WAHOO – The top-ranked Wahoo Warriors improved to 7-0 on the season with a 23-6 home win over rival Bishop Neumann on Friday night.
The win over the Cavaliers was the 27th in the last 31 games for the Warriors who remain the favorite to win the school’s first ever state championship this season.
The loss was the second in a row for the seventh-ranked Cavaliers who dropped to 5-2 on the year.
The first score of the game came after the Cavaliers fumbled inside their own 10-yard line.
Three plays later C-1 All-Stater Trevin Luben scored from two yards out. Senior kicker Jesus Zaragoza added the extra point and the Wahoo lead was 7-0 with 6:38 left in the opening quarter.
The Cavalier defense stood tall for the entire first half. The Cavaliers turned the Warriors away on downs twice inside the 15-yard line.
“It’s still Neumann football. They are very tough and they play really hard. They are tough to get yards on,” said Wahoo Coach Chad Fox.
The score remained 7-0 until another turnover late in the first half led to another score for the home team.
Junior linebacker Grant Kolterman stepped in front of a Taylen Pospisil pass deep in Neumann territory and Luben cashed the turnover in with just 36 seconds left in the first half when he scored on a 4-yard TD run. The PAT was blocked and the Warriors went into the locker room up 13-0.
The third quarter was dominated by both defenses and featured four punts.
The home team was able to tack on three more points, taking advantage of the Cavaliers third turnover of the game early in the fourth quarter.
Luben picked off a Pospisil pass near midfield and returned it inside the 25-yard line.
The drive stalled and Zaragoza was called upon to deliver a 29-yard field goal and he converted.
Less than a minute later, senior defensive lineman Brandon Swahn delivered the dagger when he scooped up a Pospisil fumble and returned it 24 yards for a score. Zaragoza added the PAT and the lead grew to 23-0 with 10:24 remaining in the game.
“Brandon has a motor. He is a high energy guy and even though he is undersized at 215, he finds ways to be disruptive,” said Fox.
The Cavaliers were able to get on the board late in the game.
Pospisil connected with senior David Lilly on a 29-yard screen pass and two plays later Pospisil scored on a 14-yard touchdown run with 5:37 remaining in the game. The 2-point conversion failed.
The Wahoo defense forced four turnovers and limited the Cavaliers to just 68 total yards, including 28 rushing yards on 30 carries.
Senior David Lilly was limited to just 28 yards on 11 carries and failed to score a rushing touchdown for the first time this season.
Pospisil finished 2-for-7 through the air for 40 yards with two interceptions.
Wahoo rushed for 206 yards on 50 carries and was led by Luben who went over the 1,000-yard mark with 201 yards on 44 carries.
“That’s the kind of back he is. He is going to tote the rock for us. Trev is one of those kids who has his best games in the biggest games and we hope he has a few more great games in him,” Fox added.
Senior quarterback Thomas Waido completed 5-of-8 through the air for 27 yards.
Kolterman and senior Kole Bordovsky combined for 20 tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Defensive lineman Brandon Swahn, Callen Phillips and Kalon Cooper were a handful up front and caused problems all night for the Cavalier option game.
“Right now we have got a lot of guys up front who we can play on Friday’s. We can rotate a bunch of guys,” added Fox.
Lilly led the Cavaliers with 17 tackles while teammates Jarrett Kmiecik and John Klement finished with 14 and 12 respectively.