By: Brian McKim
The Falls City Sacred Heart Irish took on the Parkview Christian Patriots Friday night at Jug Brown Stadium. After a couple of weeks of subpar weather, it was a picture perfect evening for high school football.
The Irish, ranked #3 in Class D-2 by the Lincoln Journal Star, again played without senior Lineman Bryant Jorn. The Irish didn’t seem to miss their big man too much however. On the first offensive snap of the game for the Patriots Michael Keithley broke through the line for a sack and a loss of 14 yards. The defense held and forced a three and out to begin the game. After a short punt the Irish had the ball first and ten from the Patriots 38 yard line. Three plays later Drew Bippes took the snap and rolled out to his right and floated a pass down the middle to Austin Ahern for a 26 yard touchdown. The conversion attempt was incomplete and with 8:57 to play in the first quarter the Irish led 6-0.
Once again the Irish defense stepped up and forced another three and out. Sean Arnold took the punt back 19 yards to the Patriot 15 yard line. Two plays later Bippes again rolled right and threw back across the field to his left to Emerson Keithley for a 12 yard touchdown pass. An Ahern run for the two point try made the score 14-0 S.H. with 6:28 to play in quarter number one.
On third and 10 from their own 15 yard line the Patriots tried a reverse. Theo Roher made a hit and caused a fumble and Brandon Scheitel pounced on the ball on the Parkview 13 yard line. The Irish wasted little time. On first down, with three receivers wide left, Bippes hit Christian Harring who made two defenders miss and walked into the endzone untouched. The extra point kick failed and with 5:27 to go the Irish led 20-0.
Parkview couldn’t get anything going on offense against the Irish. On third and seven, the Patriots tried a sweep left that was met by Michael Keithley for another tackle for loss. After another punt the Irish took over on their own 36 yard line. After an nice 21 yard screen pass to Ahern down the middle of the field the Irish made a rare mistake. On first down Bippes fumbled the ball and the Patriots jumped on it with 2:01 left in the first quarter. A couple of plays later Tristan Keithley intercepted the ball and returned it 12 yards to the PVC 26 yard line. It was the Patriot defense that would stand strong this time as the Irish turned the ball over on downs.
On the next play the Patriots completed a pass over the heads of two Irish defenders for a 56 yard touchdown. The PAT failed and with :41 left the score was 20-6. After a nice kick return by Arnold the Irish once again moved the ball down field 40 yards on five plays, capped off by a nice run by Arnold down the right side of the field for a 12 yard touchdown. The two point carry by Arnold was also good. With 10:44 remaining in the second quarter S.H. led 28-6.
After another three and out the Irish got the ball back and went 33 yards on two plays for the score. Bippes hit Arnold down the left sideline for the touchdown. The kick was good and the Irish led 35-6 with 8:22 left in the half. The scores kept coming as the Irish were back on the board again with 5:55 to go after a 38 yard quick screen pass from Bippes to Harring. The kick failed and the score was 41-6.
After the sixth three-and-out of the half the Irish got the ball back. Once again the arm of Bippes was hot as he completed a 34 yard touchdown pass to Arnold on the first play of the drive. The kick was good and the score was 48-6 with 3:38 left. Not to sound redundant but the defense came up big again and forced a punt after just three plays. After a penalty S.H. had it on their own five yard line. On the first play Harring ran the ball 75 yards down the field for the touchdown. The score was 54-6 heading into halftime.
That was it for the starters for the night. Not to be outdone the Irish reserves moved the ball 73 yards on 19 plays down the field. Joe Bieker capped off the drive with a 6 yard run for the score. The extra point attempt failed, but the Irish had a commanding 60-6 lead. That would prove to be all the scoring for the Irish on the night. Parkview added a couple late scores against the young Irish defenders but the Irish came out with a convincing 60-18 victory.
Bippes ended up 8-11 passing for 170 yards and 6 touchdown passes. When asked about his quarterback Goltz replied,” I’m not sure if I recall a player throwing for that many in one game since I’ve been coaching. Some was due to good throws and some was due to good runs after the catch and blocking.”
Harring only had four carries but ran for 85 yards. Bieker looked strong the second half going for 63 yards on 11 touches. While the Irish had some big carries, Coach Goltz said” we still are not run blocking as we need to. We need to get better at that.”
The Irish will travel to Mead this weekend. “Mead will be a challenge. They have good size and good athletes. (D-2 State Basketball runner-ups last year)” said Goltz.