Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Wildcats' Defense Rises to Occasion ; MATER DEI 33, LAWRENCEBURG 14 'Cats Advance to Semistate

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Wildcats' Defense Rises to Occasion ; MATER DEI 33, LAWRENCEBURG 14 'Cats Advance to Semistate

Article excerpt

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - Lawrenceburg's secret came out early in the Class 2A regional with Mater Dei on Saturday afternoon. Coach Ryan Knigga announced to the packed house he knew the Tigers were going to have a difficult time with the Wildcats' defense when he went for a fourth down on the game's first series in his own end.

Lawrenceburg converted that fourth down, but little else as the Mater Dei defense asserted itself on the very next play to set the tone for what would become a dominating 33-14 road win.

Now the Wildcats will get to host No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter in the Class 2A semistate at 7 p.m. Friday at Reitz Bowl.

"First of all, we're happy to still be playing," said Mater Dei coach Mike Goebel. "When you spend four hours on a bus, you never know what might happen, but we got off ready to play.

"The majority of the credit today goes to the defense and the coaches on that side of the ball, Darin Knight and Gary Goebel. I stay out of their way. They make all those calls."

The first came after Knigga turned to 2,000-yard rusher Chad Banschbach on fourth down, then tried to pass on the ensuing first down.

Mater Dei turned loose sophomore outside linebacker Logan McCann and he buried Tigers quarterback Sam Fette for a 10-yard loss.

"Our defensive line just moves people around," McCann said. "That creates opening for us and then when the coaches make calls at the right time, the sacks come."

They came for McCann, who had a tackle for a 9-yard loss to stifle the Tigers' second series and another sack to end their third.

In the meantime, Mater Dei turned to the ground game to control that side of the ball and the clock. Lawrenceburg (11-2) was never really in the game.

"We were just taking what was open," said Mater Dei senior quarterback Jace Hartz, who ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more. …

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