BROOKVILLE — From a back-and-forth first half to a second half dominated by the Brookville Raiders, Homecoming last Friday night went the home team’s way.
Locking things down defensively in the second half, the Raiders pulled away for a 42-22 win over St. Marys. They’ll take a 6-1 record into Friday’s home game with Kane.
It was a matchup of familiar faces on both sidelines with St. Marys first-year head coach Chris Dworek and his offensive coordinator Frank Varischetti working on Raiders coach Scott Park’s staff the last two years. Dworek, also the Raiders’ all-time winningest coach with 107 wins in 19 seasons, found himself on the opposite sideline for the first time ever.
And for a half, the Flying Dutchmen and Raiders were knotted at 14-14. However, the Raiders limited the Dutch to 48 yards and five first downs offensively the rest of the way and took control as Robert Keth scored three touchdowns in the third quarter.
“At halftime, we had a heart to heart, coach (Nick) Nosker changed up the defensive front,” said Park. “The key was getting the stop and scoring and once we got the lead, the kids really started believing and it snow-balled from there.”
Raiders quarterback Jack Krug completed 21 of 32 passes for 209 yards with three touchdown passes and a nifty 48-yard scoring dash that knotted things at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. Keth only rushed for 21 yards on five carries, but scored on short runs of 6 and 2 yards with a 23-yard TD pass from Krug between them in the third quarter.
On the first possession of the second half, the Raiders forced the Dutch on a three-and-out, but wound up blocking the punt. Nathan Taylor, who had two of the Raiders’ six second-half sacks, nearly took the put right off the foot of Dutch punter Cain Pfoutz and blocked it with Tate Lindermuth recovering the loose ball at the Dutch 6.
“The blocked punt was huge. It’s real big. It’s stuff you try to work on all the time,” Park said.
Keth scored on the next play on a 6-yard run and the momentum kept swinging the Raiders’ way.
“The first half wasn’t perfect, but we battled and played good defense and did well on offense,” Dworek said. “The second half, it starts with me. We have to call things and calm down better. Special teams is a big part of that and that blocked punt took a lot of wind out of our sails coming out of halftime. That’s my job to make sure that unit is better than that, so that doesn’t help.”
The Raiders scored on three of their next four possessions, starting with Krug’s 23-yarder to Keth on a fourth-and-18 play.
“We send Kyle in motion on that play and Robert ran a great route and it was a great throw by Jack,” Park said.
Taking advantage of a stuffed fake punt try on fourth-and-one from the Dutch’s own 35, the Raiders made it 35-14 when Keth powered in from two yards out with 53 seconds left in the third quarter.
St. Marys’ lone scoring drive of the second half went 64 yards on 10 plays with Kline going the final three yards to get it to 35-22 with 9:17 left in the fourth.
Otherwise, it was a tough second half for the Dutch, who had trouble containing the Raiders’ defensive rush up front after halftime.
“Both teams know what each team is going to do,” Dworek said. “I think they were jumping the snap count and that’s good coaching on their part and we weren’t handling that pressure very well. That’s where it started.”
Dutch quarterback Christian Coudriet completed his first nine passes and wound up going 18-for-25 for 153 yards. All three of their TDs were scored by Kline, who rushed for 49 yards on 14 carries. He also caught five passes for 31 yards.
The Raiders closed the scoring out with Krug’s 38-yard TD pass to Ian Thrush with 4:47 remaining.
“Once we got it to 28-14, I thought we were good, but to their credit they did come back and score,” Park said. “They weren’t giving up and kept battling and that’s a good sign. In the past, they didn’t always do that. That’s a credit to what Chris has instilled in the program.”
Early on, both teams traded punches. The Dutch struck first with a 7-play, 66-yard scoring drive after stopping the Raiders on downs at the Dutch 34. Kline scored on a 2-yard run.
The lone turnover of the game on a Raiders lost fumble on the next possession wasn’t turned into points by the Dutch, who punted away. And on the fourth play from the Dutch 48, Krug used his legs, juking inside on a read-option play and sprinting to his right and down the Dutch sideline for a touchdown.
“The game plan on paper is always good, but when you have a breakdown or two when you have good, fast kids, they make you pay, whether it’s one mistake or two, it’s a tough one,” Dworek said. “It’s disappointing.”
But the Dutch answered with their second touchdown six plays later, Kline running through Krug’s tackle effort downfield for a 26-yard TD on the second play of the second quarter to go up 14-7.
“Their second TD, they ran right down our throat, but the kids responded well when we changed up our front and we played a heckuva lot better in the second half,” Park said.
Brookville answered on the next drive, going 64 yards on 10 plays with Krug hitting Kyle MacBeth on a 13-yarder with 7:34 left in the first half. That set up a Raiders’ dominated second half.