Entering last week’s Four Rivers Conference opener, St. James High football head coach Josh Rodriguez predicted that the Hermann Bearcats would be a load. He was correct.
Clearly winning the battle of the trenches, Hermann had a dominating first half and went on to stop St. James 38-6 Friday, Sept. 9 at STJ Field.
It was the FRC opener for both teams. St. James dropped to 1-2 overall while the Bearcats improved to 3-0.
In three games Hermann has allowed just a combined 19 points.
And Friday the Bearcats rolled up 405 yards in total offense while holding the Tigers under 200.
“They were more physical than us and were able to run their rocket sweep,” Rodriguez said of Hermann. “Nothing tricky. We’re really small on the edge, and they took advantage of that. They were just bigger and stronger.
“Hermann is as solid as they’ve been since I’ve been here. I think they’ve got the formula to beat the Unions and Sullivans of the conference.”
Offensively Hermann concentrated on its run game, rushing for 361 yards. Leading the charge was senior running back Conner Coffey, who finished with 169 yards and a TD on just 12 carries. He now has 349 yards and four touchdowns over three games.
It was the Bearcats’ other feature back, senior Parker Anderson, who gave Hermann a comfortable lead, scoring on runs of two and 15 yards to open the scoring in the first quarter.
Late in the first period St. James had a snap go over the head of Tiger junior quarterback Cooper Harlan and into the endzone for a safety, allowing Hermann to take a 15-0 advantage entering the second period.
Hermann would put the game away with three more touchdowns the rest of the first half, with Coffey scoring a TD on a three-yard run at the 11:23 mark, Caden Humphrey adding another three-yard scoring run at the 6:47 mark and junior QB Trenton Lampkin hitting senior wideout Braeden Englert with a 21-yard TD pass inside the final minute. The Bearcats added a pair of two-point conversions and a PAT during the second period to take a 38-0 edge into intermission.
That had the mercy clock running in the second half until STJ freshman backup QB Grant Rodriguez broke off a 21-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter.
“They found solutions to give us fits up front,” Josh Rodriguez said. “They bottled up (senior running back Cody) Wilfong.”
Wilfong had little running room and finished with just 22 yards on 11 carries.
St. James had 175 yards in total offense – 134 on the ground. Rodriguez led the way with 63 yards on five carries. Harlan hit on 5-of-17 passes for 41 yards and two interceptions.
Cody Wilfong led St. James with nine total tackles.
St. James is scheduled to play at Owensville in another FRC game Friday, Sept. 16 (7 p.m. kickoff).
Sept. 9 at St. James
Hermann 38, St. James 6
The score by periods
Hermann 15 23 0 0-38
St. James 0 0 0 6-6
The scoring plays
Hermann: Anderson two-yard run, Brune kick (9:33).
Hermann: Anderson 15-yard run, kick fails (2:58).
Hermann: Safety (2:33).
Hermann: Coffey three-yard run, Brune passes to Englert for conversion (11:23).
Hermann: Humphrey three-yard run, Coffey runs in conversion (6:47).
Hermann: Englert 21-yard pass from T. Lampkin, Brune kick (:24).
St. James: Rodriguez 21-yard run, conversion fails.
Rushing – St. James: Rodriguez 5 for 63, Noakes 3 for 32, Cody Wilfong 11 for 22, Spurgeon 2 for 15, Altis 1 for 2, Harlan 1 for 0. Hermann:Anderson 9 for 55, Brune 3 for 36, Coffey 12 for 169, Grosse 3 for 5, Hackmann 2 for 6, Humphrey 8 for 77, Lampkin 3 for 13.
Passing – St. James: Harlan 5-17-41-2, Rodriguez 0-1-0-1, Cody Wilfong 0-1-0-0. Hermann: Anderson 0-1-0-0, Brune 1-1-3-0, Lampkin 2-4-41-0.
Receiving – St. James: Pankey 2 for 14, Altis 2 for 17, Noakes 1 for 10. Hermann: Englert 1 for 26, Hackmann 1 for 15, Hopkins 1 for 3.
Tackle Leaders – St. James: Cody Wilfong 3 (solos)-6 (assists), Skelley 3-2, Pankey 0-1, Altis 2-2, Rodriguez 1-1, Spurgeon 3-2, Ambrose 3-0, Foust 1-1, Noakes 3-2, Carter Wilfong 2-3, Ives 0-2, Henson 0-2, Hinderhan 0-4. Hermann: Hackmann 6-1, Humphrey 4-2, Seifert 3-1, Brune 2-2, Stiers-Herbst 3-1.
Interceptions – St. James: None. Hermann: Coffey 2, Brune 1.
Fumble Recoveries – St. James: Spurgeon 1. Hermann: Humphrey 1.