NEW ULM - St. Peter quarterback Tom Steidler ran for three touchdowns and passed for another to lead the Saints to a 46-12 win over the New Ulm Eagles Friday night in the South Central Conference football opener for both teams.
Steidler scored on runs of 2, 3 and 70 yards and also added an 85-yard run to his resume. He finished with 177 yards rushing on just seven carries.
He also tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass in the first half as St. Peter held a 33-6 lead at halftime.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Tyler Dittrich is brought down near the goal line by St. Peter defensive back Brendan Reese after Dittrich made a catch on fourth down during the first half of the Eagles’ loss Friday at Johnson Field in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Bryan Dewanz scored on a second-quarter run with Jackson Yackley getting into the end zone on a fourth quarter 6-yard scoring burst.
"Our kids gave the effort tonight," said New Ulm coach Tony Ortmann. "We made some mistakes on defense - we talked about that earlier in the week that if you do not take care of each player they make you pay. Their quarterback (Steidler) made us pay as did their fullback."
Steidler made the New Ulm defense pay on the Saints' first offensive play when he faked to fullback Derek Meyer, pulled the ball away from Meyer and raced 85 yards before Blake Piotter hauled him down on the Eagles' 6. Three plays later, Steidler bullied his way into the end zone.
And while New Ulm had trouble containing Steidler, the Eagles also had problems with turnovers - three coming in the first half -and all of them resulting in St.Peter touchdowns.
Steidler recovered a New Ulm fumble near midfield. From there, it took three plays before fullback Keegan McCabe broke loose untouched up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown an a 12-0 lead at the 3:42 mark.
New Ulm did bounce back for its first-half touchdown when it pieced together a nine-play, 51-yard scoring drive. A 27-yard pass from quarterback Nate Glaubitz to Tyler Dittrich moved the ball to the Saints' 2-yard line. On the next play, Dewanz ran into the end zone to cut the lead to 12-6 with 7:57 left in the first half.
But any momentum that the Eagles got was lost on two turnovers that led to two St. Peter touchdowns in a span of 21 seconds.
St. Peter recovered an Eagles' fumble on the New Ulm 35 and needed three plays after the possession exchange to score on a 6-yard pass from Steidler to Ryan Hoehn.
Up 20-6, St.Peter made it 26-6 on the Eagles' first play when Steidler picked up an Eagles' fumble and bolted 27 yards for a touchdown. A close 12-6 game turned into a 20-point St. Peter lead.
"We have to learn to take care of the football," said Ortmann. "That is a continuing battle for us. We have to keep on these guys to protect the football."
Steidler capped his first half with a 3-yard run with 19 seconds left for a 33-6 lead. Later, he raced 70 yards on the second play of the second half for a 40-6 lead just 11 seconds into the third quarter.
Nick Glidden closed out the scoring for St.Peter late in the third quarter on a 22-yard run before Yackley ran in from nine yards out with 10:37 left in the game.
"This is still a work in progress," Ortmann said. "We are bringing in a lot of young guys and I think that every single game they will get better. That is one thing that we can look forward to."
New Ulm will also have to look forward to next week's game at Robbinsdale Cooper at 7 p.m.