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Thomas Walser was not an easy takedown.
The St. Ignatius Falcons back ripped an 83-yard run out of the playbook in the second quarter Thursday, then raced down the field for another 62-yard score in the fourth, as the Falcons tromped all over the Churchill Trojans 29-7.
Walser finished with a game-high 156 yards on the ground, part of a 457-yards rushing attack the Falcons used to combat high winds that pummelled the Fort William Stadium field and kept the passing to a bare minimum.
Jake Puskas, not to be outdone, cruised to a 123-yard day, crowned with a pair of majors, the first from 36 yards out that opened the scoring in the first, the second a 13-yard scamper that capped the opening half.
“I had great blocks from my line,” Walser said, as the junior football Falcons improved to 2-0 on the season.
“I ran a lot in minor (football) and it felt great to get back out there on the field.”
The weather made a bit of a difference, he added, but that’s a small part of what delivered the win, he said.
“Yeah, the wind was a factor, but we know we’ve got to run to get going. That’s the key to setting up the pass,” Walser said. “But I thought our guys stepped up at the line and running backs were everywhere.”
If the running game brought the offence, it was a pair of goal-line stands early in the contest that really made the difference, Falcons coach Mike Savioli said.
On the first Trojans back Eric Warren fumbled the ball, coughing it up to St. Ignatius’s Judah Berkan, who dropped on the ball within reach of the Falcons end zone.
Churchill’s Aaron Johnston brought the Trojans back to first-and-goal territory with a 20-yard run to the St. Ignatius four, but neither Paul Bystrican, who tried twice, nor Collin Cramer could punch it home and the Falcons took a 14-0 lead into the half.
“It would have been 14-all at the half, but we were able to pull away in the second half and do some good things,” Savioli said. “It was huge and it kind of propelled us for the rest of the game, gave us life and energy, and maybe demoralizes them a little bit knowing they weren’t able to get it in for whatever reason.”
The Trojans simply couldn’t get their offence to muster until the game was in hand. Their lone touchdown came in the fourth when running back Matthew Currie plunged through a rare gap in the St. Ignatius defence and took it 10 yards for the score.
The play was made possible by a 52-yard catch and run by Johnston that took Churchill back to the red zone.
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