By Michelle Castleman
FORT WAYNE — St. Charles brought home both the junior varsity and varsity Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) football championships at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 25.
In the fifth- and sixth-grade game, the Cards defeated St. Vincent, 35-12. St. Charles was led by running back Henry O’Keefe who had five touchdowns. O’Keefe had 150-yards plus rushing and the Panthers were unable to corral O’Keefe once he got into space. The Cardinals had tremendous play from their linebackers. Namely, Adam Lee who also threw a 40-yard half back pass to O’Keefe. The Cardinals had great blocking from their offensive line all day long, including Nick Krouse, Joe Eddy, Mitchell Vogelwede, Benjie Tippmann, Isaac Lehrman, Rocco Ciocca and Troy Tippmann. Xavier Aguirre had a big interception to thwart the Panthers last drive.
For the seventh and eighth grade, St. Charles prevailed with a 32-0 victory over St. Vincent. The Cards had two touchdowns from Patrick O’Keefe, one touchdown from Drew Lytle and two touchdowns from Patrick Finley. The St. Charles defense continued to be stifling allowing only one first down and forcing three interceptions by Brenden Lytle, Devon Tippmann and Jeren Kindig. The Cardinals also had points from Hayden “Big Poppy” Tippmann and Lucas Krohn who scored on point after conversions.
The Cardinals will now face South Bend powerhouse St. Anthony for the fourth straight year.
Coach Sam Talarico said, “We have so much respect for the St. Anthony program. Each of the last three years has been a down-to-the-wire battle. We expect to play a very hardnosed team that can block and tackle very well. It will undoubtedly be a great game.” St. Vincent will also be part of the big showdown with South Bend on Nov. 1, playing the Saints of Mishawaka Catholic. The Panthers’ Coach Kevin Thompson could not be more proud of his unit, “It has been a great season. These boys work hard to get better every week.”
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