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Varsity Football Gets Decisive 24-10 Victory Over Memorial

By John Denson, 10/30/23, 4:30PM CDT


It was rivalry week as your Spartans (5-3, 4-1) took on Memorial High School (5-3, 5-0) at Tully Stadium. Your Spartans did not disappoint.

SHS's first offensive possession had some early success in the air,  but stalled out on MHS’s 30 yard line. The resulting punt was nicely placed at the 13 yard line by Jake Weinhardt.

The SHS defense set the tone on the first play of the game. Parker Johnson dropped the MHS running back in a nice open field tackle after a minimal gain. Christian Bell sealed MHS's fate of a three and out with a big hit on a pass attempt.

Starting from midfield, SHS pushed the ball down to the five yard line with a balanced attack. However, the drive stalled but not without some points. Ricky Estrada put SHS up 3-0 with a 20-yard field goal.

With 1:34 left in the first quarter, the Mustangs put up the first TD of the game after a 60-yard drive, putting them up 7-3.

The SHS offense then put themselves in a tough spot with some negative plays. A three and out was the result.

MHS didn’t take advantage of good field position at SHS’s 45 yard line by failing on an eventual 35-yard field goal attempt. But it was the SHS defense that made it difficult. Nick Sen put up an obstacle for MHS with a 10 yard QB sack. Ultimately, the drive died on an attempted jump ball thrown and defended by Bell.

With MHS still up 7-3, SHS put together a productive offensive drive on some nice runs by Hunter Biehl and Aaron DeLeon. This drive led to a game-changing play for SHS. With the ball on MHS's 20 yard line, the ball was snapped and the offensive line of Armando Castro, Clayton Nonhoff, Ryan Griggs, Zachary Prudhomme, and Ford Polley went into pass-blocking mode. As they did the entire game, the offensive line was holding strong, but a delayed blitz from an outside linebacker flushed DeLeon out of the pocket. The SHS receivers went into scramble mode trying to get open for their QB. Biehl found some space and DeLeon released the pass with pressure coming at him. Unfortunately, the pass looked like it was going to be just out of reach for Biehl, however, Biehl elevated and came down still on his feet and advanced to the end zone.

With plenty of time on the clock, MHS took control on their final drive of the first half before facing a 4th and one on SHS’s 5 yard line. The SHS defense did not break; the defensive front denied an attempted QB sneak, forcing a turnover on downs.

An impressive SHS “two minute offense” moved the ball, but ultimately did not achieve any additional points before halftime. Your Spartans held the lead, 10-7.

MHS started with the ball with expected halftime adjustments in hand. Regardless, Blake Barry and the SHS defense shut it down on a 3rd and short, forcing a punt. Unfortunately, the Mustangs advanced their possession by recovering a fumble on their punt,  giving them good field position. The Spartan defense was tested and held strong, stopping three consecutive plays at the goal line. The Mustangs were able to convert a short field goal, tying the game at 10-10.

An absolute highlight catch by Luke Rives significantly pushed the ball downfield on SHS's next possession. DeLeon then found Jack Stewart across the middle to get within striking distance. Rives put it in the end zone with an impressive run after a catch from the 20 yard line. Your Spartans were then up 17-10.

Your Spartan defense!!!!! Pressure by Sean Madden and Barry caused a deflected ball that found Bo Harrison for the interception. Bo Harrison did the rest with a pick six!!! SHS was then up 24-10 with 4 four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Defensive end Sen put his mark on the next MHS offensive possession. Sen added a QB sack AND the stuff on a screen pass to force a MHS punt.

The SHS offense went no-back on their next drive using short pass plays for “runs” and finding deeper opportunities to a variety of players. However a couple negative plays made it difficult, and a punt was the result. Stewart downed the Weinhardt punt at the MHS 5 yard line, making it a difficult start for the Mustangs' offense with eight minutes left in the game.

MHS moved the ball to midfield, but Johnny Crawford put a wrinkle in their plans with a 10-yard QB sack. MHS was still able to convert and continue down the field. Bo Harrison deflected a pass near the goal line and great team defense created a failed fourth down conversion at the SHS 20 yard line.

With 2:49 left in the game, the SHS offense took control with a couple first downs, forcing MHS to use their time outs. It wasn’t enough for MHS as SHS was able to run out the clock to secure the 24-10 victory.

Next up, SHS takes on Jersey Village to finish up District play on Saturday at 1:00 pm at Pridgeon Stadium.