Running game spurs Greyhounds to SMC?win

NEW ULM – New Ulm Cathedral scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game and then salted it away with a fourth quarter score to top Cedar Mountain/Comfrey 31-12 Friday night in a Southern Minnesota Conference game.

Four different Greyhounds (3-1, 3-1 SMC) found the end zone in their Homecoming game. They were led by two touchdowns from Austin Cooper on runs of 7 and 5 yards. Gabe Knowles added a 7-yard scoring jaunt with Jacob Gangelhoff strolling in from 3 yards and Collin Helget powering in from 1 yard out.

Cooper led the Greyhounds’ running attack with 152 yards on 21 carries. Knowles totaled 129 yards on 11 carries with Gangelhoff ending with 23 yards on nine carries. Cathedral totaled 339 yards on the ground.

CM/C quarterback Chandler Rose threw touchdown passes of 68 and 16 yards to Josh Green and Andrew Richter.

Cathedral coach Denny Lux said the play of his offensive line was key to the win.

“Cedar Mountain is a team that comes out and tries to stack parts of the field to try and stop certain plays,” Lux said. “But we were able to make use of our running backs and our offensive line adjusted their blocks.”

Cooper said the Greyhounds have some powerful linemen.

“There was a lot of focus from everyone on the team and just working the ball down the field,” Cooper said. “The line is busting their butts every single play – we could not do it without them.”

Cathedral used a six-play, 65-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead when Gabe Knowles broke off a 20-yard touchdown run at the 7:09 mark. All six plays were on the ground.

The Greyhounds’ next possession saw them pack their lunches for an 18-play, 88-yard drive. Only one play was not done by groundwork but it was a big one as Cathedral quarterback Collin Helget hit Tyler Franta on a slant pattern for an 18-yard gain that moved the ball into Cougar country.

The rest was leg work for Cathedral as the trio of Cooper, Gangelhoff and Knowles moved the ball to the 3-yard line, where Gangelhoff bolted in on the next play for a 13-0 lead following a missed extra point.

The Cougars (1-3, 1-3) would get on the board following the Gangelhoff score on a Cathedral penalty and a Rose-to-Green connection for a 68-yard score. Following a Cathedral offsides call, Rose found Green for a quick strike for a touchdown just more than three minutes after the Greyhounds’ touchdown.

CM/C coach Brian Longerbone said that his team’s big question concerns how his offensive line can play.

“If we can hold guys and keep our quarterback off of his back, we give ourselves opportunites,” Longerbone said. “We have guys with speed on the outisde.”

But Cathedral would counter that score with two touchdowns less than three minutes apart for a 25-6 halftime lead. Cathedral misfired on both extra point attempts.

First it was a 1-yard run by Helget that was the final chapter in a seven-play, 59-yard drive.

The second score came with 39 seconds left in the first half when Cooper recorded his first touchdown of the game on a 7-yard run.

CM/C cut into the Cathedral lead early in the fourth quarter when Rose hooked up with Richter for a 16-yard touchdown pass.

However, Cathedral maintained momentum as it grounded out a 64-yard, nine-play tour that ended with Cooper cutting into the end zone from 5 yards away.

“We knew that Cedar Mountain was going to come out and play a good game,” Lux said. “This was a big win because it was not only a conference game but also a section game.”

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