Savannah tops St. Joseph LeBlond

By Jared Speckman The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: October 20, 2012 - 12:18 AM

The Savannah offense didn’t miss a beat with Tyler Wilt moving to running back in a depleted backfield Friday night.


The win assured Savannah of second place in the final Midland Empire Conference standings and put the Savages into the No. 2 seed in Class 4 District 8 for the start of the postseason next week.

Wilt’s shift added a new dimension to the Savages’ attack.

“With the injuries that we’ve had with Garrett and Coburn, we had to move Tyler to running back,” coach Chad Smith said. “He’s our playmaker. We have got to find ways to get him the ball so we had to move him in there a little bit, and he did a good job.”

Savannah (8-1, 6-1 MEC) needed Wilt’s effort after LeBlond made a game effort at an upset.

The Savages went ahead 7-0 early in the first quarter on quarterback Zane Wilt’s 1-yard touchdown sneak. Savannah cornerback Nate Miller picked off LeBlond quarterback Matthew McCullough on the next drive, setting up a Zane Wilt to Austin Nolan 6-yard touchdown to make it a two-score lead.

LeBlond pulled within seven at the end of the first quarter when McCullough hit Patrick Dillon for a 25-yard touchdown.

Later, the Golden Eagles closed their deficit to 28-14 before finally succumbing to Savannah’s larger, more experienced roster. LeBlond (5-4, 3-4) enters Class 2 District 8 as the top seed thanks to strength of schedule accrued from the MEC, but the Golden Eagles still need one more win to secure their first winning season since 2001.

“I thought we played a good football game,” LeBlond coach Tony Dudik said. “Savannah is a good Class 4 football team. And the one thing I didn’t want to do was be disappointed in our effort going into district play next week, and I thought our effort was great tonight.”

Turnovers continued to haunt LeBlond throughout the first half.

Both of Savannah’s second-quarter touchdowns were set up by Golden Eagle turnovers. The first was a strip and run by Tyler Wilt that set up his own 1-yard touchdown run. The second was a Tyler Wilt interception that set up a 39-yard scoring pass from Zane Wilt to Jesse Dickens. For the rest of the story click here.

With starter Corey Coburn out and fullback Logan Garrett still ailing from a leg injury suffered a couple of weeks ago, Wilt moved over from wide receiver to carry the load for the Savages, rushing for 90 yards on 12 carries in a 48-20 victory over Bishop LeBlond at Savage Field.