Cobra Strikes Stun Saints In 1AA Quarterfinals

The Section 1AA Quarterfinal matchup between St. Charles and Triton was a game for fans of big-play offense.  For those hoping for a defensive gem, please avert your eyes!  The two teams combined for nearly 1000 yards of total offense, as #6 Triton stunned #3 St. Charles 56-44.

St. Charles started the offensive onslaught early, almost exclusively on the ground.  Jersey Thoreson capped the first Saints drive with a 22 yard run with 9:01 left in the first quarter, and completed a 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Triton surprised the Saints crowd less than a game minute later when Drew Kelly went down the sideline to catch a Mason Barker pass for a 65-yard touchdown.  They also completed their 2-point conversion to tie the game at 8.

The Saints countered with a long drive completed with a Logan Wendt 8-yard TD with 2:57 left in the quarter, but missed the 2-point conversion, something that would continue to be an issue the rest of the game.  St. Charles led 14-8.

However, Triton got a second touchdown from Kelly, with an extra point from Adrian Martinez to take their first lead of the game at 15-14.

While the Cobras would hold the lead at the end of the first quarter, the Saints would take the lead back with 11:51 left in the second quarter on Thoreson’s second TD run of the game, a 44-yarder.  A missed conversion kept the score at 20-15, St. Charles.

The first miscue, conversions aside, came on the Cobras next drive when Barker looked to the middle of the field on a slant play, and was picked off by Sawyer Hander.  The Saints made good on the short field, as Thoreson found paydirt for the third time in the game, on a 36-yard run to extend the Saints lead to 26-15.

Would that be the backbreaker for Triton?  No.  The Cobra offense struck again 2 game minutes later, when Kelly hauled in another Barker pass for a 23-yard TD to pull within 26-22.

Again, offense ruled as a 2-minute drive by the Saints ended in Wendt’s 2nd score of the game, on a 45 yard run, giving St. Charles a 32-22 lead.

The scoring stopped for a little while, picked back up when Triton’s Barker found Colt Kelly for a 59-yard strike cutting the Saint lead back to 4, with 1:40 left before the end of the half.

Would the teams go conservative, and head toward the break to re-group.  Again, no.  Triton looked to put one more score on the board before the half, but the Sophomore Barker threw an interception to Drew Leistikow, who returned the pick 30 yards to put the lead back to 10, 38-28.

With 8 seconds left in the half, Triton again tried to grab momentum, only to have it intercepted, this time by Kyler Reps.  Reps was then hit late out of bounds on the return, which gave the Saints the ball on the Triton 11, with no time on the clock.  The last play of the half was a minimal gain by Wendt, and the teams could finally rest.

The third quarter began with another turnover.  The Cobras had the first possession of the second half, and Wendt punched the ball out of Triton’s hands, and Gavin Owens recovered.   St. Charles, though, returned the favor when Anthony Avery recovered a St. Charles fumble.

While the Cobras didn’t capitalize on that turnover, they did on the Saints’ next fumble, as Drew Kelly found another way to score, on a fumble recovery, returned 56 yards to get the Cobras back in the game, down 38-35.

Kelly would be the hero again a few minutes later, back on offense, as he caught a 6-yard pass to put Triton back in the lead at 42-38.

This lead would last about three and a half minutes, as Wendt capped a drive by the Saints for his third score of the game, to put the Saints up 44-42 at the end of the third quarter.

Drew Kelly had one more touchdown left in him, scoring with 11:51 to go in the game, a 30 yard pass from Barker to put Triton up 50-44.  This would be a lead they would not give up.

With 7:51 left, the Cobras got some insurance points, as they went to the ground to run time off the clock.  Austin Melder scored his first TD of the game, on a 24-yard run to give the Cobras a 56-44 lead.

While there was still time for a Saints comeback, the Cobra defense held their ground, and sealed the game when Colt Kelly picked off Drew Maloney with 45 seconds to go.  From there, the Cobras would end the game in victory formation.

St. Charles ends their year at 6-3, while Triton (2-7), will play Chatfield (7-2), who defeated Cotter 44-6.

In all, Triton had 549 yards of total offense.  Mason Barker passed for 400 yards.  Drew Kelly caught 7 passes for 241 yards, and 4 touchdowns.  Kelly also scored on a rush, and on a fumble return for 6 TD’s overall.

Logan Wendt had a great game with264 yards rushing on 35 carries.  Wend found the endzone 3 times.  Jersey Thoreson, who came out of the game twice with injuries, ended the night with 137 yards on 13 carries, also with 3 touchdowns.

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