First-half shutout advances gridiron Dutchmen to district semifinals

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 11/1/23

Put a notch in the win column at home.

That was the goal Friday night for Dustin Howard’s Owensville Dutchmen during first-round action of the Missouri State High School Activities …

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First-half shutout advances gridiron Dutchmen to district semifinals


Put a notch in the win column at home.

That was the goal Friday night for Dustin Howard’s Owensville Dutchmen during first-round action of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3, District 2 Tournament at Dutchmen Field against Lutheran South’s Lancers.

Finding the end zone on their first five offensive possessions, Owensville pitched a 35-0 shutout in the first half before going on to a 48-14 victory.

“We wanted to come out fast tonight and we were able to do that scoring on our first five possessions,” Howard said. “Our defense also stepped up tonight not allowing a score until the second half.”

With Friday night’s win, Owensville advances to the Class 3, District 2 semifinals against the top-seeded St. Francis Borgia Knights over in Washington off of High Street.

This meeting will mark the first time the Dutchmen and Knights have squared off on the gridiron since the fall of 2015.

Winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, the orange and black thought they would have to go on defense first.

However, Lutheran South fumbled the opening kickoff which was recovered by Adam Wilson sending Owensville’s offense on the field with excellent field position at the Lancer 35-yard line.

Drive number one turned into the Isaiah Gates show.

Three consecutive run plays by the Dutchmen senior set up a first-and-goal from the Lutheran South 3-yard line.

After an incomplete pass, Gates capped the drive on a 3-yard touchdown run with 10:36 for the opening quarter.

Gates finished with 115 yards rushing on 16 carries and three touchdowns.

Returning after recovering from a shin injury, Dutchmen kicker Johannes Berg split the uprights on his first extra-point attempt of the game giving Owensville an early 7-0 lead.

After giving up a 15-yard pass play on Lutheran South’s first play from scrimmage, the orange and black defense stopped the Lancers on their next four plays causing a turnover on downs.

Starting their next drive in Lancer territory, Owensville mixed up their offense near the midway point of the opening quarter.

Faced with a third-and-11 at the Lutheran South 44-yard line, quarterback Blake Elliott found Chase Crosby on a 16-yard completion for a first down.

On the very next play, Elliott used his legs to run down the left side of the field for a 28-yard touchdown.

Elliott finished with 80 yards rushing on eight carries and a pair of rushing touchdowns. He was also 10-21 through the air throwing for 156 yards passing two touchdowns.

Berg’s kick doubled the Dutchmen's lead to 14-0 with 6:50 for the first quarter.

After the Lancers turn three run plays into a first down, Owensville’s pass defense forced three consecutive incompletions to bring on the Lancer punt unit.

Following a high snap, OHS once again started their next drive on Lutheran South’s half of the field at their 15-yard line.

Five plays later, Elliott recorded his second rushing touchdown of the game on a 4-yard TD run with 1:20 for the first quarter.

Berg’s kick made it 21-0 Dutchmen late in the first quarter.

Carrying a 21-0 lead into the second quarter, Owensville wasted no time adding to it.

Three plays after taking over at the Lancer 42-yard line, Elliott found freshman Chase Crosby on a 21-yard touchdown strike.

Crosby led Dutchmen receivers with 86 yards receiving on four catches on a touchdown.

Berg’s latest extra point made it 28-0 Dutchmen with 10:09 left in the opening half.

Limiting Lutheran South to one first down on their next drive, OHS forced another turnover-on-downs at the 7:36 mark of the second quarter.

Taking over at the Lancer 41-yard line, Owensville once again benefited from yet another short field.

Sparked by a 15-yard completion to Crosby, Elliott found senior Landon Ely on a 9-yard TD strike at the 6:01 mark of the first half.

Berg’s fifth extra point of the game gave the Dutchmen a 35-0 lead at the midway point of the second quarter.

In spite of Lutheran South moving into Dutchmen territory for the first time on their next drive, Owensville’s defense forced another turnover-on-downs with 1:35 until halftime.

Jaden Gerlemann and Logan Bailey led the Dutchmen defense with 12 total tackles apiece. Sacking Lutheran South’s quarterback for the Dutchmen were AJ Silvers, Winterbauer, Bailey and Gerlemann.

Before taking a 35-0 halftime lead, Zaiden Gates recorded an interception right after Lutheran South forced OHS into a turnover on downs.

Opening the second half with the football, Owensville once again started their drive in Lancer territory after Lutheran South’s kickoff went out of bounds at the 49-yard line.

Nine plays and 49 yards later, Isaiah Gates scored his second rushing touchdown of the game from four yards away at the 6:51 mark of the third quarter.

Berg’s sixth extra point kept the running clock going with OHS leading 42-0.

After Timmy Winterbauer picked up his first sack of the game, Lutheran South turned a third-and-26 into a 95-yard TD pass from Ben Long to Christian Pittman. Owensville still led 42-6 after Hayden Shoemaker broke up the ensuing two-point conversion attempt.

Isaiah Gates answered minutes later on his third rushing touchdown of the game from three yards away with 34.4 for the third quarter giving Owensville a 48-6 lead following Berg’s missed extra point.

Long later found Kyle Buscher on a 30-yard TD strike and Michael Wilson’s run for two points made the score 48-14 in favor of Owensville which turned out to be the final score.

Ending Lutheran South’s season at 1-9, Howard’s Dutchmen will look to deliver a district-semifinal upset Friday night at the expense of the top-seeded St. Francis Borgia Knights with a 7 p.m., kickoff Friday night.

A Friday upset would mean another road trip in the MSHSAA Class 3, District 2 championship game against either St. Clair’s Bulldogs or Bishop DuBourg’s Cavaliers on Friday, Nov. 10.