Owensville’s Dutchmen kept their sights on the Four Rivers Conference title Friday with a 53-13 home win over the Union Wildcats.
The Dutchmen (6-1, 4-0) won for the sixth week in a row. The only other unbeaten team in the Four Rivers Conference, St. Clair, is 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the FRC.
However, for Union, it might be a matter of looking forward to next season to make an FRC title run. The Wildcats fell to 3-4 overall, 2-2 in league play.
“Owensville played a really good game and we played a really bad game,” Union Head Coach Justin Grahl said. “That is where you end up with a 53-13 score. Owensville is a fantastic football team led by a very special quarterback. Hats off to them. They played a really good game tonight.”
Driving the Dutchmen in the game was quarterback Brendan Decker.
He connected with three different receivers for five touchdown passes.
Owensville Head Coach Nathan Cabot likes the way his quarterback spreads the ball around.
“It was a great night for him,” said Cabot. “The kid is a special talent; he’s going to do some great things for us out on the field. He really does a great job of leading the offense and he knows how to spread the ball around.”
The Dutchmen were able to build a 33-7 halftime lead off three touchdown passes from Decker, one each to TC Fisher, Derek Brandt, Bryce Payne and two touchdown runs by Austin Lowder of one and seven yards, respectively.
Cabot was pleased with his running back combo of Lowder and Garret West.
“It’s a great tandem to have both Austin and Garret in there,” said Cabot. “They both complement each other. Garret is very much a between-the-tackles runner. Austin can do that too, but he also has the great edge speed.”
Union had opportunities early in the game, driving to the Owensville six-yard line in the first quarter before a bad snap led to it turning it over on downs.
Union scored early in the second quarter on a 32-yard pass from Liam Hughes to Colton Morrow. The Wildcats moved the ball on several drives only to have a bad snap, fumble or penalty kill the drive.
Grahl says his team had too many mistakes.
“In the first half, we were able to move the ball pretty well,” said Grahl. “It was 13-7 at one point then just flat made too many mistakes. When you are playing a good football team, you can’t have mistakes like that. We had them in bunches and that is why you end up with the score you had.”
Owensville was able to pressure Hughes, all night sacking him four times and rushing him several other occasions.
“We have been talking about that for a while now,” said Cabot. “Our defense is vastly improved over where we were last year. We have made strides with it this year and it one of the things we pride ourselves in. The kids have bought into it and it shows every night we go out there and compete. I know I am really proud of those kids and the effort they put out there on the field. They just really get after it.”
Grahl says his young team needs to be more consistent and play at a higher level.
“We talk to our kids,” said Grahl. “We are a young team right now. We are in a place where we can’t play anything but our A-plus game and win games. We have got to get better, flat out. You look at this season. We have had moments where we look really good and moments we are not a very good football team. It is about building consistency; it’s about learning from the losses and getting better next week.”
Owensville received touchdowns in the second half on two passes from Decker. One went 33 yards to Payne and the other went 27 yards to Brandt. The Dutchmen’s final score was on a one-yard plunge by TJ Whelan.
Union received its score on a pass of 65 yards from Hughes to Hayden Burke.
Union is second in the Class 4 District 2 standings at 27.82 points.
John Burroughs (1-0), which started playing this week, is first at 33 points.
Union is trailed by another one-game winner, Clayton, which has 23 points. Like John Burroughs, the Greyhounds just started playing.
Windsor is fourth at 2-4 with 22.35 points.
Rounding out the district are Pacific (1-5, 21.51), Sullivan (1-5, 20.93) and Affton (0-1, 7.0).
Owensville holds fourth in Class 3 District 2. Park Hills Central leads the way at 7-0 with 51.93 points. Another unbeaten team, St. Clair, is second at 5-0 with 51.14 points.
Cardinal Ritter, which lost to Francis Howell is third at 0-1 with 45 points.
Owensville has 44.36 points.
Following the Dutchmen are Potosi (4-3, 40.58), Salem (4-3, 31.57) and St. James (1-6, 18.86).
Week 8 Previews
Union will host St. James next week, and Grahl trusts his team to be ready.
“Sometimes we make a lot of it and it is a simple game,” said Grahl. “It’s blocking, it’s tackling, it’s running fast, and it’s doing your job on every play. We failed in some of the aspects tonight. I trust that my kids are resilient.”
“I trust we will come back and have a strong week of practice and take on a St. James team next week that will be hungry for another win.”
Owensville will travel to Sullivan to face the Eagles and Cabot says it will take the same effort.
“It will take more of the same mentality,” said Cabot. “It’s dedication, discipline and determination that is needed every week.”
Both Sullivan (1-5) and St. James (1-6) have one win this season. Sullivan beat Hermann. St. James beat Sullivan last week.
Leading the Dutchmen was Decker, who was 17-23 passing for 283 yards and five touchdowns.
Leading the receivers was Brandt with eight receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns.
Next was Payne with four receptions for 57 yards and two touchdowns. Lowder had three receptions for 37 yards. Landon Valley had one reception for five yards. Fisher also had one reception for two yards and a touchdown.
Lowder led the rushing attack with 13 rushes for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Decker was next with 15 rushes for 68 yards. West finished with eight rushes for 38 yards. Blake Elliott rushed one time for 16 yards.
Brandt had three rushes for 15 yards. Bryor Bogle had one carry for three yards. TJ Whelan ran three times for three yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Dutchmen were led by Fisher with six tackles and three assists.
With five tackles each were West (four assists, one sack) and Brent Helmig (one assist).
With four tackles each were Bogle (one assist), Brandt (one assist), Lowder (one sack), Valley and Zibbie Whittaker.
Union was led offensively by Hughes, who was 10 for 27 for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Leading the receiving core was Burke with four receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown.
Morrow had two receptions for 43 yards and one touchdown. Gavin Wencker had one reception for 17 yards and Ryan Rapert pulled in three receptions for 14 yards.
Leading the Wildcats in rushing was Luke Koch with 78 yards. Wencker was next with 47 yards, followed by Dalton Voss with 45 yards.
U — 0-7-6-0=13
O — 13-20-7-13=53
O- TC Fisher 2 pass from Brendan Decker (Charlie Whelan kick) 8:43
O- Austin Lowder 1 run (kick no good) 5:15
U- Colton Morrow 32 pass from Liam Hughes (Gavin Wencker kick) 9:31
O- Derek Brandt 42 pass from Decker (run no good) 6:55
O- Bryce Payne 17 pass from Decker (Whelan kick) 4:49
O- Lowder 7 run (Whelan kick) 0:42
O- Payne 33 pass from Decker (Whelan kick) 3:58
U- Hayden Burke 65 pass from Hughes (kick no good) 2:41
O- Brandt 27 pass from Decker (pass failed) 10:44
O- TJ Whelan 1 run (C Whelan kick) 9:23
Owensville — Lowder 13-70-2, Decker 15-68, West 8-38, Elliot 1-16, Brandt 3-15, TJ Whelan 3-3-1, Bogle 1-3
Union — Koch 10-78, Wencker 4-47, Voss 12-45
Owensville — Decker 17-23-283-5
Union — Hughes 10-27-166-2
Owensville — Brandt 8-182-2, Payne 4-57-2, Lowder 3-37, Valley 1-5, Lowder 1-2-1
Union — Burke 4-92-1, Morrow 2-43-1, Wencker 1-17, Rapert 3-14
Union — Not available.
Owensville — Fisher 6-3, Helmig 5-1, West 5-4-1, Bogle 4-1, Brandt 4-1, Lowder 4-1-1, Valley 4-0, Whittaker 4-0, Evans 3-2-2, Meyer 3-0, Holtzer 2-0, Kopp 2-1, Moore 2-0, Boyer 1-0, Clevenger 1-0, Elliott 1-0, Martin 1-0, Payne 1-0, TJ Whelan 1-0, Charlie Whelan 0-1