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Cedar outlasts O’Neill in hard-fought opener

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O’NEILL — Cedar Catholic used a solid rushing attack, and a good defensive effort to hold off O’Neill, 19-16, Friday in the season-opener here for both teams.

The Trojan offense took a little while to knock the rust off, going three-and-out on its opening drive, but the Cedar defense came up big, forcing the Eagles to do the same.

The Trojans’ second drive of the 2020 campaign turned out much better as they were able to put together a seven-play, 85- yard scoring drive.

A pair of Tate Thoene quarterback keepers led Cedar to its initial first down of the season.

Two more runs and an 18-yard Tate Thoene to Myles Thoene pass play put Cedar into O’Neill territory.

Two plays later, Easton Becker busted over the right side of the line and took off down the field on a 31-yard run to score with 6:21 left in the opening frame. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, giving Cedar a 6-0 lead. The Eagles threatened to score on their next drive, pushing the ball to midfield before being forced to punt.

The two squads exchanged punts the rest of the first frame.

Cedar got the ball back early in the second quarter, when they recovered an O’Neill fumble on the 29-yard line. Three straight Easton Becker runs brought the Trojans to the one, where Tate Thoene then ended the drive with a 1-yard TD dive. Blake Arens then split the uprights to give Cedar the 13-0 lead.

The Eagles took advantage of some Cedar mistakes and used a solid passing game to put up two scores to close out the first half. O’Neill scored on a 69-yard pass from Mason Walsh to Turner Jussel.

On their next drive, Christopher Jennings booted a 23-yard field goal to whittle the O’Neill deficit down to 13-10.

Cedar responded with a seven-play scoring to drive to close out the first half with a 19-10 lead. The Trojans put the score on the board when Tate Thoene bounced into the endzone from three yards out. The extra point attempt was blocked, though, giving the Trojans a nine-point halftime advantage.

The Cedar run game performed well most of the night, as the Trojans were able to churn out 179 rushing yards, including 105 from Easton Becker.

“We have been emphasizing some details I felt we needed to improve on from last year, specifically some things in our offensive line, and I think the kids responded well,” Cedar Catholic Coach Chad Cattau said. We got off the ball really hard and quick for the most part, which really help create some nice holes.”

Besides passing for 43 yards, Tate Thoene also carried the ball for 68.

At least eight different people handled the ball during the contest.

Some errors on offense cost the Trojans some points, and a few crucial penalties and bad snaps didn’t help, according to Cattau, but he sees all those foibles as correctable.

Cedar 6 7 6 0 — 19

O’Neill 0 10 0 6 — 16

Cedar O’Neill

Rushing 26-179 13-12

Passing 3-10-43 13-26-183

Total 64-222 45-116

First Downs 15 7

Penalties 4-20 3-10


Cedar - Tate Thoene, 3-10-43; O’Neill - Mason Walsh, 13-26-183.


Cedar - Easton Becker, 11-105; Tate Thoene, 13-68; Charlie Schroeder, 1-7; Brett Kleinschmit, 1- -1. O’Neill - Turner Jussel, 8-27; Brady Sidak, -13; Fabian Acevedo, 2 - -5; Mason Walsh, 4 - 6.


Cedar - Myles Thoene, 1-19; Kerby Hochstein, 1-13; Connor Vlach, 1-11. O’Neill - Turner Jussell, 2-77; Peyton Matthews, 6-55; Keegan Moore, 3-27; Landon Classen, 1-15; Brady Sidak, 1-9.


Cedar - Kerby Hochstein, 4; Myles Thoene, 3; Owen Heimes, 3; Brett Kleinschmit, 3; Easton Becker, 2; Jay Steffen, 2; Grant Arens, 1; Logan Rohan, 1; Charlie Schroeder, 1; Blake Arens, 1; Jaxson Bernecker, 1; Jacob Rohan, 1; Owen Dendinger, 1; Connor Vlach, 1. O’Neill - Clay Shaw, 12; Peyton Matthews, 11; Brady Sidak, 11; Tommy Kaczor,11; Turner Jussel, 6; Korbyn Grenier, 6.

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