The defending state champions St. Thomas More came into this game as the No. 5 seed & E.D White came in as the No. 1 seed, but many felt that the Cougars should be favored in this game. The Cougars, who are led by quarterback Walker Howard *LSU commit* have been averaging over 30 points per game this season.
The Cardinals had other plans defeating the defending state champs 31-21 in front of a packed crowd at their home stadium. The Cougars struck first when Walker Howard hit Charlie Payton on a screen play that went 31 yards for a touchdown going up 7-0 with 8:47 left in the second quarter.
The Cougars were on the verge of scoring again, but senior defensive back Ethan Lee picked off Howard in the red zone & returned it 24 yards to the Cardinals 31 yard line. This would set up a 22 yard field goal by Collin Naquin going into the half down 7-3.
The Cardinals drove down the field right out of the half & got a 1 yard touchdown from sophomore running back Jeffrey Diedrich to go up 10-7. But, Howard would come right back by throwing a 41 yard spiral to Hayze Moncla for a touchdown putting the Cougars back up 14-10.
The Cardinals would score 21 unanswered points after a 5 yard touchdown run from Jeffrey Diedrich, 6 yard keeper from quarterback Jake Sternfels, & a 44 yard interception return by Ethan Lee putting the game out of reach up 31-14 with 2:45 left in the game.
The Cougars would score again when Howard hit Charlie Payton on a 9 yard screen to make the final score 31-21.
The Cardinals will face No. 2 University Lab December 10 for the Division II state championship. "We're going to come out & continue to do what we've done all year," Cardinals head coach Kyle Lasseigne said. "We know they're a really good football team, but so are we & the only thing that matters is what the people in our locker room believe. We've been counted out all year so I hope everybody picks against us again for this one."
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