Tigers stop another team

by Dave Boehler
Review Sports Editor

GAVIN WINTER (No. 11) scores a touchdown Friday and celebrates with Kaden Summerville (No. 12) in the Tigers’ victory at St. Mary Catholic. — Photo by Mark Schorer GAVIN WINTER (No. 11) scores a touchdown Friday and celebrates with Kaden Summerville (No. 12) in the Tigers’ victory at St. Mary Catholic. — Photo by Mark Schorer Howards Grove’s defense is rolling.

The Tigers defeated host St. Mary Catholic, 44-16, Friday, and the two touchdowns came late against players from the junior varsity. Howards Grove, 2-0 in the Big East Conference, opened the season with a 33-0 blanking of Manitowoc Lutheran.

“I think we preach pursuit quite a bit and they buy into it,” Tigers’ coach Dave Schmid said. “So we get a lot of guys to the football. I think our defensive coordinator does a tremendous job preparing them with tendencies and the scouting report. I think defense is a lot of reaction, so if they’re confident in what they’ve seen all week and they see it during the game, it’s pretty easy to react quickly and swarm to the football.”

The Zephyrs managed a total of only 161 yards, six first downs and went 2 for 11 on third-down conversions.

Senior middle linebacker Dalton Free had eight solo tackles and senior defensive lineman Matt Schorer added three tackles for a loss, including two sacks with one of them resulting in a safety.

St. Mary Catholic runs an option, so Schmid knew Free would have a busy night.

“He really came up big on their big fullback and didn’t let him get hardly any yards at all,” he said.

The coach also called Schorer one of the strongest players on the team.

“They just had a really hard time blocking him,” the coach said. “He came off the ball. He’s a wrestler, so he knows leverage and he’s strong. He just pushed through and nobody could stop him, really.”

When Schmid talks about pursuit by the defense, he says Schorer is the front line of attack.

“He pushes everything to the outside when he’s getting a good rush up the middle,” Schmid said. “The rest of the team has to pursue to the outside. So if he isn’t making a tackle or wasn’t getting a sack, he was making them bounce it out outside, and then our outside pursuit swarmed to the ball. Because that’s not where they wanted to run the ball to begin with. When Matt forced them out, that’s when the pursuit came in.”

Offensively, Kaedin Roethel rushed for 71 yards and two touchdowns, Gavin Winter’s only carry resulted in a 61-yard touchdown run and quarterback Luke Schroeder had 52 yards rushing and also scored once.

He also completed four passes for 66 yards and one touchdown, and took a “huge step forward” according to his coach.

“He didn’t have to throw a lot, but he did throw well,” Schmid said. “He also was making good decisions on our option and was more of a threat running the ball this week than he was the first week. So I think we had them reeling a little bit as to where the ball was going to be. He completed some nice passes, too.”

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