Gaels roll again

MANNING – Mother Nature failed to slow down the St. Edmond football team here on Friday evening.

Staying unbeaten on the season, the eighth-ranked Gaels (6-0 overall, 4-0 in Class 1A, District 2) rolled past defending state quarterfinalist IKM-Manning by a 35-7 final at Forman Field.

In a game that featured a nearly 40-minute lightning delay early in the second quarter, SEHS registered 385 yards of total offense compared to just 80 for the Wolves (2-4, 0-3).

Workhorse senior fullback Vinnie Harvey ignited the Gael ground assault with 162 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries. Harvey found paydirt from 1, 15 and 19 yards out.

T.J. O’Tool, a sophomore, also ran 14 times for 85 yards and a score, while senior Hank Crimmins added 38 yards and reached the endzone once.

“With the weather situation, it was a long and stressful night, but I’m just thankful we were able to get (the game) in,” said SEHS head coach Dick Tighe, who earned his 406th career win Friday. “We knew it was going to be a pretty physical battle, and I thought Harvey ran maybe as hard as he has all year. Offensively, it seemed like it was kind of feast or famine for us (the Gaels had 14 plays of 10 yards or more and 26 others of three yards or less).”

Crimmins helped St. Edmond draw first blood on a 6-yard jaunt late in the opening period. Following a three-and-out on IKM-Manning’s ensuing drive, play was eventually halted with 10:12 remaining before the half, which was shortened to just eight minutes due to the previous stoppage in action.

“I thought we kept our focus pretty well even after the delay,” Tighe said. “We jumped on (the Wolves) first and never let them build any momentum. Our defensive effort was excellent throughout.”

Quarterback Matthew Bocken, a SEHS junior, went an efficient 3 of 4 passing for 77 yards. Classmate Landon Peed hauled in a pair of catches for 62 yards to go along with a 48-yard kickoff return. Robby Burke, a senior, also pulled down a 15-yard grab for his first reception of the year.

On the defensive side of the ball, Zach Gailey collected an interception, and Caelan Burbank notched 15 tackles.

“We didn’t play quite as well as we did last week (in a 62-6 Homecoming drubbing of previously unbeaten Ridge View), but I kind of expected that after the long bus ride down (to Manning),” said Tighe. “At the same time, we’re still right where we want to be at this point in the season. We just need to keep taking things one week at a time.”

O’Tool’s score came on a 24-yard scamper. Crimmins was also 5-for-5 on PAT tries.

Despite the decisive victory, the Gaels committed a pair of fumbles.

SEHS has now outscored its opponents this season by a lopsided combined margin of 214-42.

Sam Wegner broke up St. Edmond’s bid for its third shutout of the year with a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD at the 6:16 mark of the second. Wegner was held to only 30 yards rushing on 13 attempts.

As a team, the Wolves – who claimed the 1A, District 2 title last fall with a perfect 9-0 regular season – finished with a season-low 46 yards on the ground.

Next outing for the Gaels is Friday when they welcome rival Manson Northwest Webster (5-1, 2-1). The Cougars thumped Sioux Central last night, 46-12.