St. Vincent was ready for Portageville. In the words of coach Tim Schumer, all the Indians had to do was execute their game plan.
They did that, plus a little bit more, as they steamrolled their way to the second round of the Class 1, District 1 playoffs with a 48-22 victory last Friday over the visiting Bulldogs.
“I think we came out and executed well,” Schumer said. “We had to come out from the very get-go and make sure we’re executing. Last week, we took a little while to get going. It’s district time. It’s playoff time. We can’t wait until the other team makes us do something. We have to come out, bring the energy and get going from the start.”
With the victory, the Indians, seeded third in the Class 1, District 1 playoffs, advances to the second round Friday, when they will face second-seeded Hayti, a 64-0 winner over Chaffee.
Against Portageville, St. Vincent senior quarterback Garrett Dobbelare threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Indians (7-3) on offense, while the St. Vincent defense had a field day of their own, intercepting Bulldogs quarterback Thomas Frakes three times and forcing a fumble.
“It was a good team effort,” Schumer said.
Dobbelare completed 8 of 18 passes for 199 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Robinson, a 35-yard touchdown pass to Nick Lappe and a 66-yard scoring toss to Sean Harold. He opened the scoring early in the first quarter on a 6-yard run with 11:09 on the clock.
The Indians scored again less than seven minutes later when Dobbelare found Robinson, taking a 14-0 lead after Brendon Moonier’s second of six successful point-after kicks.
The Indians finished with 395 yards of total offense and held Portageville (2-8) to 232, including 46 rushing yards.
The lone bright spot for Portageville’s beleaguered offense came late in the first quarter, when Frakes connected with a wide-open Jared Crafton, who raced downfield for a 77-yard touchdown. A two-point conversion run from Josh Adams left the score 14-8.
That was the last time the Bulldogs would see the end zone until the fourth quarter against the Indians’ junior varsity players.
“When you’re 2-7 and coming up here and playing a good football team — and St. Vincent’s a good football team — you could feel sorry for yourself and come up here and get beat down and quit,” said Portageville coach Mark Jackson. “My kids didn’t do that. My kids played hard. I wished we’d have played cleaner at times, not had as many penalties, but I never saw anybody quit or lay down. As a coach, I’m thankful for that.”
After Portageville’s big play touchdown, St. Vincent also went big. After driving down field, big man Gabriel Pecaut, normally a down lineman, stood up in the backfield and bulldozed his way into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown, making it 21-8.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Robinson picked off a Frakes pass and returned it 38 yards to leave the score 27-8 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter offered more of the same for the Indians, as St. Vincent’s Jared Kapp made another interception and scored on a 57-yard return.
After recovering an onside kick, the Indians would score again on Lappe’s touchdown catch.
Less than three minutes later, Harold’s score added to the mounting total, giving the Indians a 48-8 lead at the half and ensuring the second half would start with a running clock.
Following a fumble recovery by Pecaut with under a minute remaining in the half, St. Vincent wrapped it up with a rare field goal attempt. It went wide. They tried it again in the third, but it was blocked.
“We’ll have to work on that,” Schumer said.
The Bulldogs would score twice more in the fourth against St. Vincent’s underclassmen, once on a short fumble recovery inside the 5 and then on a solid offensive drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run.