St. Charles at DeSales: Stallions, Cardinals ready for CCL matchup

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
St. Charles quarterback Carter Bryant throws a deep pass against Hartley on Sept. 18.

The two head coaches don’t believe there will be many surprises when St. Charles plays Friday, Sept. 25, at DeSales in a CCL matchup.

St. Charles coach Deke Hocker expects his team to be tested by a high-powered running game and to battle a hard-nosed defense. 

Stallions coach Ryan Wiggins said that even though the Cardinals are young, their roster is filled with players he remembers from the younger ranks of Catholic diocese football.

“Coach Hocker is starting over in some respect, but I recognize the names from lower levels and they’ll be good,” said Wiggins, whose team is 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the CCL. “They’ve only played one game, but we know what to expect from them.”

That one game for the Cardinals was a 49-10 league loss to Hartley on Sept. 18. Their first three games were postponed because of a delay in practices prompted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Running back Fred Nimely had 53 yards rushing and one touchdown on 12 carries to lead St Charles.

“It was nice to get a first game under our belts,” Hocker said. “We had a lot of new guys out there. We only had four guys out there with any significant experience on Friday nights. Those were (quarterback/linebacker) Carter Bryant, (running back/linebacker) Alex Herzberg, (two-way lineman) Ryan Carretta and (defensive back) John Protz.”

Bryant made his first start at quarterback, and Wiggins was impressed.

“We’ve had only one sampling, but they’re really big up front and Deke likes the power run game,” Wiggins said. “They have some good skills and the quarterback (Bryant) is good and is a good little runner.

“Offensively Deke has his philosophy for what he wants to run, and the kids get better at it as the season goes on. He doesn’t get cute and the kids get good on the basics of it.”

Herzberg and defensive back Doogie James both had fumble recoveries against the Hawks.

“They’re sound and aggressive on defense,” Wiggins said. “Having played them for the past couple of years (under Hocker), they’re smart, fundamental and play within themselves.”

DeSales lost its CCL rematch to Watterson 35-34 in two overtimes Sept. 18. The Stallions won the first meeting 28-22, also in overtime, Aug. 28 in the season opener.

Quarterback Whit Hobgood was 6-for-9 passing for 157 yards and one touchdown, and he rushed for 43 yards and two scores on nine carries. Running back Quintell Quinn led the Stallions in rushing with 90 yards on 21 carries, and Jonathan Thompson added 79 yards and one touchdown on seven carries. 

Wide receiver Jordan Johnson had four receptions for 131 yards and one score as the Stallions had 381 total yards to 239 for the Eagles.

“They try to run the ball a lot and they have a couple of good running backs,” Hocker said. “Obviously, Quintell Quinn is good, and they like to run the quarterback (Hobgood). They have a good receiver (Johnson).

“They have good speed on defense, especially at linebacker with Quinn and (Jason) Velazquez (II). They get to the ball.”

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WEEK 5

ST. CHARLES at DeSALES

•When: 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25

•Last meeting: 2019, DeSales 26-14

•St. Charles (0-1 overall, 0-1 in CCL) to date: Lost to Hartley 49-10

•DeSales (3-1 overall, 2–1 in CCL) to date: Defeated Watterson 28-22 (OT); def. Mansfield Senior 35-12; def. Hartley 24-21; lost to Watterson 35-34 (2OT)

•Top Cardinals: Carter Bryant (QB/LB), Ryan Carretta (OL/DL), George Cottrill (OL/DL), J.D. Epler (OL/DL), Alex Herzberg (RB/LB), Doogie James (WR/DB), Solomon Lisath (DL), Fred Nimely (RB/LB), John Protz (WR/DB) and Isaiah Yarngo (WR/DB)

•Top Stallions: Nathan Barber (WR/DB), Billy Cain IV (OL/DL), Jordan Johnson (WR/DB), Jackson Hartman (OL/DL), Whit Hobgood (QB), Quintell Quinn (RB/LB), Rechee Smith (RB/DB), Matthew Stewart (TE/DL), Jonathan Thompson (RB/LB) and Jason Velazquez II (WR/LB)