Indians attempt to control Warriors speed in first game of season

Justin Hotop

St. Vincent football coach Tim Schumer and his team are probably more than ready to get out on the field. The Indians missed the first few weeks of the season as the team dealt with COVID-19 issues, and they have quite the task in front of them as they take on the defending Class 1 state champion Valle Catholic Warriors tonight.
The game will be Valle’s third, while the Indians will step on the field against another team for the first time in 2020.
Schumer is staying positive as he hopes that the two weeks off has his team chomping at the bit to play.
“With us taking some time off we might not be where we want to be conditioning-wise,” Schumer said. “We have been working hard the last couple of days to get our legs back and used to playing again. I think this time off has made the team hungry and anxious to show everyone what they have been doing this summer.”
The Warriors come into the game on a 17-game winning streak and Schumer said that practice has been focused on handling the Warriors’ speed on offense, but especially on defense. Valle Catholic has allowed seven points combined in their two victories this year over Skyline (48-0) and cross-town rival Ste. Genevieve (42-7) last week. Against their rivals, the Warriors allowed 14 total yards in the first half and forced three turnovers.
“They fly around on defense,” Schumer said. “It’s hard to mimic that speed in practice during the week,” Schumer said. “We have to be prepared that they are going to try to make plays defensively and that we are firing off the ball on the snap and getting to our spots quicker than they are.”
With as good as Valle Catholic is on defense, they may be just as potent on the offensive side. Sophomore quarterback Chase Fallert, who started several games last year in place of an injured Chase Dunlap, leads the Warriors’ offense. Fallert completed 12-19 passes for 260 and three scores last week, while playing exclusively in the opening half. Schumer said that the Warriors have not skipped a beat under center this season.
“We saw him play last season as a freshman and even last year, he looked pretty good,” Schumer said. “We figured he would make quite a jump with that experience he gained. He’s athletic and can make plays with his legs, if he needs to. Obviously he can push the ball down the field and let his receivers make plays.”
Other than Fallert, the Warriors are well-balanced in their other skill positions as wide receiver Aiden Heberlie led the Warriors with four catches for 122 yards, and one score against Ste. Genevieve. Running back Cory Stoll rushed for 47 yards on 12 carries and a couple of touchdowns, while also scoring one on a swing pass from Fallert.
“Those are probably their top two guys, but it’s Valle so you know they have athletes all over the field,” Schumer said. “It’s not just one guy every week. We have to go into the game and have a short memory after a big play. We can’t let those haunt us and carry into the next play or next drive and let it snowball into something bigger.”
If there is a silver-lining for the Indians, it is that early in past games the St, Vincent defense has been able to slow the Warriors down. Last season, the game was scoreless after the first quarter and included an interception by Jesse Robinson in the endzone to stop a promising Warrior drive.
"Valle likes to start fast and the last couple of years we’ve done a good job of slowing that down,” Schumer said. “We’ve done a great job on the defensive side, but we have to make sure that when we do get a stop or turnover, we turn that into points.”


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