Dutchmen shut out St. James in FRC opener

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 9/24/20

Finishing the non-conference portion of their schedule at 2-1, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen looked to begin the Four Rivers Conference (FRC) portion of their football slate Friday night …

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Dutchmen shut out St. James in FRC opener

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Finishing the non-conference portion of their schedule at 2-1, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen looked to begin the Four Rivers Conference (FRC) portion of their football slate Friday night with a home win against St. James’ Tigers.

Navigating through three first-half turnovers, Owensville led 27-0 at halftime before going on to a 48-0 victory over the visiting Tigers from Phelps County.

“We came out flat with three turnovers in the first half,” Cabot said. “I’m proud of the way stepped up and played after so many turnovers and penalties throughout the game. We’ll have to clean those up before Hermann comes to town next week for the Gasconade County Bowl.”

Playing most of the first quarter between the 20s, Owensville finally broke the scoreless tie in the closing seconds of the opening period.

Taking over at their 40 after a turnover-on-downs, OHS drove 60 yards in four plays capped by a Brendan Decker to Bryce Payne 10-yard touchdown pass with 18.7 for the first period.

Decker ended his night 11-16 pass with 182 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.

Charlie Whelan’s extra-point kick put the Dutchmen on top 7-0.

In spite of opening the second quarter with their third turnover of the first half, Owensville’s defense stepped up making sure St. James didn’t turn it into points.

“Our defense really stepped up for our offense,” Cabot said. “When we turned the ball over, our defense made sure St. James didn’t turn it into points.”

OHS’ next drive was a passing clinic by Decker.

Throwing to four different receivers, Decker found TC Fisher on a 2-yard TD pass capping a seven-play, 65-yard drive.

Fisher added eight total tackles and two tackles-for-loss on defense to his touchdown on offense.

Whelan’s kick doubled the Dutchmen lead to 14-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, Whelan squibbed only to see Hayden Shoemaker recover it keeping the OHS offense on the field.

Utilizing the ground attack, Owensville turned to senior Garret West on their next drive.

Carrying the ball five times for 47 yards, West saw the drive capped on a Decker to Landon Valley 5-yard TD pass.

Whelan’s third extra point put Owensville on top 21-0 with 4:24 for the first half.

Forcing a three-and-out deep in St. James territory, Owensville got the ball back on St. James’ 35-yard line to start their next drive.

Overcoming a false start on the first play of the drive, OHS went 60 yards in five plays capped by a Derek Brandt 13-yard rushing touchdown on third-and-two.

Brandt finished with 56 yards rushing on two carries and a touchdown.

Whelan’s missed extra point left the Dutchmen leading 27-0 going into halftime.

Getting the ball to start the second half, Owensville turned to Zibbie Whitaker who ran the ball four times for 47 yards to open the third quarter.

On the next play, Austin Lowder capped the drive with a 2-yard TD run. Decker than found Bryor Bogle on the pass for the two-point conversion to start the running clock with a 35-0 lead for the Dutchmen.

Seeing St. James turn the ball over four plays later, Owensville’s offense went back to work looking to add to their commanding lead.

Taking over at their 31-yard line, the Dutchmen went 69 yards in about four minutes.

One of the big plays on the drive was a 43-yard pass completion from Decker to Bogle on a fourth-and-11 from the OHS 29-yard line.

Three plays later, Owensville was faced with a second-and-20 following a holding penalty.

That was no problem for Decker as he connected with Brandt on a 38-yard TD pass at the 1:52 mark of the third quarter.

Brandt ended his night with 87 yards through the air on just three catches and a touchdown.

Whelan’s missed extra point still left the Dutchmen with a 41-0 lead.

Even with a 41-0 lead, Cabot’s defensive Dutchmen did not let up.

On the opening play of the fourth quarter, West sacked St. James quarterback Preston Schmidt for a 10-yard loss before Payne recorded an interception on the very next play.

West finished a solid defensive night with nine total tackles, three tackles-for-loss and a sack.

“Our defense was tough as nails tonight,” Cabot said. “I can’t find any other words to describe how well they played.”

Starting at the St. James 30 on their next drive, penalty flags backed the Dutchmen up.

One for an illegal block in the back, left them with a third-and-19.

An 18-yard pass play from Decker to Brandt and a 6-yard run by West gave OHS a fresh set of downs.

Two plays later, West found the end zone for Owensville’s final touchdown of the game.

On the ground, West surpassed the century mark rushing for 110 yards on 13 carries and a score.

Whelan’s kick at the 6:19 mark of the fourth quarter gave the Dutchmen their 48-0 margin of victory.

Owensville nearly had a pick six on the final play of the game with Hunter Boyer recording an interception and returning it all the way inside the St. James 10-yard line.

Now 3-1 on the season, the Dutchmen will go for a perfect September with Hermann’s Bearcats in town for homecoming Friday night with the Gasconade County Bowl trophy on the line.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., at Dutchmen Field

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