Recent trends suggested Kapaun Mount Carmel’s dominance in its City League series with West was in jeopardy Friday at Heights Stadium.
The teams’ performances on the field clearly stated otherwise.
Kapaun collected a turnover on the game’s first play and maintained the upper hand throughout, rolling to a 42-13 victory that ended a two-game losing streak.
The Crusaders (2-2) defeated West for the 12th consecutive time, as junior running back Alexander Norris ran for 141 yards and a touchdown on 29 attempts. Junior quarterback Brock Monty passed for 185 yards and two touchdowns, both to senior tight end Michael Lickteig.
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Kapaun, which yielded a combined 97 points in losses to Northwest and Bishop Carroll the previous two weeks, limited West to one yard in the third quarter and pulled away with 28 unanswered points.
“We really needed this win after the last two weeks,” said Lickteig, who hauled in a 27-yard touchdown from Monty in the first quarter and another from 21 yards in the third. “We were just down on ourselves.
“We needed to have a good week of practice, and I think we came out and did that. We practiced hard, and it really showed today.”
West, coming off victories over North and East in which it combined for 112 points, got a 15-yard run by Javon Reed on its first play. But Reed fumbled and Kapaun’s Nick Degenhardt recovered at midfield.
“We hadn’t fumbled it in 10 quarters,” West coach Weston Schartz said.
Norris countered with a 21-yard run on Kapaun’s first play, and the Crusaders quickly had momentum. Norris capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown.
West moved from its own 21 to Kapaun’s 30 on its second drive, but turned it over on downs. The Crusaders went 70 yards in nine plays, using a 29-yard run by Norris and the first Monty-to-Lickteig touchdown pass to cover the biggest chunks and claim a 14-0 lead.
“They’re bigger and stronger than we are up front,” Schartz said. “They dominated us up front, and then we couldn’t stop the pass.”
Still, West trailed just 14-7 at halftime after Tyrell Saunders scooped up a fumble by Kapaun’s Tate Heiland and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. The Crusaders thought Heiland had been tackled, but officials did not blow their whistles.
Saunders recovered another Heiland fumbled early in the third quarter, but Kapaun quickly squelched the momentum swing. The Crusaders got the ball back and went on a nine-play, 64-yard march, which Heiland completed with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Kapaun then attempted an onside kick, which Degenhardt recovered at West’s 49. Six plays later, Monty connected with Lickteig on an out route for their second touchdown and a 28-7 lead.
Monty completed 11 of 19 passes, but was 4 of 4 for 83 yards in the third.
“Our defense came out with the mentality that we needed to control this game,” said Lickteig, a defensive end. “We needed to shut them down. To hold them to one yard (in the third quarter), that says a lot because we’ve given up a lot of points lately.”
Nick Channel and Joey Medina added fourth-quarter touchdowns for Kapaun before West’s Matt Swinney capped the scoring with a 62-yard run against Crusader reserves.
“I’ve told people we’re a work in progress,” Kapaun coach Dan Adelhardt said. “We’ve had to find some people who could step up. We’re shuttling people in to find out what works.”
K — Norris 3 run (Singer kick)
K — Lickteig 27 pass from Monty (Singer kick)
W — Saunders 42 fumble return (Ogdon kick)
K — Heiland 1 run (Singer kick)
K — Lickteig 21 pass from Monty (Singer kick)
K — Channel 1 run (Singer kick)
K — Medina 8 run (Singer kick)
W — Swinney 62 run (kick failed)
Rushing — Kapaun, Norris 29-141, Monty 8-27, Paul 5-21, Medina 3-14, Heiland 10-9, Channel 2-5, Degenhardt 2-(-2). West, Swinney 5-78, J. Reed 10-41, Capps 7-30, Washington 3-7, Parker 1-3, Saunders 2-3, Allen 1-2, T. Rodriguez 1-(-3).
Passing — Kapaun, Monty 11-19-185-0. West, Capps 4-16-49-0.
Receiving — Kapaun, Hickerson 2-51, Baez 2-49, Lickteig 2-48, Channel 4-30, Norris 1-7. West, Price 1-21, Kletecka 1-12, Washington 1-10, I. Rodriguez 1-6.