Second-half rally leads to St. Thomas win over North

St. Thomas 35 - North 14

Trailing at halftime, the St. Thomas Academy Cadets decided to make some adjustments in the second half of their Red Division football game Friday, Aug. 28, against the North High Polars.

The tweaking worked, resulting in 28 points and a 35-14 Cadets victory on the Polars' home field.

In his post-game comments, North head coach Eric Longtin said, "We came out playing hard. We had a good first half, and we were hoping to have two halves like that.

"I think we woke them up a little. I think they may have taken us a little too lightly.

"They wore us down a little in the second half," Longtin said. "We have five or six guys who are going both ways for us, and that makes it tough on us. St. Thomas is a good football team. They are well coached, and they play hard right to the end."

St. Thomas head coach Dave Ziebarth agreed with Longtin's assessment.

"We had a tough time of it in that first half. We started out a little flat," Ziebarth said. "We talked about it and made some adjustments at the intermission and that made a big difference in our second-half play.

"North St. Paul is a scrappy bunch. Coach Longtin does a good job with the kids he has. They played us hard the whole game.

"I'm really proud of our kids and how they played, especially our quarterback [Andrew Tri] who lost his grandfather yesterday.

"He was really down, but he came out and performed in spite of his difficulties to make a big difference. But it was pretty much a whole team win for us. I'm proud of our kids and how they reacted."

The Cadets finished off a late first-half drive early in the second quarter when Woody Hubbell plowed in from 3 yards out. Mac Brown booted the point-after, and with just 1:15 expired in the second quarter it was 7-0 St. Thomas.

The Polars came back a couple of series later when quarterback Jimmy Bothwell connected with Isaiah Koran on a 27-yard aerial. Ywg Xeng Lor put the pigskin through the uprights and with 2:49 showing on the clock it was 7-7.

The Polars had a drive stall at the St. Thomas 26 and a 43-yard field goal fell just shy of the cross bar.

With time running out in the first half the Polars' Sean Martin picked off a St. Thomas pass and ran it back to the 5-yard line. From there it took North one play to score when Koran negotiated the 5 yards for the Polars. Again Lor hit on the PAT to delight the North fans with the 14-7 lead they carried into the halftime intermission.

A good runback on the second-half kick put the Cadets in position at the North 32. A 5-yard penalty moved the ball back to the 37. From there - in two plays and 1.02 into the second half - Tri hit Hubbell for a 35-yard TD. The PAT was good but a penalty moved the ball 5 yards back, and when Angelo Mancini IV sacked the runner, North clung to a 14-13 leeway.

 The next North drive sagged and St. Thomas took over on its own 47. With 4:30 remaining on the clock Sean McFadden - he had given the Cadets a first down on the 7-yard line after going 40 yards - went the final 7 yards for a score.

A two-point conversion put St. Thomas on top for good at 21-14.

St. Thomas got the ball back and just nine seconds into the fourth quarter Tri hit Hubbell on a 57-yard bomb for a touchdown. The PAT was good and St. Thomas moved its advantage to 28-14.

With the St. Thomas defense providing North with few opportunities, the Cadets scored once more on a Tri 35-yard pass and with the extra point the score moved to the final 35-14.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at or at 651-748-7826.


Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here