SHINER -- For the first time since 2012, the Shiner St. Paul Cardinals were bested by their rivals on the football field. Hallettsville Sacred Heart (7-2, 2-0) ability to convert third and fourth downs as well as quarterback Sam Brown’s explosiveness was more than enough to take down the Cardinals (1-8, 1-1) 28-7 on Friday night at Comanche Stadium.
“They played great,” St. Paul Head Coach Jake Wachsmuth said of Sacred Heart. “They came out from the get go. I told my guys they were going to play fired up and get after it and they did. There’s no doubt that the better team won.”
The Indians made a statement early in the game, opening the game with an eight-play, 54-yard drive that finished with a 12-yard touchdown run by Ryan Mudd, though it was Brown’s play under center that proved to be the difference.
The senior signal caller connected on three of his five throws in that first drive for 33 yards including a 14-yard throw-and-catch on fourth down to continue what would be their first touchdown drive.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals offense got off to a good start, but were unable to finish drives until late in the half when Joseph Natal scored on a 4th-and-goal play from the 1-yard line as the clock expired. That would be St. Paul’s lone score of the night.
“We didn’t do anything, it looks like we might have had a spark in the second quarter, but we couldn’t sustain it,” Wachsmuth said. “At halftime we kind of felt, 9-7, we were, you know, maybe [in it], because they came out and really played well to only be down by two points but boy the second half [Sacred Heart] just came out and they just whipped us.”
The game wasn’t out of reach until an improbable 4th-and-20 conversion, when Brown found a man in the end zone from 33 yards out, despite being covered by three guys, to go up 21-7 midway through the fourth quarter.
“[Brown] made a ton of plays,” Wachsmuth said. “That one down there at the goal line, I think it was 15-7 and somehow they caught it, we had three guys. He made some other plays too, he’s a good player. They just played better. I mean they just played. That’s the game.
They made plays, we had them in third downs and fourth downs and then when we were in those same situations they came up with stops.”
St. Paul now drops to 1-1 in TAPPS DIstrict 3 - Division IV below Hallettsville Sacred Heart (2-0). Central Texas Christian is in third at 1-1 after beating San Antonio St. Gerard 44-0, who are winless at 0-2 in district.
St. Paul travels to play San Antonio St. Gerard next Thursday with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.