The St. Paul’s Wolves defense forced 10 punts and had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, to throttle visiting Karr 34-7 in the season opener Friday night.
“Hats off to my defense, they played a great game” Wolves coach Ken Sears said. “We were playing fast and really running to the ball. To contain an explosive team like Karr speaks volumes of where we are. But we sputtered in the second half and still have a lot of work to do”.
Karr was held to 248 total yards with 132 of those on the ground. Cougars quarterbacks combined to complete just 14 of 36 passes for 116 yards.
“It was very uncharacteristic of us to drop balls and have so many misreads like we did in the first half,” Karr rookie coach Brice Brown said. “We have to get our brains together and come out stronger and execute. This wasn’t out best week of practice, and I always say, if you practice poor, then you play poor.”
Kenny Sears, son of the Wolves coach, completed 20 of 33 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Mason Hebert caught eight of those passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.
The Wolves took a 7-0 lead with 6:18 left in the first quarter when Hebert caught a 7-yard scoring pass and increased the lead to 14-0 on a Corey Williamson 1-yard touchdown plunge. The drive was set up when Joe Chuter recovered a Romoad Jefferson fumble on a muffed punt at the Cougars’ 16 yard line.
Following another Karr punt, Grant Gallaspy scored on a 70-yard screen pass from Sears for a 21-0 lead with 3:38 to go in the first half.
The Wolves defense dominated in the first half, holding the high-powered Cougars to 104 total yards and forcing seven punts. Karr ran 39 plays in the first half and gained just 2.7 yards per play. St. Paul’s had four sacks of quarterback Aldon Clark and had an interception.
“Our defense played so well especially against an explosive team like Karr,” Kenny Sears said. “They helped us with field position and turnovers. The offensive line and special teams all played great.”
St. Paul’s, meanwhile, piled up 246 yards in the first half, including 155 through the air. Sears completed 12 of 19 first half passes.
The Wolves took the second half kickoff and raced 65 yards in 11 plays where Dominic Davenport caught a 10-yard TD pass for a 27-0 lead with 8:31 left in the third quarter.
Sears was intercepted on a tipped ball on the next Wolves’ possession, and Karr converted the short field into their only score as Clark connected with Ken Simmons on a 22-yard touchdown pass to get within 27-7.
Brycen Brown’s 55-yard interception return for a touchdown closed the scoring.