Eagles Fly To Victory
The Big Blue defense held Steubenville Catholic to 22 yards rushing, 61 yards passing, and two first downs, while the offense accounted for 199 yards rushing and 139 yards passing in an Oct. 26 35-0 shutout at Magnolia’s Alumni Field.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff and drove the ball to the Crusader one yard line before losing possession on a fumble.
But, the Magnolia defense held the Crusaders to a three-and-out and took over at the visitors’ 16 yard line after a very short punt. After a Drew Keller run, Stephen “Rogo” Rogalski high stepped it in to the Promise Land on an end around. However, the score was neutralized by a holding call.
MHS quarterback Tanner Hanna hooked up with Gage Deem to the 16 yard line, bringing up a third and 10. The Steubenville defense held firm and Magnolia tried a Clements Raitmayr field goal from 23 yards out that missed its mark.
The Eagle defense gave the offense a second chance when they forced another three-and-out and another bad kick from only 17 yards away by Steubenville. After a Keller and Hanna run, Keller would score from 11 yards out to give the Big Blue a 7-0 lead after Raitmayr made good on the point after.
After the ensuing kick, it didn’t take the Blue Eagle defense long to get the ball back from the Crusaders on their side of the field at the 35 yard line. Keller moved the chains after a pair of five-yard scampers to end the first period.
On Magnolia’s first play of the second period, Hanna hooked up with Rogalski for a nice gainer. A few plays later, Hanna sneaked it in from one yard out to go ahead 14-0.
After the MHS Defense held Steubenville once again, the Eagles would get the ball back at their own 20 yard line.
Hanna hooked up with Rogalski on a five-yard gainer, and Hanna moved the chains to midfield. However, another MHS penalty backed them up to their own 28 yard line.
The duo of Keller and Kage Rohde pushed the Eagles to the 42 yard line, but another Magnolia infraction dropped them back to the 34 yard line. Hanna passed back to Keller, who marched 66 yards to paydirt and gave the hosts a 21-0 advantage at the break.
In the second half, Catholic fumbled the ball on the kickoff, with Keller getting the recovery at the visitor 39 yard line. Working again on the Crusader side of the field, Hanna would connect with tight end Kyle Ritz for a 15-yard pitch-and-catch in the back of the endzone for another Magnolia touchdown.
The MHS defense flexed its muscles once more and got the ball back rather quickly. But the offense brought another major penalty that backed up the Eagles to the Catholic 36 yard line and set up a first-and-26-yard situation.
However, Hanna hooked up with Keller on a screen, who bolted down to the Steubenville 35 yard line for a 29-yard pitch-and-run. But a few plays later, Magnolia coughed it up and Catholic took over.
Not to worry, the Magnolia D held and would take over at the Central 49 yard line. Before you knew it, runs by Keller, Hanna, and Rohde had the pigskin sitting at the 28 yard line to start the fourth period.
After a Keller run-and-catch, the ball was at the nine yard line, whereupon Rohde took it to the house for the Eagles’ final tally.
Keller ended the night with 137 yards rushing and 66 yards receiving, while Rohde added 87 yards rushing and 10 yards receiving. Hanna rushed for six yards and scored a touchdown, while completing nine passes for 139 yards and a TD. Tyler Anderson would gain three yards for the Eagles on the ground.
Besides the catches by Keller and Rohde, Rogalski hauled in four passes for 57 yards, while Deem caught one for 13 yards.
Magnolia committed seven penalties for 92 lost yards, while Steubenville was caught only five times for 55 lost yards. Magnolia moved the chains 20 times, while Steubenville moved the markers only twice. Both teams lost two fumbles.
The Eagles will finish the regular season on the turf in Oak Glen Friday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. Regardless of the outcome, Magnolia will still host a playoff game next week, with a time and day to be announced.