PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- The St. Vincent defense, which had taken a back seat over the last few weeks, stole the show in Friday's victory against Grandview.
The Indians defense stonewalled Grandview, holding the Eagles under 100 yards, in their 37-0 win on homecoming.
"We were getting lined up right tonight and we really came ready to play," St. Vincent coach Paul Sauer said. "You always worry whenever you've got homecoming, all the distractions. But we did a good job tonight, lined up and came ready to play."
St. Vincent limited Grandview to 94 yards on offense, and 46 yards came in the fourth quarter after the Indians' starters stood on the sideline watching the action.
"We learned how to protect the pass, I guess, this week," St. Vincent senior C.J. Pavlovsky said. "We just really stepped it up and played some good coverages. All our cornerbacks stepped it up, our linebackers, everything."
The defense even got into the scoring as Pavlovsky returned an interception 46 yards for a score. It also recorded a safety when Grandview snapped a ball through the end zone on a punt attempt.
"I read his eyes from the beginning," Pavlovsky said about the interception play. "I saw two guys coming. I had deep pass. I saw one guy cut to the middle and [the quarterback] kept his eyes on the guy. I knew right then. I broke outside and took it. They almost caught me down here, but I cut it back and put it in."
St. Vincent's offense has averaged 32 points over its last three games, helping the team go 2-1 over that span. But the defense coughed up 504 yards to Crystal City in last week's loss. So Friday night's defensive success was a welcomed change, especially since Crystal City and Grandview both run the spread offense.
"We stressed the pass all week. We just shut it down," St. Vincent senior Justin Eggers said. "They started running a little bit more and we didn't expect it. We shut that down, too. We had a lot of outside linebacker blitzes and we really slowed them down there. It was a good defensive game."
Grandview surprised the Indians by sticking to the running game in the early going. The Eagles' first eight plays from the line of scrimmage were running plays, and they managed some success. When they went to the air, Ryan Weissing made them pay by intercepting their second pass attempt.
"We knew they would try to run the ball a little bit and throw it," Sauer said. "We expected more of the passing game early on. With the weather conditions, the wind, I don't know if they just didn't want to throw it that early. We were prepared for it when they did."
When Grandview tried to pass, it didn't have much luck. Eagles quarterback Steven Capranica completed as many passes to St. Vincent defenders as he did to his own receivers -- three apiece.
"Coach Sauer, he's made it a lot easier for us this year, keeping with one simple defense," Eggers said. "He's really broke it down for us and made it real easy for us."
The Indians admitted they started cheating in on the run as Grandview demonstrated its inability to pass the ball. The Eagles went 3 of 26 passing for 32 yards and three interceptions.
"Whenever they put that guy in the backfield, we expected the run so we cheated in," Eggers said. "Most of the time they ran."
Sauer said he'd hoped to work some on the two-minute offense during Friday's game but quickly changed plans. The Indians only threw the ball seven times, and one of the passes was an attempted heave toward the end zone at the end of the first half.
"We wanted to establish a lead," Sauer said. "We kind of got away from that with the way the conditions were and field position. We thought it was best to keep it on the ground and try to get points on the board."
The Indians' running game really went to work in the second half. St. Vincent managed a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half -- a 4-yarder by Derek Triller and a 46-yarder by Pavlovsky -- but Grandview forced three punts and stopped St. Vincent on a fourth down to extinguish another drive.
Pavlovsky's 46-yard scoring run highlighted the first half. He broke through the line and appeared on a collision course with a Grandview defender. But Pavlovsky juked him and got the defender turned around as he raced toward the end zone.
"I give him my hips, make him look at me, give him my shoulder and make sure he turns that way and pulls that foot outside," Pavlovsky said. "Then I'm cutting back inside."
Pavlovsky finished with 130 yards on 16 carries. He scored three rushing touchdowns. Triller added 29 yards and a score on seven carries.
"The line starts it off," Pavlovsky said. "They like to overpursue tonight and I cut it back a couple times and got some big chunks of yardage there. But I've got to give the props to the line because they did it again tonight."
St. Vincent now enters district play on a high note, having won two of three and averaging 32 points on offense during that span. The Indians plays at Chaffee to open district play.
"We know we've got something to grow on here," Pavlovsky said. "We know we're growing and we're being more of a team and we've got more confidence going into districts."
St. V -- Derek Triller 4 run (Kyle Rollet kick), 1:08
St. V -- C.J. Pavlovsky 39 INT return (Rollet kick), 6:46
St. V -- Pavlovsky 46 run (Phillip Ernst kick), 4:59
St. V -- Pavlovsky 6 run (Rollet kick), 10:02
St. V -- Safety snap through end zone, 8:53
St. V -- Pavlovsky 3 run (Rollet kick), 3:36
RUSHING -- Grandview, Steven Capranica 7-(minus 24), Ryan Murrary 18-62, Andrew Holland 5-33, Team 1-(minus 9). St. Vincent, C.J. Pavlovsky 16-130, Tim Schumer 7-7, Derek Triller 7-29, Alex Hunt 3-3, Kyle Rollet 1-5, Derek Joggerst 1-1, Taylor Sauer 1-4, Mitchell Presnell 3-0, Justin Breig 1-(minus 1).
PASSING -- Grandview, Steven Capranica 3-23-32-3, Andrew Holland 0-3-0-0. St. Vincent, Tim Schumer 2-6-35-0, Kyle Rollet 0-1-0-1.
RECEIVING -- Grandview, Cody Voyles 1-18, Robby Allen 1-6, Nick Robinson 1-8. St. Vincent, Cody Comte 1-23, Kyle Rollet 1-12.