In a battle of the Waseca running game and the St. Peter passing game, the running game won 47-18 in the Saints’ homecoming football game Friday at Floyd B. Johnson Field.
Waseca gained 392 yards rushing and 79 passing for a total of 471, while St. Peter picked up 224 yards through the air and 49 on the ground for a total of 273.
“I thought the team battled hard,” St. Peter head coach Brian Odland said. “Defensively we forced them to drive the field for their scores until late in the fourth quarter. Offensively, we did some things well, but two drives stalling inside their 25-yard line hurt us. Waseca was a very fast and physical team. I was proud of how we competed.”
St. Peter quarterback Wyatt Olson completed 18 of 41 passes for 224 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
St. Peter wide receiver Ethan Volk caught two long touchdown passes of 63 and 15 yards and ended up with six catches for 144 yards. He also had two kickoff returns for 24 yards.
Also for the Saints, wide receiver Ethan Grant had five catches for 38 yards, and wide receiver Jamarion Robinson had one reception for six yards.
St. Peter running back Vinny Guappone caught three passes for 14 yards, rushed nine times for 28 yards and ran back four kicks for 46 yards.
St. Peter running back Michael Connor caught the third touchdown pass, a 12-yarder. He caught three passes for 23 yards and led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 29 yards.
Waseca (5-1) had three players rush for more than 100 yards. Tave Ball ran six times for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Denver Daniel had 18 carries for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Ryan Dufault rushed 18 times for 120 yards and completed eight of 11 pass attempts for 79 yards and one touchdown. His favorite receiver, Kyreese Willlingham had four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Wilmes of St. Peter had double-digit tackles with 11, plus an interception. Nathan Fogal made nine tackles. Carson Kennedy and Josh Johnson had eight stops each, and Johnson recovered a fumble. Ryan Sandland made seven tackles. Wareke Gillette had six stops. Cade Horner and Jason Beckman made three tackles each. Kai Anderson and Jack Sourbeck had two tackles apiece. Grant and Johnny Miller made one tackle each.
Waseca jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Daniel scored the first two touchdowns on 3 and 11 yards runs at 9:15 and 4:19. Ball then escaped on a 60-yard touchdown run at 2:50.
St. Peter cut the lead to 21-6 on the 63-yard pass from Olson to Volk at 3:34 of the first quarter.
The second quarter was scoreless. The Bluejays upped their lead to 27-6 on a 35-yard pass from Dufault to Willingham at 8:09 of the third quarter.
The Saints cut the lead to 27-12 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Olson to Volk at 4:29 of the third quarter.
The Bluejays then scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to up their lead to 40-12 on a 3-yard run by Daniel at 10:13, and Tanner Brinkman recovered a blocked punt in the end zone at 9:10.
St. Peter answered with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Olson to Connor. with 4:03 left to cut the lead to 40-18.
Waseca finished off the scoring with another long run by Ball, 72 yards, with 3:46 left. The fourth extra point by Shaun Hulscher made the final score 47-18.
“We will learn from this game and work to be better each day in practice,” Odland said. “Our goal continues to be 1-0 for the week.”
St. Peter (1-5) travels to New Ulm (3-3) at 7 p.m. Friday.