The Aquinas football team handled the muddy, sloppy field and rain better than North Bend, helping the Monarchs win 30-0 Friday night in a game halted early because of lightning.
Aquinas took advantage of botched Tiger punt attempt to set up the only touchdown it would need. Then the Monarchs capitalized on second quarter turnovers to widen the margin.
Neither team could gain traction in the first quarter on a field that was torn up by the Thursday night’s David City-Bishop Neumann game. The quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
“North Bend played hard tonight. It hurt us that we couldn’t really run outside because of the conditions out on the field,” Aquinas coach Ron Mimick said.
North Bend started the second quarter with the ball deep in its territory. After a failed pass on third and 15, the Tigers elected to punt from their 29. The North Bend punter jumped on a bad snap at the Tigers’ 8-yard-line, and Aquinas was in scoring range.
Not risking a fumbled handoff, Monarch quarterback Gavin Rech followed the Monarch linemen straight ahead as they pushed Tiger defenders into the end zone. The touchdown run and successful conversion made it 7-0 with 9:51 in the second. The Tigers wouldn’t make a scoring threat the rest of the game.
The Tigers gained some field possession with a kickoff return to the 34, but on the first down sweep, Daniel Reiter recovered a fumble for the Monarchs on the 34. Two plays later, Andy Lyons broke free around the left side for a 31-yard touchdown run with 8:18 left in the second.
The Tigers lost another fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and Aquinas was set up on the 34 again. Kyle Petree finished off the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run with 4:04 left in the second. Petree carried the ball in for a two point conversion. At the half, Aquinas led 22-0.
Thunderstorms rolled through the area, bringing the heaviest rain of the game in the third quarter. The Tigers have relied heavily on Tiger quarterback Austin Endorff, who has set some new Tiger records for yards passing. Endorff and all the ball handlers had trouble with the wet ball and the mud.
“The field conditions hurt both teams,” Mimick said. “It made it hard for them to pass and for us to run outside.”
Both teams stalled on drives in the third quarter. Drives ended on unsuccessful fourth down conversions or punts.
Starting the fourth quarter, the Tigers threw an incomplete pass on fourth and 3 at midfield, setting up the Monarchs’ final drive.
Facing third and 10, Andy Lyons broke free for a 13-yard gain. Nolan Maguire followed with an 18-yard run to the Tigers’ 20 yard line. Lyons caught a pass and made it to the 4 yard line. Following a 5-yard loss, Rech hit Tyler Vavrina for a 9-yard touchdown strike. The Monarchs handed the ball to Kyle Ruth who broke the plane for a two-point conversion.
Weather conditions worsened, and with 6:15 left, officials declared the game to be over because of the threat of lightning.
Aquinas (7-O) moves on to play at C1 No.5 Wahoo (6-1) on Friday. The Warriors drew a forfeit from Syuracuse on Friday. Wahoo’s only loss was a 24-19 setback to Norfolk Catholic in Week 3. Aquinas has the chance to wrap up the District C1-4 title, while Wahoo faces its cross town rival Bishop Neumann on Oct. 20. Wahoo defeated North Bend 49-6 on Sept. 29.