La Crosse rolls past Monarchs to move to 5-0
Published on -9/30/2012, 7:47 PM
By KLINT SPILLER
La CROSSE -- The La Crosse High School football team didn't make their homecoming game much of a game Friday against Thomas More Prep-Marian.
The Leopards exerted their dominance and put the game out of TMP's reach after the first quarter.
La Crosse had such a lead it was able to sub out its offensive starters after the first quarter, with the exception of the first possession of the second half, and sub out its defensive starters early in the third quarter en route to a 50-0 victory.
"We came out and were really focused and ready to play," Webster said. "I was really concerned coming into this game because of all the distractions that come along with homecoming week. I was impressed with how our seniors led us and took care of business."
La Crosse (5-0), ranked No. 1 in Class 2-1A in the statewide media poll, remained perfect this season, while TMP (1-4) dropped its fourth straight.
"La Crosse was just as advertised," TMP head coach John Montgomery said. "They came out firing on all cylinders and challenged us offensively, defensively and on special teams. My hat's off to their coaching staff. They are very well coached, and they did a nice job this evening."
La Crosse's offense was only on the field for five minutes and six seconds in the first quarter and needed only six first downs to finish the quarter up 35-0.
"We saw what they did on film, and we knew what we could do against them," senior wide receiver William Storie said.
Though La Crosse's starters played a small portion of the game, several players still managed to post good numbers.
Senior running back Levi Morss had 115 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries, which included two touchdown runs of 54 and 43 yards.
Storie ran three times for 69 yards and a touchdown and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass, and senior fullback Kip Keeley only had 22 yards on four carries.
Sophomore quarterback Jack Garcia completed all three of his passes for 38 yards and a touchdown.
In relief, Storie's brother, junior Warren Storie, led the backups with five carries for 69 yards, which included a 65-yard touchdown run.
"I was so surprised," William Storie said regarding his brother's run. "The line blocked good, and he just ran it."
La Crosse's defense swarmed and tormented TMP all evening.
In the first quarter, the Monarchs turned the ball over three times and were unable to gain a first down.
TMP made some headway in the second quarter, gaining four first downs, but the Monarchs never made it past La Crosse's 30-yard line.
The Leopards' defense scored two touchdowns. Morss picked off TMP senior quarterback Shane Zimmerman and ran it back 43 yards for a touchdown with 2:42 remaining in the first quarter.
On TMP's next possession, La Crosse forced a three-and-out, and then William Storie blocked Kade Megaffin's punt. Morss recovered it, ran it back 15 yards and then fumbled the ball into the end zone, which sophomore Sheldon Schmidt recovered for a La Crosse touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter.
La Crosse's 50-0 halftime lead forced a continuous clock in the second half.
Each team's starters played one possession in the second half before younger players got to see the field.
TMP's best offensive possession came in the fourth quarter. TMP had a 14-play drive, but it ended with an interception. Junior running back Michael Schulte carried the ball seven times for 41 yards on that 50-yard drive.
La Crosse's backups preserved the Leopards' shutout, which was one of Webster's goals.
"We talked about it in the locker room at halftime that that zero stays on the scoreboard," Webster said.
It was a convincing victory for La Crosse, but it might have been a disastrous loss for TMP.
TMP senior quarterback Shane Zimmerman hurt his ankle near the end of the second quarter on a 4-yard run for a first down and sat out the rest of the game.
To make matters worse, sophomore backup quarterback Max Megaffin broke his collarbone Wednesday during practice, leaving freshman Jared Vitztum to play the rest of the game.
Zimmerman joined a host of Monarchs nursing injuries on the sideline.
Wide receiver Tanner Unrein and Max Megaffin are out for the rest of the season with broken collarbones. Tight end/defensive end Anthony Walters has missed the past two games with a hurt shoulder. Wide receiver Zach Dreiling has had back issues all season, and offensive lineman/defensive lineman Parker Cox missed the game with a shoulder injury.
"Unfortunately, (injuries) are a part of the game," Montgomery said. "As a coach, I've been part of it, and as a player, I've been part of it. When guys go down, you don't have a whole lot of time to hang your head. You have to keep on playing."