, Brad Kneisl 0-4, Sam Kavanagh 3-5 ... QB sacks: Cody Ruka 1