An early lead was as good as the Indians' offense could do.
St. Vincent suffered a 36-7 loss to conference foe Valle Catholic.
Elder found Gremaud for the 25-yard TD connection for a 7-0 lead at the 4:50 mark, giving St. Vincent a glimmer of hope for an upset over the defending two-time state champions.
"We were fired up at that moment," said Indians running back Alex Winkler, who rushed for 54 yards. "To score first against the defending state champs was just an unbelievable feeling. We really played off of that, played well after that because we were excited."
(MICHAEL BOYD ~ The Ste. Genevieve Herald)
Valle outgained St. Vincent 394-180 in total yardage, including 345-59 on the ground.
"We played a good two-and-a-half quarters, then the wheels came off the wagon," Indians coach Paul Sauer said. "We've kind of been stuck in this rut the last couple of years. It seems like we can play pretty good for 24 minutes, but we have a hard time putting a full 48 together."
Although Valle tied the game at 7-7 just two minutes into the second quarter, the Indians (1-2, 0-1 JCC) prevented further damage by denying Valle another TD from the 3-yard line just seconds before halftime.
Both teams burned two timeouts on the final play of the half, which was huge in Sauer's eyes.
"I wasn't sure if they were trying to line up and kick a field goal there before the half or go for seven," Sauer said. "They had come out of their timeout, and we saw the formation they were setting up, so we called a timeout also to get ready. We wanted to keep it tied at halftime and it worked out."
St. Vincent had two other opportunities to score deep in Valle's territory but failed to do so.
Valle quarterback Nolan Wood punched in a 4-yard touchdown to give Valle the lead for good, 13-7 with 5:22 left in the third quarter.
"We were fired up at halftime, ready to come out and play," Winkler said. "We wanted to keep the momentum going after stopping them near the end zone, but [Valle] kept battling and got it done in the second half."
The Warriors added two touchdowns in the quarter's final 39 seconds from running back/linebacker Tyler Fallert. He first broke loose on a 39-yard touchdown run with 39 seconds left, then intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards for a score as time expired.
Fallert, who rushed for 193 yards on 16 carries, added a 20-yard TD run in the fourth.
"The big breaks went to Valle," Winkler said. "We have to learn to play more than one half, and we can't get down on ourselves. We have to face adversity. When we give up a big play, we can't keep it in our heads. [We have to] forget about it and move on to the next play."
The game originally was scheduled to be played Friday night. But for the second straight week, rain played a major factor in area action. While remnants of Hurricane Isaac made for wet play last week, lightning forced many games to be moved to Saturday this week. Other were canceled altogether.
Elder finished with 121 yards on 17-of-34 passing with an interception. He added 15 yards rushing.
Jesse Francis had 70 yards receiving on four catches. He also had a team-high nine tackles and an interception.
Josh Hunt had a sack and Kevin Mattingly had a fumble recovery. Lucas Janet also pulled in an interception.
Wood ran for 115 yards and passed for 49 yards.
The teams remain in the same district (Class 1 District 1) as in the past, and under the new playoff format could possibly meet again this season during the district tournament.
Valle 36, St. Vincent 7
SV -- Trenton Gremaud 25 pass from Trent Elder (Dylan Richardet kick), 4:50 (0-7).
VC -- Tyler Fallert 13 run (Devon Kutz kick), 10:20 (7-7).
VC -- Nolan Wood 4 run (kick failed), 5:22 (13-7).
VC -- Fallert 39 run (Justin Roth pass from Wood), :38.7 (21-7).
VC -- Fallert 37 interception return (Roth pass from Wood), 0:00.0 (29-7).
VC -- Fallert 20 run (Kutz kick), 6:25 (36-7).
RUSHING -- SV: Alex Winkler 14-59, Trenton Elder 14-15. VC: Tyler Fallert 16-193, Nolan Wood 22-115, Damian Jokerst 6-92, Justin Roth 5-39, Garrett Jaegers 2-16.
PASSING -- SV: Trent Elders 17-34-1-121. VC: Nolan Wood 7-13-2-49.
RECEIVING -- SV: Jesse Francis 4-70, Trenton Gremaud 2-26. VC: Bryant Vessell 3-21, Trevor Klump 1-18, Justin Roth 3-10.