STURGIS, SD – The Sturgis Scooper football team took to Woodle Field Friday to battle with the St Thomas More Cavaliers on Homecoming Night. The homecoming theme was “Vegas” and the Scoopers played their hand pretty conservatively, grinding out 368 yards of total offense, 279 on the ground, to beat the Cavs, 23-13.
The game was delayed by one hour due to lightning and the turf was soaked from earlier rains, making for challenging conditions. After a scoreless first quarter, Sturgis struck first on a 21-yd TD run by quarterback Aiden Hedderman in the second quarter to give the Scoopers a 7-0 lead, which they took into halftime.
Sturgis won the coin toss at the beginning of the game, so they had possession to begin the second half. STM intercepted an Aiden Hedderman pass on the first play from scrimmage to begin the third quarter. Two plays later, Cavalier signal caller Lee Neugebaur found wide receiver Peyton Young with a 9-yd TD strike to tie the game at 7-7.
Sully Jost gave Sturgis a 13-7 lead wih 4:22 left in the third on an 11-YD TD run. The extra point was no good, but Jost added a 27-yd FG early in the fourth quarter to give Sturgis a 16-7 lead.
The Scooper defense held strong on the next STM possession, getting a turnover on downs. Sturgis put together a 10-play, 58-yd drive which ended with a 2-yd TD pass from Hedderman to Byron Holt. The kick was good and the Scoopers led 23-7. Hedderman said the play call was perfect.
“We play actioned it and Owen Udager had a great fake and the O-line had great protection up front. The guy guarding Byron Holt went with the play action fake and Byron ran a great route and was wide open for a touchdown. That really sealed the deal.”
STM showed no quit, however, and moved the ball 76 yards downfield in four plays on their ensuing drive, culminating in a 24-yd TD pass from Neugebauer to Young. The two point conversion was no good and Sturgis led 23-13 with 4:29 left. The Cavalier defense was gassed and couldn’t stop the Scooper offense, who ran out the clock to get the win.
“The message at halftime was just keep running the football,” shared Scooper head coach Chris Koletzky. “I know we need to open it up in the passing game a little bit more, but in those close games we know where our bread and butter is and that’s in the ground game.”
The Scoopers totaled 368 yards of offense in the game. Hedderman finished with 153 yards on the ground on 20 carries and was 11 of 15 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown. Teigen Wormstadt had three catches for 52 yards. The Scoopers had two turnovers, both interceptions, and nine penalties for 75 yards.
St. Thomas More finished with 210 yards of offense, 57 on the ground and 153 through the air. Aaron Roach led the Cavs with 46 yards on 11 carries. STM had no turnovers and 13 penalties for 95 yards.
The Scoopers host Tea Area next Friday night at Woodle Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6pm.