Chaffee revival continues with win over St. Vincent

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Red Devils improved to 5-3 with a 13-10 district victory.

CHAFFEE, Mo. -- Offense and defense were pretty much a draw as Chaffee and St. Vincent hooked up in a hard-hitting affair Friday night.

But when it came to special teams -- specifically the punting game -- Chaffee received the higher marks.

And that paved the way for a 13-10 win by the host Red Devils, who not only opened Class 1 District 2 play in style, but also clinched their first non-losing season since 1990.

"It's a big win for us," said Charlie Vickery, who has directed a revival of the Chaffee program since he returned to coach at his alma mater three years ago.

Chaffee improved to 5-3 and dropped defending district champion St. Vincent to 3-5.

"We haven't beaten St. Vincent in a while [since 1993]. It feels good," said Chaffee senior running back/linebacker Dylan McAlister. "This gives us a lot of confidence."

In a game that was about as even as possible -- St. Vincent had 120 yards of total offense to 108 for Chaffee -- the game turned in the Red Devils' favor when the Indians failed to execute two punts.

The first came late in the opening half as the Indians appeared headed to the locker room with a 10-0 lead.

St. Vincent punter Kyle Rollet was forced to run on fourth-and-5 when a snap bounced to him, but he fell well short of the first down.

That gave Chaffee possession on St. Vincent's 28-yard line with 27 seconds left before halftime.

A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the 14, and on the next play senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix hit junior wideout Trenton Horman for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining.

Even though the extra point failed, the Red Devils carried plenty of momentum into the break, trailing 10-6.

"In the first half we had terrible field position," Vickery said. "We told them that everything went bad in the first half, but we were in pretty good shape."

Especially after what happened midway through the third quarter as St. Vincent lined up to punt from deep in its own territory.

Junior Collin Dannenmueller cleanly blocked the Rollet punt, with junior Hunter Thomason scooping up the ball and running 8 yards to the end zone.

Hendrix added the PAT for a 13-10 Chaffee lead with 6 minutes, 19 seconds left in the third period.

"You've got to make those plays," St. Vincent coach Keith Winkler said of the punts. "We pride ourselves on special teams."

Chaffee's defense did the rest, with help from an offense that did not score in the second half but controlled the clock with several nice drives.

St. Vincent had just 13 yards of offense and no first downs over the final two quarters as the Indians ran only 15 plays.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils ran 30 second-half plays. Those netted just 67 yards but, more importantly, five first downs.

"Defense was the key," said Hendrix, who also plays cornerback. "And the offensive line started blocking real good in the second half."

St. Vincent scored early in the second quarter on a 32-yard pass from Darin Yamnitz to Justin L'Hote, and L'Hote later kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it 10-0.

But after that it was all Chaffee.

"They were physically stronger than us up front," Winkler said. "My hat's off to them. Coach Vickery has done a good job. They came to play tonight."

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