Decker’s five scores move Dutchmen to 4-0

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 9/22/21

ST JAMES — Trailing 3-0 early in the first quarter, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen resorted to what they have done best thus far this season.

Strike quickly on offense.

Needing …

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Decker’s five scores move Dutchmen to 4-0


ST JAMES — Trailing 3-0 early in the first quarter, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen resorted to what they have done best thus far this season.

Strike quickly on offense.

Needing five plays or less to score on their first four possessions of the game, OHS turned those into 27 points before going on to a 60-11 victory over the host St. James Tigers Friday night.

With the win, Owensville moves to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in Four Rivers Conference (FRC) football action.

“That’s the thing about our team, we do a lot of things really well,” Cabot said. “We just came out and executed after we got behind early 3-0.”

After St. James struck first on a 29-yard field goal by Tyler Limback at the 10:37 mark of the opening quarter, the Dutchmen had a quick answer.

Needing just three plays to go 64 yards, Owensville answered St. James’ score with a 3-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Brendan Decker at the 9:32 mark of the first quarter. OHS led 6-3 in spite of Charlie Whelan’s missed extra point.

“Our offensive line blocked well for us tonight,” Decker said. “They make us go and I couldn’t be more proud of them tonight.”

Seeing St. James turn the ball over on downs, Owensville offense got the ball back with excellent field position.

Only 39 yards away from six more points, OHS needed just four plays to add to their lead.

Set up by Landon Valley’s first reception of the season, Decker scored his second rushing touchdown of the game from eight yards away with 6:05 for the first quarter.

Whelan’s kick bumped the Dutchmen lead to 13-3.

Whelan booted the ensuing kickoff into the end zone for a touchback.

Behind the running of Cody Wilfong and Cooper Harlan, St. James drove the football all the way down to the Owensville 30-yard line before another turnover-on-downs put their defense back on the field against a potent Dutchmen offense.

Just two plays into their latest drive, Derek Brandt ran a sweep down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown run at the 2:33 mark of the opening quarter.

Brandt hit triple digits on the ground and through the air finishing with 117 yards rushing on four carries to go along with 120 yards receiving on five catches and three touchdowns.

OHS led the host Tigers 19-3 after the failed two-point conversion attempt.

Forcing yet another turnover on downs, the Dutchmen defense gave the ball back to their high-powered offense.

With time winding down in the first quarter, Owensville looked to put one more score on the board.

Five plays and 33 yards later, Austin Lowder successfully dove for the pylon on a 10-yard TD run with :05 for the opening quarter.

Decker found Brandt for the two-point conversion giving the Dutchmen a 27-3 lead after one quarter of football from Phelps County.

Scoring ceased until Owensville’s second possession before the end of the first half.

Traveling 51 yards in four plays, Decker found Brandt on a 39-yard TD pass with 7:02 remaining until halftime on a third-and-12 play.

Whelan’s missed extra point left Owensville’s lead at 33-3.

After another score, both teams traded turnovers.

Three plays into St. James’ next possession, Dominic Grigaitis added an interception to his fumble return for a touchdown from the previous week against Cuba.

Two plays later, Owensville fumbled the ball back to St. James at their 22-yard line.

Thanks to a Garrett Crosby sack on second-and-11, the Tigers were faced with a third-and-14 from their 35-yard line.

Harlan went back to pass and found Logan Sparks on a 65-yard TD pass with 2:28 for the half.

Harlan’s run for two points cut the Dutchmen lead to 33-11.

Owensville quickly answered that score and then some.

Capping a three-play, 69-yard drive, Decker found Brandt on a 69-yard TD strike with 1:39 until halftime. Whelan’s kick gave the Dutchmen a 40-11 lead.

Thanks to a fumble recovery on St. James’ next play, OHS had yet another short field to work with.

Four plays later, Decker and Brandt hooked up again on a 19-yard TD pass with :53 until the half.

Whelan’s latest kick gave the Dutchmen a 47-11 lead at halftime.

Enjoying a running clock in the second half, Owensville was able to spread the wealth around in the scoring column.

Alan Kopp capped a nine-play, 52-yard drive on a 5-yard TD run at the 7:17 mark of the third quarter. Whelan’s missed extra point made it 53-11 in favor of OHS.

“It felt great being able to get into the end zone for a touchdown,” Kopp said. “I couldn’t have done it without great blocking from our offensive line.”

Two plays into the fourth quarter, Grigaitis denied St. James a touchdown with his second interception of the game in the end zone.

“I just have a nose for the football and I’m having fun out there,” Grigaitis said.

Later in the quarter, Logan Evans recovered a muffed punt giving the Dutchmen the ball at the St. James 18-yard line with 6:00 remaining.

Seven plays later, Gabe Soest scored his first varsity touchdown on a 1-yard run with 1:50 left in the game. Whelan’s kick gave Owensville their final margin of victory.

“It was a great feeling scoring my first varsity touchdown,” Soest said. Gabe is one of several dual-sports athletes at OHS as he also runs cross country.

Monday night at Dutchmen Field, Owensville’s junior varsity football team looked for their second win in as many weeks following a close victory over Cuba.

Building up a 40-8 halftime lead, the JV Dutchmen withstood a furious second-half rally by St. James to hold on for a 40-34 victory.

Blake Elliott started the scoring Monday night with a 13-yard TD run at the 3:28 mark of the opening quarter for a 6-0 lead after the failed two-point conversion attempt.

Nearly two minutes later, St. James got on the board and took an 8-6 lead with 1:42 for the first quarter.

Seconds later, Elliott found the end zone again from 50 yards away. His run for two points put the JV Dutchmen back in front 14-8 at the end of the first quarter.

Second-quarter action Owensville score twice in less than a minute.

Austin Long started the second-quarter scoring with a 1-yard TD run with 7:30 until halftime. OHS’ missed two-point conversion left them with a 20-8 lead.

Moments later, Elliott scored his third rushing touchdown at the 6:49 mark of the second quarter for a 26-8 lead.

Two minutes later, the defense got in on the scoring fun.

Tyler Scheer returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown with 4:46 until halftime. Elliott’s two-point run put the JV Dutchmen up 34-8.

Owensville’s final touchdown came on a Derrick Marquez 55-yard TD run for a 40-8 lead with 2:38 until halftime.

Overcoming four St. James touchdowns in the second half, OHS was aided by another Scheer interception in the end zone and a Logan Bailey fumble recovery in the fourth quarter of Owensville’s 40-34 victory.

Going for a three-game winning streak, OHS’ JV Dutchmen will host Hermann’s JV Bearcats Monday night at 5:30 p.m.


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