FLATONIA - Limiting turnovers is crucial to containing ball-control offenses that churn out first down after first down.
Shiner St. Paul's Zak Johnson runs the ball during their Oct. 15 TAPPS Division III/IV District 3 game against Hallettsville Sacred Heart at Comanche Stadium. all photos by Duy Vu, Advocate Photographer
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Hallettsville Sacred Heart was unable to achieve its goal and handed a time-consuming, power Shiner St. Paul offense, multiple opportunities to pound out a 42-15 TAPPS Division IV semifinal victory Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
The Cardinals (9-1) will go after their fourth straight state championship against Muenster Sacred Heart in the state final next week, after their second win this season over their Lavaca County district rival.
"The turnovers were big," said St. Paul coach Jake Wachsmuth. "We did go down and score on the first drive, but then they came right back down the field. We were able to force a turnover, and that was huge. I don't know if we really had control of the game in the first half. I think we made enough plays off of the turnovers."
St. Paul took the opening kickoff, and behind power running back Zak Johnson, who carried 32 times for 233 yards and four touchdowns, picked up multiple first downs, while taking 8:07 seconds off the clock.
The drive concluded with a Johnson's 7-yard touchdown run.
Sacred Heart (6-5) fumbled on its first possession, and St. Paul's Sean Humes pounced on the loose ball.
The Cardinals took advantage of the turnover, scoring on Johnson's 58-yard run.
St. Paul's Noah Boedeker intercepted a pass, but the Indians forced a punt.
Shiner St. Paul's Trent Brown looks at the sideline during a Oct. 15 TAPPS Division III/IV District 3 game against Hallettsville Sacred Heart at Comanche Stadium.
But the Cardinals got the ball back when Sacred Heart fumbled on a reverse and it was recovered by Peyton Brown.
St. Paul made Sacred Heart pay for its mistake, scoring on a Johnson's 4-yard touchdown run, giving the Cardinals a 21-0 lead at the half.
"We knew coming into the ballgame that St. Paul was a very good team," said Sacred Heart coach Brad Oden. "They are very well coached. We couldn't afford to make mistakes on our side. We knew that stopping their offense would be hard to come by."
Sacred Heart scored on its first possession of the second half when Austin Kutac threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Michael Koeth.
But St. Paul responded with three unanswered touchdowns.
Boedeker, who carried 11 times for 122 yards, scored on a runs of 43 and 20-yards in the third quarter. Johnson added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Sacred Heart ended the game, and the season on a positive note with a 32-yard Kutac to Nicholas Angerstein touchdown pass.
St. Paul is looking forward to defending its title.
"We are going to enjoy the win tonight, we try to take these games one at a time," Wachsmuth said. "I'm sure these kids will be fired up for the game next week."
Kevin Alstrom is a sports contributor to the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-574-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Duy Vu is a staff photojournalist at the Victoria Advocate.
Contact him at 361-574-1204 or email@example.com.
GAME STATISTICSsource: Victoria Advocate Game Statistics, November 26, 2021 Shiner St. Paul 42, Hallettsville Sacred Heart 15 TAPPS Division IV State Semifinal Game Friday, November 26, 2021, 7:00 p.m. Bulldog Stadium, Flatoniaco SCORING SUMMARY 1 2 3 4 F Shiner St. Paul 7 14 14 7 -- 42 Hallettsville Sacred Heart 0 0 7 8 -- 15 SCORING DETAILS: First Quarter SP: Zak Johnson 7 run (Trent Brown kick) 3:53 Second Quarter SP: Johnson 58 run (Brown kick) 7:29 SP: Johnson 4 run (Brown kick) 1:19 Third Quarter SH: Austin Kutac 19 pass to Michael Koeth (Nick Angerstein kick) 10:36 SP: Noah Boedeker 43 run (Brown kick) 6:23 SP: Boedeker 20 run (Brown kick) 1:18 Fourth Quarter SP: Johnson 1 run (Brown kick) 6:41 SH: Kutac 32 pass to Angerstein (Korbin Koehne 2pt conversion) 0:56 TEAM STATISTICS: St. Paul Sacred Heart First downs 22 11 Yards rushing 50-386 24-152 Yards passing 12 107 Passes 2-6-0-0 7-19-2-1 Punts 45 34.3 Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-3 Penalty-yards 3-35 6-45 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS: Rushing St. Paul: Zak Johnson 32-233-4, Noah Boedeker 11-122-2, Nate Boedeker 2-14, Sean Humes 2-13, Brayden Slaughter 2-7; Sacred Heart: Austin Kutac 10-75, Korbin Koehne 11-50, Brady Haas 3-27. Passing St. Paul: Wachsmuth 1-5-6-0-0, Blaine Humes 1-1-6-0-0; Sacred Heart: Kutac 7-19-107-2-1. Receiving St. Paul: Boedeker 1-6, Kade Leist 1-6; Sacred Heart: Nic Angerstein 3-69-1, Michael Koeth 1-19-1, Haas 2-16, Klayton Chance 1-3.