In the printed edition of today’s (Nov. 16) paper we stated that St. Paul played a familiar foe in Hanover, whom the Indians were defeated by in last year’s state championship game. That is inaccurate. The Indians lost to Hoxie last year in the 8-Man D-1 state championship game. St. Paul was moved to D-2 this season and faced back-to-back state champion Hanover. Our apologies on the error, full article below:
BY AARON PYLE
Following their 80-50 victory over Centre in the second round of the 8-Man D-2 playoffs, the St. Paul Indians found themselves in the quarterfinals of the playoffs for the third straight year.
On Nov. 9, St. Paul (9-1) faced the reigning back-to-back 8-Man D-2 state champion Hanover Wildcats (10-0), who hadn’t lost in 35 consecutive games. The Indians were moved to D-2 this year.
Conditions played a key factor in the game as snow covered the field to which the yard lines were nearly unrecognizable.
Hanover scored on their first drive of the game and a successful two-point conversion put them up 8-0.
The Indians fumbled on the ensuing drive with Hanover recovering, giving their offense a short field to work with. A Hanover touchdown pass moved the score to 16-0 midway through the first quarter.
After three first quarter turnovers, the Indians dug themselves a hole early on and never recovered.
Hanover did something that no other team has done this season, bottling up Junior Adam Albertini with 96 rushing yards and shutting out the Indians high powered offense. St. Paul was able to move the ball early on, but turnovers proved costly and allowed Hanover to run away with a 30-0 lead after just one quarter of play.
Just as St. Paul did to so many teams this season, Hanover applied the mercy rule at halftime, ending the game with a final score of 46-0. With the win the Wildcats winning streak climbed to 36 games, dating all the way back to the 2015 state championship loss to Spearville. Hanover will play Axtell in the 8-Man D-2 semi-finals game on Nov. 16.
The Indians finish their season as Regional Champions, as well as Co-Champions in the Three-Rivers League with an overall record of 9-2, and undefeated in league. St. Paul has also made it to the final eight three seasons in a row.
What’s more impressive about the Indians run is their loss of 13 seniors the last two seasons. Next year may be a different story as St. Paul will lose a few key players in the likes of Collin Carlson, Kenny Haney and Keaton Kennedy. However, the Indians should return a slew of starters including Albertini, Easton Dent, Chase and Chandler Bradshaw, and Gib Carter. Ivan Murillo, Hayden Smith, Ethan Stoneking and Wilson Smith are sophomores that will look toward their junior season to contribute even more for the 2019 football campaign as well as current freshmen Payton Norris and Austin Ohara.