Aquinas earns tough win over BVNW
By Ben Gartland/PrepsKC Student Intern
In another nail biter, the St. Thomas Aquinas stepped up big again with an impressive 26-21 over Blue Valley Southwest..
In the first ever meeting between the two EKL teams, the Saints got off to a quick start scoring a 35 yard touchdown on their first offensive play of the game. Junior Danten Cosentino connected with fellow junior Ryan McNellis to put the Saints up 7-0. Less than four minutes later, senior running back Nick Williams scampered for a 14 yard touchdown to put the Saints up by two touchdowns with 5:36 to go in the first quarter.
The Timberwolves rallied back, however, as Aaron Ramsey connected with Sam Randall for a 53 yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter to cut Aquinas' lead in half. Later in the quarter, Ramsey connected with Randall again for a 32 yard touchdown grab to tie the game at 14.
The Saints struck right back one and a half minutes later, as they drove down the field and capitalized with a seven yard touchdown pass to Devin Vickers. The extra point was missed, but the Saints still lead going into the half 20-14.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Timberwolves took their first lead of the night early in the fourth, as Ramsey forced his way through the Saints' defensive line for a three yard score. The extra point gave Southwest a 21-20 lead with 11:17 to play.
Aquinas was able to drive into Timberwolves' territory on the ensuing possession, but Derrick Rodgers' 47 yard field goal fell short and Southwest took over with 7::21 to play. The Saints' defense proved clutch when three plays later Aquinas senior Hunter Swanson picked off Ramsey to give the Saints the ball at the Timberwolves' 38 yard line with 5:38 to play.
Four plays later, Cosentino connected with McNellis again, this time on a 27 yard completion, for the go-ahead touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, but the Saints lead 26-21 with just over four minutes to play. That would prove the be the final score as the Saints' defense held strong in the final four minutes, capped by a Nick Williams interception with one minute to play.
Aquinas head coach Mike Thomas was pleased with the win, but saw some need for improvement.
"I love to win but I hate to win like this," Thomas said, referring to the nail-biting conclusion. "We need to put the game away earlier."
Thomas noted that the Saints had improved their patience on the ball, as their number of procedure penalties was much lower than their procedure penalties in week one.
Blue Valley Southwest coach Bill Lowe praised his team for their attitude, but saw that some improvements needed to be made.
"They're great kids and they will play to the end," Lowe said. "But we can't dig ourselves into a hole like that."
The Saints improved to 2-0 on the year, and will travel to Salina-Central next week for the Saints' first road game of the season. Blue Valley Southwest fell to 1-1, and will hit the road as well to take on Gardner-Edgerton in an EKL matchup next week.
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