Taking advantage of great field position and turnovers, the Aquinas Catholic Monarchs were able to gain the early momentum on their way to a 42-6 victory over host Gothenburg in the Nebraska Class C-1 State Football Playoffs held on the Swedes home turf on Friday evening.
Looking to score points off of a short field ahead, the Monarchs used their misdirection rushing attack to be flirting with paydirt near the halfway point of the first quarter. Soon after reaching the red zone, Gothenburg’s defense was flexing their muscle and holding the Aquinas offense out of the endzone until Monarch quarterback Gavin Rech called his own number to score on a two-yard plunge with 5:34 left in the opening quarter. Aquinas Catholic was able to make the score 7-0 with Trevor Siroky splitting the uprights on the extra point try.
On the ensuing possession, Gothenburg was able to continue their efforts to chip away at the vaunted run defense of the Monarchs with the methodical rushing attack that the Swedes are known for until an untimely miscue allowed Aquinas to gain possession and put together a sustained drive that finish in the endzone with Gavin Rech reaching paydirt again on the ground, this time with a one-yard run with less than a minute to play in the first quarter to make the score 14-0 in favor of the Monarchs.
The Aquinas gridders had a grasp on the momentum and lead on the scoreboard as the opening quarter ended and the second stanza began.
Scoring as a result of advantageous field position and the continued churning of the rushing attack, the Monarchs were in business as a result of the Gothenburg defensive forces flexing their muscle.
The Swedes were able to gain the upper hand with the momentum swinging in the balance and the Monarch offensive attack being nearly stuck in the mud. Aquinas was able to get back in business when Rech dialed his own number on a homerun trot that spanned 34 yards with 9:56 left in the second quarter. The Monarchs took a 21-0 lead.
homerun trot that spanned 34 yards with 9:56 left in the second quarter. The Monarchs took a 21-0 lead.
Aquinas continued to prosper on Swede miscues as the Monarchs went to the air for a Rech to Tyler Vavrina nine-yard scoring connection at the 7:07 mark of the second quarter and then cushioned their lead with a Rech scoring his fourth rushing score to make the Aquinas lead 35-0 entering the halftime break.
Coming out of the intermission, the Gothenburg defense stood tall and strong in thwarting off the opening drives by the Monarchs.
Just as they had on prior drives, the short field allowed Aquinas to cash in with a Rech to Vavrina seven-yard scoring connection to extend the lead to 42-0 with 5:04 left in the third quarter.
With limited time remaining, Gothenburg was able to break the ice on a Maguire Bartlett eight yard scoring run to cap all the scoring with Aquinas Catholic netting the 42-6 victory over the Swedes.