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Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Defense set the tone for St. Henry early in the game

By Mark Ruschau
FORT RECOVERY - The St. Henry Redskins finished their season on a high note as they used a solid defensive effort to post a 34-6 Midwest Athletic Conference win over the Fort Recovery Indians in Midwest Athletic Conference action Friday night at Barrenbrugge Park.
With the win, its third in a row, St. Henry end the season at 6-4 overall and 5-4 in the conference. Fort Recovery, losers of three of its last four, end at 5-5 overall and 4-5 in the conference.
"After the Parkway game, we knew that the playoffs were out of reach and we challenged not only our varsity but our junior varsity and freshman teams as well that we had nine games left and our goal was to go 9-0 in those games and give credit to the kids they were able to do it," said St. Henry coach Jeff Starkey.
"This is not the way we wanted our season to end," said Fort Recovery coach Brent Niekamp. "We accomplished a lot this season for this program and our senior class had a lot to do with that. We went from 10 seniors to 16 seniors and all we had to offer them was hard work and those guys took to it really well and gave us a great year for Fort Recovery and hopefully it will be something we can build on."
The St. Henry defense was the story of this one as the Redskins shutdown the Fort Recovery offense, limiting the Indians to just 165 yards of offense, just 26 yards rushing. If you take out a late 85-yard touchdown drive, the Indians gained just 85 yards the rest of the game.
The Redskins' defense came up with the big plays as they forced five turnovers, turning three of them into scores.
"Offensively, Fort Recovery has a lot of weapons, good skill players and a good scheme and defensively we wanted to give them a lot of different looks. Mix in some zones and blitzes and the coaches on defense did a great job of developing a game plan," said Starkey. "It came down to the kids executing the game plan and the kids did a great job of doing that.
"I am just so happy for Josh Schneider," continued Starkey. "Josh has had a great finish to his junior season, he is a good athlete and we knew he could do it, I am just happy that he could make a big play for us to start the game."
The St. Henry defense came up big on the first play of the game as Schneider picked off a Greg Kahlig pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown, just 10 seconds into the game.
Late in the first period for the second time, the Redskins' defense set up the offense in great field position at the Fort Recovery 49 after an Indian fumble. The St. Henry offense went the distance with Brent Prenger diving in from four yards out for the score to make it 12-0. The big play of the drive was a 23-yard pass completion from Brad Stahl to brother Tony Stahl on fourth down for a first down at the five.
On the ensuing Indian possession disaster struck again as Zach Fishbaugh picked off a Kahlig and returned it to the Indian 19. On the first play from scrimmage, Prenger covered the 19 yards for the score to put the Redskins up 19-0 at the half.
"St. Henry was ready for us defensively that was for sure," commented Niekamp. "It seemed like they knew what we were going to do and they executed their game plan. They were pretty good at reading our routes and they stepped in front of some balls and made some big plays."
The St. Henry offense came out to start the second half and took any drama out of the game marching 66 yards on 11 plays, including 10 running plays, for the score with Prenger blasting in from two yards for the TD.
On the night, Prenger rushed for 132 yards on 24 carries and scored two times.
Fort Recovery junior running back Matt Braun had a nice night as the he gained 135 yards on 20 carries and scored the lone Fort Recovery touchdown.
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