St Paul Indians punch ticket to 8 Man State Championship

Last night the St Paul Indians hosted the Burlingame Bearcats. What would prove to be one of the best high school football games so far this season. The talk before the game was the running game, size of the players and the kicking game of the Bearcats. The Indians matched up pretty evenly with Burlingame. Both teams have exchange student kickers, and both have effective running games and size on the offensive and defensive lines.

Burlingame won the toss and deferred to receive the ball until the second half. Joao Maria Caldas handled the kicking duties for the Bearcats. Adam Albertini received the kick for a 10 yard return. On the first possession, Albertini and Collin Carlson ran the ball for short gains. The offense stalled and was forced to punt. Senior Koby Spielbusch punted for St Paul. Burlingame without it’s Senior Quarterback Dalton Sporing, relied on Montana Giffin to handle the QB position. Griffin found Zack Herrick down field for a 28 yard pass. Spielbusch the anchor of the middle linebacker position played havoc on the Bearcats backfield all night long. After a no gain and a short gain, Griffin found Caiden Musick in the end zone for the first Bearcat TD with 8:17 remaining in the first quarter. Caldas’s extra point kick was no good. St Paul 0 Burlingame 6
Caldas kicked off for a touchback. Senior Quarterback Braven Born ran for short gains. St Paul received a delay of game call setting them back 5 yards. Born found Caleb Pecha in the open for a 25 yard gain. The Bearcats applied pressure on Born all night. The Indians could not get the offense started and turned the ball over on downs. Seth Greenwood ran for short gains. Seniors Anthony Albertini and Koby Spielbusch kept the pressure on and what looked like a turn over on downs was erased by a pass interference call on St Paul. Burlingame with new downs, QB Giffin found Colton Noonan for a TD strike with :45 remaining in the first quarter. The extra point was no good. St Paul 0 Burlingame 12
The Bearcats kicked off, Adam Albertini ran it back for a 10 yard return. St Paul would be charged with a block in the back for a 10 yard loss.

Albertini and Carlson marched the ball down the field. Born ran for a 10 yard gain. Born looking for Brenden Doherty on a pass play would be intercepted by Raymond Hovestadt. The Bearcats received a block in the back call for 15 yards. After a series of pass plays for no gain, Greenwood punted for the Bearcats. St Paul’s offense looked be a 3 and out, Born found Pecha on the fly for a 50 yard TD reception with 6:59 left in the second quarter. Born scored the extra point. St Paul 8 Burlingame 12
St Paul’s Alex Mate kicked off for a touchback. Burlingame had a stall in this series. Seth Greenwood punted for the Bearcats. Again St Paul’s offense would be 3 and out. Koby Spielbusch punted for 30 yards deep in Bearcat territory. Spielbusch, Pecha, Albertini,Born and Carlson kept pressure on inside and outside to stall the Bearcats offense and force a turn over on downs. On the first play from scrimmage Born was sacked by Tristan Lee. This would end the 2nd quarter of play.

Mate kicked off for St Paul in the 3rd quarter. Colton Noonan returned the kick for 10 yards. Seth Greenwood found pay dirt with 11:14 of the 3rd quarter. The extra point was no good. St Paul 8 Burlingame 18
Caldas kicked for a touchback. Adam Albertini would not be denied on the second play from scrimmage. He ran for a 55 yards touchdown with 10:22 left in the third quarter. The extra point was no good. St Paul 14 Burlingame 18
Mate kicked off for a touchback. Spielbusch and Albertini, again pressured Giffin in the backfield and the Bearcats were forced to punt. Born found Doherty up field for a short gain. Born ran for a 15 yard gain. Born found Pecha in the end zone with 6:32 in the third quarter. The extra point was no good. St Paul 20 Burlingame 18
Mate kicked off for a touchback. A holding call on the return would push the Bearcats further down field. After a pass interference call on St Paul, the Bearcats scored with 2:43 left in the third. Giffin found Noonan for the extra point. St Paul 20 Burlingame 26
Caldas kicked off for a touchback. Burlingame’s defense held the Indians on this series. Spielbusch punted for the Indians. With 1:04 left in the third the Bearcats called a timeout. After the time out, Burlingame’s Giffin found Jake Thompson for a Bearcat TD. Giffin found Greenwood for the extra point.
St Paul 20 Burlingame 34
This would end the third quarter.

The Indians would own the fourth quarter. Born found Brenden Doherty on a TD strike with 9:49 left in the fourth. Adam Albertini found Braven Born for the extra point. St Paul 28 Burlingame 34
Mate kicked off for a touchback. Now was St Paul’s defensive lines time for some in your face football. Grant Hutcherson, Hunter Pullman and Braven Born forced the Bearcats to punt. Adam Albertini returned the kick for 10 yards. Born would lead the charge down field along with Adam Albertini, Collin Carlson, Brenden Doherty and Caleb Pecha. At the 5:00 minute mark, Born found Albertini on a 10 yard TD pass. The extra point was no good. St Paul 34 Burlingame 34
Alex Mate again would kick off for a touchback. The core Senior defensive front of Anthony Albertini, Grant Hutcherson, Hunter Pullman and defensive back field of Senior Koby Spielbusch, Braven Born, Junior Collin Carlson and Sophomore Adam Albertini, effectively shut down the Bearcats offense down the second half. The Bearcats turned the ball over on downs during this series. With 1:34 left in the fourth Albertini ran for 30 yards. Born followed up with 15 yard TD run. The extra point was no good. St Paul 40 Burlingame 34
Mate kicked off for a touchback. Giffin was crushed by Carlson as he threw the ball. Pecha intercepted the pass. The Indians would take a knee with 1:06 left in the game. Burlingame burned all their time outs to stop the clock. St Paul was at a fourth down play, either run the ball or pass the ball. The Seniors pushed Coach Wiatrak to let Alex Mate kick a field goal to put icing on the game. He agreed. Mate kicked a 20 yard FG to seal the game.
St Paul 43 Burlingame 34
St Paul Indians 2017 Sub State Champions
After the game Coach Keith Wiatrak spoke of his team pulling together as they had done in the other playoff games. He stressed closeness of the boys throughout the season and how teamwork got them through some tough games. With the win, St Paul will play Hoxie for the 8 Man Division I State Championship, on Nov 25 in Newton at 11:00 am.