MABTON — DeSales fixed its first-quarter woes here Friday night in non-conference football action.
Blanchette Catholic put 28 unanswered on the Irish in a 42-28 defeat of DeSales last week, but Friday night DeSales came out of the chute on fire and put 23 unanswered points on Mabton.
The Irish went on to hand Mabton a 37-6 loss.
“We’re a very young team,” Irish coach Mike Spiess said. “We try to pick two or three things where we need to get better each week. We had three focus points: get off to a good start, create some turnovers, and tackle better.
“Our enthusiasm and intensity were very good and we got off to a quick start,” Spiess continued. “Our defense played well throughout the game. We got an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter. They did the things we asked them to do to start the game.”
Connor Richard connected with Darryl Galloway on a 48-yard scoring pass to get the Irish off and running. Luis Contreras added the first of his five consecutive PAT’s and the Irish had the lead for good at 7-0.
Mabton, which only connected on 1-of-8 pass attempts for eight yards against the Irish defense on the night, went to the air from deep in its own territory and Galloway picked it off and went 35 yards for a 14-0 Irish lead.
The DeSales defense scored a safety before Richard capped the first period with a two-yard plunge for a 23-0 DeSales’ lead after one.
“Our guys thought they did what the coaches wanted in the first quarter, and there was quite a letdown in the middle part of the game,” Spiess said of a scoreless Irish second period. “Our execution went south, but to Mabton’s credit they were very scrappy on defense. We didn’t take care of the ball very well (seven fumbles and five lost for the game). In the third quarter, we got it back and everything was fine.”
It was one of those lost fumbles that bit the Irish in the second period. Mabton returned a DeSales fumble for its lone score of the game and DeSales took a 23-6 lead to intermission.
Galloway got DeSales back on track in the third quarter. Galloway’s 62-yard punt return and Contreras’ extra point ran the Irish lead to 30-6. John Crowley, who led Irish rushers with 50 yards on five carries, culminated the Irish scoring with a four-yard run that sent DeSales to the fourth up 37-6.
DeSales cruised home to improve to 2-1 on the season.
“The cup was half full,” Spiess said. “It was encouraging to see them do what we wanted them to do at the start of the game. Our special teams and defense were solid all game long. Offensively, it was some really nice things and some really not-so-nice things. We have to clean that (the not so nice) up.”
Kaleo Healy ran for 40 yards and Connor Richard threw for 235 yards and one TD.
“Connor did some good things at quarterback for just his third game as the starter,” Spiess said. “He’s learning how to manage the game from his quarterback spot. Overall, we’re very pleased.”
Galloway finished with three catches for 94 yards including the 48-yard TD reception, and added the pick-six.
“Darryl had a standout game,” Spiess said. “He was a big part of what we did.”
DeSales hosts Dayton Friday in its Southeast 2B league opener.
“The preseason is over,” Spiess said. “We will continue to learn lessons all season, but the consequences for not executing well increase.”
DeSales 37, Mabton 6
DeSales 23 0 14 0 — 37
Mabton 0 6 0 0 — 6
DeS — Galloway 48 pass from Richard (Contreras kick).
DeS — Galloway 35 int return (Contreras kick).
DeS — Safety.
DeS — Richard 2 run (Contreras kick).
Mab — Fumble ret (kick failed).
DeS — Galloway 62 punt return (Contreras kick).
DeS — Crowley 4 run (Contreras kick).
First downs 9 5
Rushes/yards 17-120 42-130
Passing yards 241 8
Passes (att-comp-int) 24-14-1 12-1-1
Fumbles-lost 7-5 2-1
Penalties-yards 2-20 5-35
RUSHING — DeS: Healy 7-40, Crowley 5-50-1, Richard 4-13-1, Leahy 1-12; Mab: Zevale 19-95, Sanchez 9-48, Ochoa 5-8, Pina 9-(-21).
PASSING — DeS: Richard 12-20-1 235 yards 1 TD, Leahy 2-4 6 yards; Mab: Pina 1-12-1 8 yards.
RECEIVING — DeS: Galloway 3-94-1, Kent 4-50, Eskil 2-50, Scheel 4-42, Koopman 1-5; Mab: Zevale 1-8.