By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
St. Joseph Christian scored 14 unanswered points to begin Friday's game, led by 12 at halftime and never trailed in a 26-20 win over crosstown rival Bishop LeBlond in a Missouri 8-man District 5 semifinal at St. Joseph Christian High School Friday night.
The Lions scored their first ever win over the Golden Eagles in just the third ever meeting between the two schools on the gridiron.
Christian (7-3) now has their most wins in a single season since 2015, and they'll now play for a district championship for the first time since 2014.
The Lions got the ball to start the game, but lost a fumble on their opening drive.
After LeBlond (4-5) went three-and-out on their first offensive series, Christian marched 42 yards on six plays, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run from Cy Carlson.
The Lions led 6-0 at the end of the first, and were driving when the second quarter started.
On the first play of that second quarter, junior running back Peyton Hausman took off down the middle of the field on a 41-yard touchdown run. He ran it in successfully on the two-point try to put Christian up 14-0 with 11:50 left in the second.
LeBlond at last had the answer on its third possession. After a 32-yard catch by Jacob Winkelbauer, Jackson Sigrist scored on a 10-yard touchdown run.
Tabor's pass to Sigrist for two points was successful, making it a 14-8 game with 5:11 left in the second.
Christian had another answer, though Taking over at the LeBlond 31-yard line, following a short kick and personal foul against the Golden Eagles, the Lions scored in seven plays on a three-yard run from Hausman.
Down 20-8, and getting the ball back with 2:11 left until halftime, LeBlond scored on a quick, four-play drive. Quarterback Cooper Tabor ran one in from five yards out, making it a 20-14 game.
Christian got the ball back with still 1:17 on the clock before halftime. Moving 52 yards on seven plays, junior quarterback Levi Miller fired a pass over the middle on third-and-long to senior Vail Fruechting in the end zone from 13 yards out, putting the Lions up 26-14 at the break.
LeBlond got the ball to start the second half, but turned it over on downs on their first series.
Christian lost their second fumble of the game on the ensuing possession, setting the Golden Eagles up at the Lions' 29-yard-line.
LeBlond scored four plays later on a one-yard run from Trey Icke, bringing the tally to 26-20 with 6:06 to go in the third.
Christian was held off the board the entire second half, but it was the Lions' defense that came up big late.
LeBlond was driving in Christian territory in the final five minutes of the game, but a fumble by Sigrist was recovered by the Lions' Aiden Martindell.
Taking over with 3:27 left, Christian picked up three more first downs and were able to run out the remaining time, capping a historic, feel-good night for the Lions.
Hausman led the way with 157 yards rushing on 21 carries and two scores. Junior Cy Carlson finished 54 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.
Freshman quarterback Mason Stewart rushed for 55 yards on seven carries. The Lions unofficially finished with 275 rushing yards.
Tabor completed 17-of-24 passes for LeBlond for 155 yards. Sigrist was his top target, catching eight passes for 75 yards. Winkelbauer hauled in five passes for 71 yards.
Icke led the Golden Eagles on the ground with 17 carries, 86 yards and a touchdown. He also recovered a fumble on defense.
Carson Staggs toted the rock 13 times for 65 yards.
St. Joseph Christian now goes to Plattsburg to face the No. 1 seed Tigers (9-0) in the 8-man District 5 championship game on Friday, November 10 at 7 p.m.
Plattsburg leveled DeKalb Friday, 72-0.
Peyton Hausman, Troy Schenk interview
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