Aquinas rebounds with win over BV North
By Rob Ladd PrepsKC staff writer
Saint Thomas Aquinas grinded its way to and early lead and never looked back in their 42-13 drubbing of Blue Valley North.
Aquinas chipped away at the North defense on their opening drive, covering 43 yards on eight plays before quarterback Karter Odermann found Jacob Leikam for a 19-yard touchdown.
Things began to slip away from North on the ensuing kickoff, when Cooper Lantefield let the ball slip away twice in one return. Lantefield managed to wrestle his second fumble back from an Aquinas tackler, preserving the Mustangs drive.
Two plays later Lantefield fumbled again, and this time Aquinas’ Samson Shaefer recovered the ball on the North 11-yard line.
Saints running back Sam Ramaekers then scored on a 5-yard run, giving Aquinas a 14-0 lead. Ramaekers led all rushers with 28 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Lantefield attempted to redeem himself on the following kickoff, returning the ball to the Aquinas 42-yard line. But the North offense stalled again.
Facing fourth and two from the Aquinas 34-yard line, Mustangs quarterback Joey Dolan was swarmed by a host of Aquinas defenders. A desperation pass found its way to Saints free safety Christopher Schilling, who snagged his first of two interceptions on the night.
The Saints entire defense may have been the star of the first half, shutting out the Mustangs and allowing only 66 yards of total offense through two quarters. Two-way starter Duron Lowe broke up several passes and made a perfect form tackle that brought the Aquinas faithful to their feet.
Lowe, who is listed at 5-foot-11, continually found himself lined up against much taller Mustang receivers.
“I think he took it a little personal,” Saints head coach Randy Dreiling said. “All the passing yards we gave up last week. I thought he stepped up and showed how good he can be on defense tonight.”
If Lowe is a standout on defense, he has the makings of a star on offense. Aquinas’ slow, methodical drives kicked into another gear when Duron touched the ball, including a speed option that Lowe took 72 yards for a score, breaking one tackle before running away from the defense.
“He’s one of those rare guys,” Dreiling said. “As soon as he figures out what we’re doing offensively, he’s going to be pretty good.”
Lowe, a senior, transferred from Shawnee Mission Northwest and is in his first year in a Saints uniform. He finished the game with 5 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, and caught one pass for 20 yards.
The Mustangs limped into the locker room down 21-0 at halftime, but found life in the third quarter thanks to a big defensive stop.
“You can get in there and scream and yell,” Mustangs head coach Andy Sims said, “and make a lot of speeches, but we went the other way. We made some sound adjustments, and that worked, we just weren’t able to maintain that momentum in the fourth quarter.”
The Saints gave the Mustangs an opening on the first drive of the second half. Faced with fourth and three from their own 33-yard line, Aquinas failed to pick up the first down and gave North its best starting field position of the game.
The Mustangs capitalized when quarterback Joey Dolan found Josh Pederson from 11-yards out. Aquinas blocked the extra point, making it 21-6.
That’s as close as the Mustangs would get. Aquinas scored 21 unanswered points, including a pair of short touchdown runs by Odermann.
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