November 3, 2015 // Uncategorized

St. Charles takes home diocesan playoff football crowns

Joe Romie
At the diocesan football playoff games on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Bishop John D’Arcy Stadium at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, St. Charles Cardinals beat the St Anthony Panthers of South Bend, 40-6. In the earlier consolation game, St. Vincent won over Mishawaka Catholic, 24-0. Above, the St. Charles defense swarms to bring down the St. Anthony ball carrier in the fourth quarter.

By Michelle Castleman

FORT WAYNE — It was a clean sweep for the CYO teams when their ICCL foes came to town for the much-anticipated annual diocesan showdown. As the 2015 football season came to a close, the best of the best from South Bend matched up against Fort Wayne’s finest on the Kevin Donley field at the University of Saint Francis’ Bishop D’Arcy Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 1.

The first game pitted the two leagues’ tournament runner-ups — the St. Vincent Panthers vs. the Saints from Mishawaka Catholic.

Coach Kevin Thompson reported that his Panthers’ offensive line — center Josh Scorgham, guards Steven Guisinger and Jordan Roy and tackles Alex Fasnaugh and Vincent Fiacable — set the tone on their first drive getting the ball with a short field and opening up a nice hole for Tang Mantuang to score on a three-yard run.

The other two St. Vincent scores came from the arm of Ben Schreck connecting with receiver Howard Steele to make the final, 24-0, Panthers.

Thompson also credited the Panther defense for the way they stepped up against the Saints’ hard-running game. Corey Ryan led the way on defense with several key tackles along with help from ends Alex Fosnaugh and Carson
Podschlne, then finishing off with great pass coverage from corner back Noah Drabecki, Jackson Paul and safety Hunter Burns.

Thompson admitted, “This was a very tough game to prepare for. We knew nothing about Mishawaka Catholic other than what we had read in Today’s Catholic and their reputation of being a tough power running team. It took a total team effort this week on both sides of the ball.”

St. Vincent finished with an impressive 6-3 record with all three losses coming at the hands of CYO powerhouse St. Charles. They met their 2015 goal of playing in a diocesan game capping off a successful rebuilding process after a one-win season a year ago.

“It was great to finish on a high note. Not many teams get to end their season with a win,” concluded Thompson.

Mishawaka’s unit logged a 6-2 overall record and was crowned the regular season ICCL league champs. Coach Tony Violi summarized, “It was a great season and a great opportunity to come play St. Vincent and a great coach. We have a lot of respect for them. Although I wish we would have played a little better, our hearts were in the right place. It just wasn’t our day. I’m proud of our kids.”

Next up, Coach Sam Talarico shared that the St. Charles Cardinals brought home their second consecutive undefeated diocesan championship with a resounding 40-6 victory over a very tough St. Anthony squad.

Their current 20-game win streak, which started with the 2013 runner-up diocesan game, remained intact and has yet to be snapped after two full seasons of play in 2014 and 2015.

As they have been all year long, the Cardinals were led by their workhorse, Patrick “P-Fin” Finley, who had over 200-yards of all-purpose yards and three touchdowns including an incredible opening 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in which he broke numerous tackles and reversed the field to start the Cardinal scoring frenzy, 6-0. The talented tailback, who dominated in all three facets of the game, also had a 70-yard kickoff return and a 50-yard rushing touchdown.

Talarico stated, “Patrick Finley is a very special football player who had a very special performance today. When you match superb speed with a level of aggressiveness and instincts that is off the charts, you get P-Fin.”

St. Charles also had two scores from Patrick O’Keefe who scored on a 30-yard pass reception and a 50-yard bootleg run. Talarico added, “O’Keefe is a playmaker. He always makes the big play when you need it.”

The Cardinals’ final touchdown was “pick-six” from Hayden Ellinger who returned an interception for 30-yards for the score. Ellinger, Devon Tippmann, Lucas Krohn and Finley were extraordinary at the linebacker position all season. Krohn completed the Cardinals’ scoring with a blocked punt that turned into a safety.

Talarico was also very pleased with the amazing play of his lineman. “Nolan Hoffman, Justin Baum, Owen Sharpe, Nolan Fischer, Jacob Lehrman were all outstanding in the trenches,” the three-time diocesan championship coach stated.

He added, “St. Anthony was an outstanding team. Coach (James) Deboe does a great job.”

In the loss, the Panthers kept from a shut out scoring on a quarterback sneak in the third quarter by Luke Leonard.

DeBoe simply stated, “We ran into a much better team today. St. Charles is a great program with an excellent coaching staff.”

St. Anthony finished a stellar season posting a 6-2 record and was the ICCL tournament champs.

“I’m very proud of our team. Our eighth-grade group has been very successful over the last four years,” concluded DeBoe. Their eighth graders finished with an impressive 27-5 four-year career record and three ICCL championships.

During their broadcasts this season, Redeemer Radio referred to the players in the youth program as the “Stars of Tomorrow.” As they move on to the high school level, it will be fun to watch these young athletes on the Friday night gridiron where all four diocesan high schools are still in action — and it’s November.

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