August 20th, 2016

Colts smoke Fairdale in stadium opener

Block_0 conor revell

Conor Revell

Staff Writer


Colts smoke Fairdale in stadium opener
Brayden Recktenwald makes a throw / photo by Mark Sims

The very first opening kickoff at DeSales' Paul B. Cox Stadium wasn’t your normal everyday start to a game.  

The Colts’ Austin Tharp pooched a 35-yard kick and the Fairdale return team didn’t react quickly to it. But, DeSales’ Mitch Sirohman did, pouncing on it at the Fairdale 30-yard line.

DeSales fed off the momentum and cruised to a 30-0 victory over the visiting Bulldogs in front of 4,200 fans in their first ever campus home game in the 58-year history of the football program.

“We didn’t have a very good practice Tuesday and one of the things I was concerned with was their mentality with all of the things going on and the anticipation of tonight,” DeSales head coach Harold Davis said. “We talked about that (mentality) tonight and we had talked about it Wednesday. I think I learned tonight that they can be sharp and focus on what they need to be. This was a big deal and they all knew it, but they focused and played very well.”

But, it didn’t go without any drama. Parking was limited, there was a 25-minute injury delay in the third quarter, and the lights went off in the fourth quarter.

Following the pooch, Sirohman scored the first ever touchdown at the stadium catching a 5-yard pass from quarterback Brayden Recktenwald putting DeSales up 7-0 with 9:34 left in the first quarter.

“I was really excited,” Recktenwald said of the pooch kick. “I had to calm myself down when I went out to the huddle and had to settle the other guys down too. We just went from there and had a good drive.”

The Colts ended up scoring on their first four possessions.

Noah Herbert booted a 26-yard field goal to give the Colts a 10-0 lead, then Hunter Bewley's 5-yard touchdown down run made it 16-0 and Sirohman's 1-yard touchdown run gave the Colts a 23-0 lead with 6:23 left in the second quarter.

Senior transfer James Tobin returned a punt 34 yards setting up Sirohman's 3-yard TD run with 6:45 left to wrap up the scoring.

Defensively, the Colts only allowed 37 yards; 75 through the air, and -38 (including the negative sack yardage) on the ground.

Fairdale quarterback Korey Morgan completed 4 of 14 passes for 75 yards and threw two interceptions. Justus Montgomery caught three of those passes for 73 yards.

Joe Sims and Chad Welsh recorded the interceptions for DeSales but it was Alec Brothers leading the way for the defense.

“He knows what everybody is doing,” Welsh said of Brothers. “He gives us a sense of leadership and he helps out the new guys who might get confused at times. He helps me out sometimes. I love having him out there with me and I’ve played with him since grade school (Notre Dame Academy).”

Offensively, the Colts were solid and consistent on the ground racking up 237 yards. Sirohman carried the ball 17 times for 64 yards and three touchdowns and Tharp rushed 11 times for 55 yards.

“I’m just going to have to step up,” Sirohman said. “I liked how we blocked today. They were blocking well on the outside and we just have to keep that up.”

However, Tharp left the game with an injury, leaving him sidelined with fellow senior running back Gilly Simpson who was injured in camp.

“He (Tharp) and Sirohman have taken on the leadership role but Austin injured his knee,” Davis said. “Those were the three that returned from last year and they were the ones we were counting on. But, we’ve got some younger kids that are stepping up as well.”

And then there’s Recktenwald.

Before transferring to DeSales from Bullitt East last year, Recktenwald had been a baseball player and stopped playing football.

“I thought Brayden played very well,” Davis said. “His poise was great considering it was his first start. He hadn’t played football since the eighth grade. We got him a lot of reps at the JV level last year. He did exactly what I thought he would do. He was very calm and ran the offense the way we need him too.”

Recktenwald completed 8 of 18 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown as he replaces two-year starter Austin Johnson who is now a punter at the University of Louisville.

“I have known Coach Davis for a while and he knew I had played football,” Recktenwald said. “Their quarterback situation had been kind of tough last year because Alec (Brothers) was the starting safety and they didn’t want him being the backup quarterback last year and starting quarterback this year. He told me to come out and just work at it and try to become the starter this year.”

Jordan Brock led the DeSales receiving corps with three catches for 73 yards.

It was a fantastic way for the Colts to open up their new gem of a stadium. With the big day finally behind them the Colts can focus on their next opponent Butler and move forward with their season.  

 

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