"I thought the first team to score would be in the driver's seat," Sauer said.
The Indians had an early chance to get the jump on visiting Crystal City but failed to capitalize.
After that it never really was a contest as the Hornets rolled to a 41-6 victory.
Crystal City, which led 28-0 at halftime and 35-0 after three quarters, evened its record at 3-3. St. Vincent fell to 2-4.
St. Vincent's early opportunity came after Crystal City failed on a fake punt during the game's opening possession. The Indians took over at the Hornets' 47-yard line.
The Indians picked up a first down at the Crystal City 36 but sputtered. On third-and-17, sophomore quarterback Trent Elder's pass was intercepted by junior Joey Sousan.
Crystal City struck quickly. Junior quarterback Cole Cherry and senior wide receiver Logan Jett connected on a 53-yard touchdown pass on the first play of its possession for a 7-0 lead.
St. Vincent's next possession reached the Crystal City 39 before the Hornets recovered a fumble. They scored five plays later for a 14-0 lead.
"When they had opportunities, they seized it and finished it off."
The Hornets dominated the rest of the half, scoring on two 64-yard drives. Their fourth touchdown came with just 36 seconds left before the intermission.
Crystal City finished the first half with 266 yards compared to 78 for St. Vincent.
"Historically St. Vincent is always tough," said Crystal City junior quarterback Nick Rothweiler, who threw three touchdown passes. "Watching film, we thought we could execute pretty well. It was a big positive for us."
Crystal City senior Neil Slabby, who threw for more than 2,500 yards while accounting for 33 total touchdowns last year, went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 1.
"Everything is starting to come around," said Rothweiler, who did not start Thursday after missing Monday's practice with an illness but went most of the way. "It happened the first game, so we've had time to adjust."
St. Vincent junior Tim Schumer suffered a knee injury in Week 3 but could return later in the season.
Taylor Sauer got his first start at quarterback during last week's win over St. Pius but was moved back to center in the second quarter to stabilize the offensive line.
Sauer, a fullback last year, began Thursday's contest at tailback before moving to quarterback.
"We've kind of moved him all over the place," coach Sauer said. "He's not a quarterback by trade, but he knows the offense and he's doing OK."
Sauer attempted just two first-half passes, completing one for six yards. He finished 14 of 22 for 164 yards. He also was St. Vincent's leading rusher with 50 yards on 14 carries.
St. Vincent finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter when Sauer and senior wide receiver Adam Winkler hooked up from 10 yards out.
Winkler caught four passes for 64 yards on the 71-yard drive. He finished with seven receptions for 90 yards.
"He's a first-year kid, but I can't say enough about him," Taylor Sauer said. "He works hard."
While Rothweiler and Cherry combined to pass for 211 yards and four touchdowns, the Hornets also got a big rushing performance from senior Landon Prater.
The 242-pound Prater, who is listed as weighing more than any St. Vincent player, powered his way to 141 yards on just 13 carries. He scored twice.
"He's a load," coach Sauer said.
Crystal City finished with a 406-244 advantage in total yards. The Hornets committed just one turnover while St. Vincent had five, although one of its lost fumbles came on the game's final play.
"It seems like we can't be consistent for 10, 12 plays," Paul Sauer said. "We have to get better. We have to get more consistent."
The Indians won't have much time to lick their wounds as they visit Grandview in an unusual Tuesday game caused by an offseason scheduling mixup. That will be St. Vincent's final pre-district tuneup.
"We have a short week," Taylor Sauer said. "We have to get after it this weekend."
CC -- Logan Jett 53 pass from Cole Cherry (Daniel Linderer kick), 7:18
CC -- Landon Prater 9 run (Linderer kick), 2:40
CC -- Stacey Thornton 25 pass from Nick Rothweiler (Linderer kick), 4:42
CC -- Jett 11 pass from Rothweiler (Linderer kick), 0:36
CC -- Colby McCreary 6 pass from Rothweiler (Linderer kick), 5:03
SV -- Adam Winkler 10 pass from Taylor Sauer (kick failed), 11:25
CC -- Prater 30 run (kick failed), 9:56
Rushing -- Crystal City, Prater 13-141, Rothweiler 3-39, Seth Kmetz 4-14, Daniel Courtway 3-4, Cherry 1-minus 3. St. Vincent, Sauer 14-50, Derek Joggerst 12-35, Lucas Janet 1-3, Mitchell Presnell 3-1, Trent Elder 2-minus 9.
Passing -- Crystal City, Rothweiler 10-22-136-0, Cherry 4-6-75-0. St. Vincent, Sauer 14-22-164-1, Elder 0-7-0-2.
Receiving -- Crystal City, Jett 4-123, Thornton 4-58, McCreary 3-17, Austin Helwig 3-13. St. Vincent, Winkler 7-90, Ryan Boxdorfer 3-54, Presnell 2-7, Justin Brieg 1-7, Phillip Ernst 1-6.