The Saint Joseph Indians closed out their 2018 football season in a classic battle against the Mishawaka Cavemen on Friday night. For the second straight year, the Indians were playing for hardware on the first weekend in November. Two of the top teams in the State of Indiana squared off in this hard fought game at Steele Field.
Mishawaka took the opening kickoff and marched down the field in a long drive for a touchdown, but missed the extra point. St. Joe put together their own drive, but stalled out and was unable to convert on a long field goal. Then on Mishawaka’s possession, Casey Conery stripped the Mishawaka ball carrier, and Joey Gillis recovered the fumble.
In the second quarter, Ashton Ruszkowski threw a twelve yard touchdown pass to Austin Lee. Patrick Oliva kicked the extra point. On the next possession, Noah Hickey forced and recovered another fumble. That led to a Conor Ratigan touchdown on an eight yard pass from Ruszkowski. Mishawaka managed to punch in a touchdown and a two point conversion at the end of the half. The score was knotted at fourteen a piece going into halftime.
St. Joe received the opening kickoff. On the next play, Ruszkowski connected for 67 yards to John Driscoll. The extra point was blocked, and St. Joe was up by six. Then Mishawaka moved down the field to score a tying touchdown. Gavin Stefanek blocked the extra point, and the score was tied again. Patrick Oliva broke the tie with a 35 yard field goal. The Indians led 23-20. Then Conor Ratigan recovered a fumble caused by Casey Conery.
In the fourth quarter, St. Joe missed a field goal giving the ball back to Mishawaka. The Cavemen moved down the field and were able to score on a 3 yard run with a good extra point kick. The Indians got the ball back with under 3 minutes, but a turnover at midfield stopped the drive. The Cavemen were able to run down the clock.
We bid farewell to a wonderful group of young men in the Class of 2018. They are: #4 Noah Hickey, #5 Dan Stone, #6 Jeremy Klima, #7 Medrick Zounlome, #10 Patrick Oliva, #15 Ashton Ruszkowski, #18 John Paul Lewis, #21 Vincent Gutermuth, #23 Austin Lee, #24 Conor Ratigan, #30 Trevor Gichachi, #51 Casey Conery, #54 Joey Gillis, #55 Jaylen Knapp-Petty, #56 Mark Hiestand, #57 Matt Yarbrough, #66 Josh Crudup, #68 Irving Chanon, #74 Collin Christ. We also thank our senior trainers Annie Maher and Lauren Sanders for their invaluable assistance this year.
Many thanks to these good people for their contributions to the program. We will miss you. God bless, and roll Tribe!