Sages no match for St. Teresa
MONTICELLO – In order to lock up a playoff spot, Monticello had to find a way to knock off archrival Decatur St. Teresa.
Stephen Duncan and the rest of his Bulldog teammates made sure that didn't happen.
The 160-pound senior rushed for 257 yards on 26 carries, 237 of which came in the first half, and scored three touchdowns as St. Teresa rolled past the Sages 49-7 in Okaw Valley Conference Black Division action Friday night.
The loss probably knocked the Sages out of the playoff picture. They'll have to wait until the pairings are announced tonight to see if they get in.
"I told the kids that I would just as soon we be in charge of our destiny instead of somebody else," Monticello coach John Beccue said. "If we don't make the playoffs, I'll be disappointed. I think this is a pretty good football team not to be in the playoffs."
St. Teresa's only loss was 21-20 to unbeaten and defending Class 2A state champion Maroa-Forsyth in the second week of the season.
The first play set the tone for the game as Duncan broke loose for a 54-yard run. Three plays later, fullback Mike Bushell plunged over from 2 yards out for a 7-0 lead.
"The first play from scrimmage, we had a breakdown on assignments on an option, and we gave them a big play," Beccue said. "From that point on, they just dominated us up front."
Monticello moved the ball to midfield on its first possession before turning the ball over on downs. From there, St. Teresa drove 49 yards in seven plays to score with Duncan going the final 2 yards.
Duncan added a 9-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first quarter for a 21-0 lead.
The Sages scored when Kyle Dooley broke loose for a 37-yard touchdown run to make it 21-7 with 10:41 left in the half.
St. Teresa answered that score in a minute and a half as Duncan went untouched 15 yards for the score.
"There were times he (Duncan) would run straight into the line and he had 5 yards before any contact was made because they were driving us off the ball," Beccue said.
Dooley had 89 yards on 18 carries, and the Sages finished with 135 yards' total offense.
Rennick Hoss had 12 tackles. Dooley was next with 11, followed by Rob Huddleston, Morgan McHale and Kyler Rice with eight apiece. Neal Phelps added seven stops.