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Silver lining appears for Cavaliers

St. Thomas More piles up 35 points in loss to Whitnall

Sept. 20, 2007

It was not the ultimate block on which to build - a victory - but the Thomas More football team had some positives to take from its 42-35 Woodland Conference loss at Whitnall on Sept. 14.

The Cavaliers (0-4 overall, 0-3 Woodland South) were in a 42-15 hole in the third quarter, then put up a fight. They scored on an 18- yard run by senior running back Ben Riedel, junior quarterback Lucas Swider's 10-yard pass to to senior tight end Alex Beaudry, and junior running back Ryan Borkowski's 2-yard run to close to 42-35.

"The clock was kind of our enemy in the second half, but we actually had 2 1/2 minutes left when we got the ball back, down by seven," St. Thomas More coach Chris Clarey said.

Unfortunately, Swider was sacked, and the Cavaliers gave up the ball on downs.

"We did as much as we could to come back," Clarey said. "I was proud of the kids for coming back all the way. They almost did it. They almost pulled it off.

"That's going to give us, I hope, some confidence to continue forward, which is what we've been talking about the last couple of weeks."

A big turning point came in the second quarter, after a 4-yard touchdown run by junior running back Leo Flores and a two-point conversion run by Borkowski brought the Cavaliers within 28-15. Tyler Swessel returned the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown for Whitnall (2-2, 2-1 Woodland South).

"That one was a shocker," Clarey said. "We had gotten some momentum. Sometimes you get some momentum and you can just kind of feel that surge coming a little bit. That took the wind out of our sails quite a bit. We had done a lot of good things just in the last few minutes.

"It wasn't a 95-yard catch it and run; it was an over-the-head, pick-it-up-and-turn-around-and-run. That one is even more crushing when it happens that way, because at least you can swallow a kid catching the ball and coming on a dead run."

Swessel caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Bennett Kaye in the third quarter to put St. Thomas More in that 27-point crater.

Swider completed 17 of 28 passes for 215 yards. Riedel scored on runs of 8 and 18 yards.

Next Kickoff

WHO: St. Thomas More (0-4) vs. Greenfield (1-3)

WHAT: Woodland Conference football game

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21

WHERE: Greenfield High School, 4800 S. 60th St., Greenfield

PREVIEW: Greenfield dominated time of possession during first half of 55-7 loss to Cudahy, but trailed at the break, 20-7 ... Hustlin' Hawks ran 40 plays compared with 18 for Cudahy ... Hawks gave up five touchdowns on plays covering 28 or more yards ... Cudahy scored on interception return and punt return.

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