Running away to the semifinals

Robert Schraeder/Special to PrepsKC

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: November 14, 2015 - 12:26 AM

If there was a sign of how things would go in St. Thomas Aquinas’ 42-7 blowout victory over St. James, look no further than back-to-back possessions in the first quarter.

Faced with a fourth and one, St. James quarterback Trey Keith fell a yard short of a first down, giving the ball back to Aquinas at the Thunder 29.

On the ensuing possession, the Saints were faced with a similar conversion on the 20. For Aquinas the conversion ended with Karter Odermann breaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage and going 20 yards for a touchdown.

It was the start of a buzzsaw first half for the Saints, who controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage.

“They have a really good offense and we put our defense in really bad situations pretty often,” St. James head coach Tom Radke said. “That didn’t help us out at all. Missing a couple playmakers its tough to move the ball. We didn’t get anything going. When you turn the ball over a couple times and don’t make any plays it’s tough to stay in the game.”

Add to that nearly everything went Aquinas’ way and it led to a 42-0 halftime lead.

“We are making things happen on offense and our defense continues to shut people down,” St. Thomas Aquinas coach Randy Dreiling said. “We got short fields the whole first half it seemed like. You have a pretty good chance to score when you are starting on their side. “

Before turning the offense over to the second string, Odermann scored twice on fourth down conversions as well as connecting on a 24-yard pass to Matt Malir.

The other three first half touchdowns came from senior running back James Cosentino who scored on runs of 6, 7 and 31 yards in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Aquinas defense helped out by not allowing the Thunder to get past midfield until the final drive of the first half. Add to that a pair of fumble recoveries by Christopher Schilling and Parker Swanson and the Saints were all but headed to the Kansas 5A semifinals before heading to halftime.

“We went in with a relentless attitude,” Schilling said. “If we could get set up correctly we could get stops. One thing I love about our defense is that we all fly to the ball and have eight guys making a tackle. It’s a lot of fun.”

St. James was able to get on the board with 3:04 left in the third quarter when Jake Burgmeier scored on a three-yard run.

Saint Thomas Aquinas moves on to play Mill Valley in the semifinals next Friday night at Mill Valley.