Matthew Benedict passed for a touchdown and rushed for another, but that’s all the Sidney offense could put on the scoreboard in a 45-14 loss at St. Albert, Friday, Oct. 16 in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
The loss ends Sidney’s first 11-man football season in nearly two decades with a 0-8 record.
Sidney head coach Donnie Sears said nobody ever wants to finish winless, but there were positives this year to take for the program going forward.
“As a coach we’re disappointed,” said Sears, “but we’re not discouraged. There were enough positives within the game and behind the scenes to build on. There was good effort and attitude from a ton of key contributors that will return next season.”
Playing just seven days after the Falcons beat the Cowboys 57-20, St. Albert started fast leading 21-0 after the first quarter and 38-0 at halftime.
Sidney scored twice in the second half, both times trimming the deficit under 35 to stop the continuous clock. Benedict scored on a three yard touchdown run in the third quarter to cut the Falcon lead to 38-6 and then Benedict found Cole Stenzel for a three yard score in the fourth quarter. The two point conversion made for the final margin.
Benedict threw for 211 yards and a touchdown. Garett Phillips finished with 90 receiving yards on three catches. Tyler Hensley added 65 yards on four catches and Stenzel caught three balls for 54 yards.
Hensley was held to 14 yards rushing.
The Cowboys lose a big senior class that Sears said laid the foundation for the program in 11-man football.
“The seniors should take a lot more from this season than their record,” Sears said. “A lot of them played beat up this year. I’m real appreciative of their effort and respect them.”
Sears said they had multiple starters out with injury in every game this season, and they learned a lot on what they’ll have to do to compete at this level.
“We will have to work harder than anyone,” said Sears. “The programs we played this season were bigger, faster and stronger than us. As coaches we have to look in the mirror, and evaluate how we coached.”
St. Albert improved to 5-2. The Falcons have now won five straight games going into a home game against Woodbury Central Friday in the second round.
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