A rarity for a lineman had Kapaun Mount Carmel senior Ben Powers beaming Friday night.
Powers came down with a tipped Southeast pass at the Buffaloes’ 1 – a “lineman’s dream,” coach Dan Adelhardt said afterward – an interception that set up a 1-yard run by Alexander Norris in the Crusaders’ 31-0 City League victory at South’s Carpenter Stadium.
Kapaun senior Mickey Boulanger had just sacked Southeast quarterback Taevon Hogan at the 11. On the next play, Hogan fired a pass that was tipped up and fell into Powers’ hands at the 1. Powers tried to roll into the end zone for a score, but was called down at that spot.
No matter. Norris easily scored on the next play, one of his game-high 95 rushing yards.
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Powers said he saw the tipped pass and tried to snare it.
“I just changed my pace of speed like that, and I just dove for it,” he said. “I was hoping to get it, and I ended up getting it.”
“It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. A touchdown would have been nice, though.”
The Crusaders (3-2, 3-2) posted a shutout, but had to sweat out a final charge by Southeast (0-4, 0-5). Junior running back Ira Hines managed to gain 49 yards on the Buffaloes’ game-closing drive. Kapaun’s defense stopped Hines at the 2 on the final play of the game, preserving the shutout.
But that didn’t diminish the night’s performance, Adelhardt said.
“We’re starting to play some really solid defense,” he said. “The first 2-3 weeks, we had some holes, but we’re starting to shore some things up.
“It’s nice to have a defense come out and play like that and give your offense more chances.”
And when the offense had chances, it was able to take advantage, jumping to a 10-0 lead before Powers’ interception.
Another key was freshman Nick Channel, who had 22 rushing yards and 65 receiving yards, giving quarterback Brock Monty another key target to go with Joe Hickerson and Connor Shank, dispelling the notion that Kapaun focuses only on running the ball.
“Nick’s become a really big part of our offense,” Adelhardt said. “We just moved him up last week, and he’s a good player for us. He fits right in.”
Not only did the first-string offense get chances, but Adelhardt was able later in the game to give the backups some playing time.
One of those, junior running back Joey Medina, gained 46 yards on eight carries, including a 10-yard touchdown run that closed the Kapaun scoring.
“Joey comes and works hard every day,” Adelhardt said. “It’s good to get those kids reps. It’s good to play in those JV games, but Friday night lights is what it’s all about.”
KMC – Hickerson 5 pass from Monty (Singer kick)
KMC – Singer 37 FG
KMC – Norris 1 run (Singer kick)
KMC – Schoelwer 3 run (Singer kick)
KMC – Medina 10 run (Singer kick)
Rushing — Kapaun, Norris 15-95, Medina 8-46, Channel 3-22, Heiland 2-20, Monty 7-9, Schoelwer 3-6, Degenhardt 1-(-8). Southeast: Hines 5-49, Adams 10-41, Bond 10-24, Hogan 7-23, Harris 1-2.
Passing — Kapaun, Monty 12-24-1-154. Southeast: Hogan 3-4-1-26.
Receiving — Kapaun, Hickerson 5-66, Channel 4-65, Shank 2-19, Norris 1-4. Southeast: Nero 2-14, Martin 1-12.