St. Thomas Academy senior Paddy Clancy makes a leaping interception -- his second of the game -- during the Friday, Oct. 7, matchup against Holy Family Catholic. Clancy would return the interception for 95 yards and a touchdown. Photo by Greg Farley
With around four minutes left in the first quarter, St. Thomas Academy’s junior running back Nick Waldvogel took a reverse handoff and sprinted down the field, evading tacklers as he tip-toed along the sidelines for a 44-yard touchdown to put the Cadets up 14-0 over Holy Family Catholic.
St. Thomas Academy junior running back Nick Waldvogel (No. 1) evades a pair of last-chance Holy Family Catholic defenders during the Friday, Oct. 7, game. Photo courtesy of Greg Farley
Waldvogel -- one half of Cadets' dynamic one-two punch in the backfield -- put the gas on early in the Friday, Oct. 7, matchup at St. Thomas Academy and the home team never let up.
Undefeated heading into the game, St. Thomas Academy of Class 4A has nearly double the enrollment of Class 3A Holy Family Catholic, but the Cadets did not make the mistake of looking past the Fire in their 48-7 win.
“We didn’t take them lightly at all,” Waldvogel said. “We just dominated. Once we started pushing it, we didn’t let up.”
And did they ever push it.
Before halftime, Waldvogel had already racked up 88 yards on just four carries and was putting on a dominant rushing display.
“Nick is a tremendous player,” St. Thomas Academy coach Dave Ziebarth said. “He’s a lot stronger than you think he is. He plays a big role.”
Senior Hootie Hubbell -- the other half of the talented Cadets' backfield -- normally handles the majority of the carries as well as the rushing spotlight but was forced to play second fiddle during the lopsided victory.
“Hootie and I, we try to be unselfish,” Waldvogel said. “We block as hard as we run for each other. It’s kind of a brotherhood thing going on.”
Ziebarth also commented on the effectiveness of the Cadets' dual-headed monster which has now tallied more than 800 yards of rushing combined.
“They’re very similar,” Ziebarth said. “Nick is a little more elusive. Nick is really good at dodging and weaving and making guys miss. I think it makes it hard for a defense to watch both those guys and figure out how to stop them.”
Waldvogel proved his coach correct with around 10 minutes left in the third quarter. On a rush to the outside, he burst up the sidelines and quickly cut back to the center of the field, leaving defenders on the turf to complete the 49-yard run to put St. Thomas Academy up 41-0.
St. Thomas Academy senior defensive end Billy Mork (No. 44) wraps up Holy Family Catholic senior running back Isaac Savaryn (No. 3). Photo by Greg Farley
Holy Family Catholic had a tough time getting anything going as the Fire looked like a middleweight taking on a heavyweight in boxing.
"We just knocked them out of the game," Waldvogel said.
Despite finishing the night with 137 yards on the ground, 25 receiving and three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving), Waldvogel stressed however that the Cadets still had room for improvement.
“We showed today that we can put it on big,” Waldvogel said. “If we want to go far in the playoffs we have to be consistent every play.”
-- Walker Orenstein, MN Football Hub staff
St. Thomas Academy scored 48 straight points -- with 35 of those points coming before halftime -- to defeat Holy Family Catholic 48-7 on Friday, Oct. 7.
St. Thomas Academy's Ben Williams (No. 48) has a perfect view of Paddy Clancy (No. 23) making a one-handed interception during the first quarter of the Friday, Oct. 7, game against Holy Family Catholic. Photo by Greg Farley
Setting the game's tone early in the first quarter was senior defensive back Paddy Clancy who made a spectacular one-handed interception on the Fire's first drive. Clancy would later pick off Holy Family Catholic quarterback Michael Roane again in the third quarter and returned interception for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Offensively for the Cadets, junior Nick Waldvogel had 137 rushing yards on five carries and scored two touchdowns. Waldvogel also had three receptions for 25 yards and one touchdown.
Senior running back Hootie Hubbell had eight carries for 87 yards and one touchdown as well as one reception for 23 yards.
Despite throwing four picks, Roane scrambled for 147 yards on 22 attempts for Holy Family Catholic.
Up next for the Fire (5-1) is home game against Waseca (4-2) on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic High School.
St. Thomas Academy (6-0) will look to stay undefeated as the Cadets will host Hill-Murray (5-1) also on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m.
-- Michael Murakami, MN Football Hub staff
St. Thomas Academy prepares to take the field during the Friday, Oct. 7, matchup against Holy Family Catholic. Photo by Greg Farley
1. Nick Waldvogel, St. Thomas Academy
Rushing for 137 yards is quite the performance in itself, but having that yardage from only five attempts is flat-out impressive. Want more? Two of those five carries went for touchdowns. Still want more? The junior running back also had three receptions for 25 yards and one receiving touchdown.
2. Paddy Clancy, St. Thomas Academy
The senior defensive back gave everyone in attendance an indication of what the game's result would be as he made a one-handed interception on Holy Family Catholic's first drive, putting the Cadets in great field position. Clancy would go on to pick off Holy Family Catholic quarterback Michael Roane again in the third quarter before turning on the jets to return the interception 95 yards for a touchdown. Despite cramping up following the play, Clancy took full advantage of his playing time defensively along with returning a kickoff for 47 yards as well.
3. Hootie Hubbell, St. Thomas Academy
Another key member for the Cadets' ground attack, Hubbell rushed for 87 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. The senior running back also had one reception for 23 yards and was a constant offensive threat.
-- Michael Murakami, MN Football Hub staff