De Smet began what the team hopes is the first postseason step toward a state football championship Friday with a 41-0 victory over visiting Pattonville in the opening round of the MSHSAA district playoffs.
The Spartans, with a roster of upperclassmen, was able to dominate the line of scrimmage for most of the night and also created turnovers with 5 interceptions of Pattonville passers, including a pick-six by Dedrick Cromartie that gave De Smet at 7-0 advantage five minutes into the game.
On offense, the Spartans took advantage of the Pirates' inexperience and turned third and fourth downs into first downs on penalties, but settled for a field goal on their second possession when Alec Bausch couldn't make good on a birthday present for his mother, Mary, on a pass play from 12 yards out.
"When the ball came to me I was really off-balance and I ended up tipping it 6 or seven times…I knew I had to get one back, I went back to the bench…I was like God, that one was for my mom and then on the next possession I get that touchdown pass and I was like, allright, redeem myself." After hauling in the Conner Harrison pass from 43 yards, Bausch let out a "Happy Birthday Mom" from the Spartan sidelines as De Smet extended the lead to 17-0 in the second which it would extend to 27-0 at the half.
The birthday theme continued in the second half, when Junior backup QB Scott Sinovich, celebrating his own birthday, threw a dart to Chris Kleges that went for a 43 yard score, Kleges's second on the night.
The Spartans now wait for the winner of Hazelwood West vs. Hazelwood Central Saturday. De Smet defeated Central 21-0 in week 2.
Pattonville finishes the year with just a single victory on the season, but Head Coach Steve Smith said afterward he was proud of his young team.
"They’re a very senior heavy team (De Smet). They got some very big guys, some guys that make you want to quit, and I tell you what, we didn’t. We kept fighting. We got a lot of young guys out here," he said, especially excited about what the future could hold for Jake Stroker, the Pirates' do-everything QB/WR who is headed for the basketball season come Monday with the start of winter practices.
De Smet's Bausch will also play a key role on a Spartan basketball squad that could be in for special things on the court. Players cannot participate in fall and winter sports at the same time, and while Bausch said he's shooting hoops after football practices, he's hoping he won't see the court until after a late November run to the Edward Jones Dome field.
- De Smet has now outscored opponents over the past 3 weeks by a score of 179-14.
- Friday's game began with a moment of silence in memory of De Smet class of 1973, who died Sunday. Goessling led the Spartans to their first state basketball crown, and later become well-known in St. Louis professional sports and sales circles. A Saturday morning funeral is planned at De Smet.