Football: Ponies trying to upend Cretin-Derham Hall for the first time since 2013

Two teams coming off the biggest win of their season to date square off on Friday when East Metro sub-district leader Cretin-Derham Hall visits Stillwater Area High School on Friday, Oct. 6.

The Raiders (3-0 EM, 3-2) blitzed previous league leader East Ridge 43-7 in Week 5 as part of an up-and-down season thus far. After losing to Totino-Grace 13-12 in the season opener, Cretin-Derham Hall answered with narrow victories over Mounds View (23-21) and Woodbury (34-27) before falling to Blaine 34-21 in Week 4.

Stillwater (2-2, 2-3) lost three in a row at home to start the season before knocking off White Bear Lake 26-19. The Ponies then toppled Mounds View 33-7 in what was their steadiest performance of the season to improve to 2-0 on the road.

Cretin-Derham Hall defeated the Ponies 42-21 a year ago and has won four in a row in a series it leads 10-7 all-time dating back to 1920. These programs boast a strong history of success with a combined 42 state tournament appearances between them. The Raiders have won two state titles in 23 trips to state while Stillwater has captured four state championships in 19 appearances. Since the creation of the Suburban East Conference and now the East Metro sub-district, the Ponies and Raiders have each won five “conference” championships.

The Raiders lead East Metro sub-district teams while averaging 351.6 yards per game. Quarterback Danny Callahan has completed 58 of 102 passes (56.9 percent) for 959 yards and eight touchdowns with eight interceptions. Jaylen Newton has been his favorite and most dangerous target with 16 catches for 381 yards (23.8 avg.) and five touchdowns. Peter Udoibok has 13 receptions for 255 yards (19.6 avg.) and one touchdown.

Newton also has one punt return and one kickoff return for touchdowns this season. One of the challenges for the Stillwater secondary is that Newton is 6-foot-1, 175 pounds and Udoibok is 6-4, 192 pounds. Sophomore running back Tony Underwood, who is 5-8, 180 pounds, leads the sub-district with 430 rushing yards on 93 attempts (4.6 avg.) with one touchdown.

They are the biggest, fastest and most athletic team we will play,” Ponies coach Beau LaBore said. “They have ability to hand the ball off and run power or toss it and try to run around the edge to the perimeter. They have a good play-action pass game and have had a lot of 25-plus yard plays.”

Led by three-year starters Charlie Dennis and Anthony Czech, Cretin-Derham Hall ranks second among sub-district teams while allowing 264.8 yards per game. The Raiders return a total of five players who started most or all of last season.

“They have a very good team and defensively, they’re pretty big up front,” LaBore said. “(Against East Ridge) they took a jump in their ability to execute and limit mistakes.”

Only White Bear Lake from the East Metro has committed more turnovers than the Raiders, who have lost four fumbles and eight interceptions — a minus-3 turnover rating. Stillwater is plus-3 on turnovers and has been flagged for just 128 yards on 18 penalties, compared to 25 penalties for 212 yards for the Raiders.

Stillwater ranks fifth in the sub-district while gaining an average of 279.8 yards per game. Only Roseville is averaging more yards per carry this season than the Ponies (3.9). Quarterback Mark Roettger has completed 48 of 94 passes (51.1 percent) for 675 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions. Cooper Yeary leads the Ponies with 13 receptions for 245 yards (18.8 avg.) and three touchdowns. Adam Knapp has 10 catches for 160 yards (16.0 avg.) with one touchdown while Matthew McGinley has 14 receptions for 140 yards (10.0 avg.).

The Ponies have allowed 370.6 yards per game defensively this season, but limited Mounds View to just 118 yards a week ago. Zach Cowley leads the Ponies with 84 defensive points while Charlie Richman has collected a team-high 30 solo tackles and ranks second on the team with 80 defensive points.

“Sometimes how you’re playing when you play a team factors into things and we hope we continue on the path we’re on, which is improvement every week,” LaBore said. “We have to play as near a perfect mental game as we can, have steady special teams and do a great job in the turnover battle. Last week was our first where we reached our goal of converting 50 percent on third downs, which will be critical this week.”

— Stuart Groskreutz

 

Stillwater sophomore football food drive underway

The Stillwater Ponies sophomore football team is holding its annual food drive through Oct. 7. In previous years, the team has collected from 2,500 to 3,500 pounds of food during this food drive and that has a huge impact on Valley Outreach.

The players began distributing bags in neighborhoods on Tuesday, Oct 3 and will be picking up those bags on Saturday, Oct. 7. Donations should be placed on the front porch by 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Team members will also collect food donations at the Stillwater vs. Cretin-Derham Hall varsity football game on Friday, Oct. 6.

If those dates don’t work, people are also encouraged to drop off donations directly at Valley Outreach during its collection hours and say it is for Ponies football’s food drive.

The top items currently needed at the food shelf are canned meat and fish, brown rice, oils and dressings, canned fruits and vegetables, and peanut butter.

 

 

East Metro

EM Overall

W L W L Scored Allowed

Cretin-Derham Hall 3 0 3 2 90 95

Roseville 3 1 4 1 109 69

East Ridge 3 1 3 2 78 79

Stillwater 2 2 2 3 82 123

Mounds View 1 2 1 4 88 115

Woodbury 0 3 1 4 95 110

White Bear Lake 0 3 0 5 74 104

Week 5 results

Stillwater 33, Mounds View 7

Cretin-Derham Hall 43, East Ridge 7

Roseville 41, White Bear Lake 6

Woodbury 10, Anoka 6

Friday’s games

Cretin-Derham Hall at Stillwater

Mounds View at East Ridge

White Bear Lake at Woodbury

Roseville at Champlin Park

 

 

By the numbers

C-D Hall Offense Stillwater

799 Rushing 724

959 Passing 675

1,758 Total offense 1.399

351.6 Average 279.8

Defense

549 Rushing 940

775 Passing 913

1,324 Total defense 1,853

264.8 Average 370.6

Others

75 First Downs 88

25-212 Penalties 18-128

-3 Turnover rating +3

 

 

Raiders vs. Ponies

C-D Hall (3-2) Schedule Stillwater (2-3)

Totino-Grace L 13-12 Week 1 Blaine L 53-28

Mounds View W 23-21 Week 2 East Ridge L 17-14

Woodbury W 34-27 Week 3 Roseville L 34-14

Blaine L 34-21 Week 4 WB Lake W 26-19

East Ridge W 43-7 Week 5 Mounds View W 33-7

at Stillwater Week 6 Cretin-Derham Hall

at White Bear Lake Week 7 at STMA

Roseville Week 8 at Woodbury