Football Flyers fall to De Smet 30-13 in district play

By ROBERT CHALUPNY

When the Lindbergh High School football squad took the field Friday night in its first district game of the season, the Flyers were not able to take off, falling to De Smet 30-13.

It was a tough loss for the Flyers, their third of the season. The game was tied 13-13 going in the fourth quarter, but the Flyers let it slip away.

Lindbergh head coach Tom Beauchamp was disappointed in the outcome of the game and cited execution as a downfall in the contest.

“It was 13 -13 going into the fourth quarter and we had a situation where we had an opportunity to get things done, but we didn’t do well on special teams and some other things,” he said. “We’ve got to score more points, No. 1. No. 2, we got to have them score less … They blocked two punts (and) one of them was run back for a touchdown. It had some rough edges.”

Fans had to wait until the second quarter to see a touchdown and it was De Smet that struck first with an 8-yard run by the Spartans’ Durron Neal at the 9:54 mark.

Lindbergh got on the board late in the second quarter with Grant Krueger’s 7-yard touchdown on a pass from Peter Simpson at 2:58.

But De Smet curbed that momentum just before halftime. With less than a minute left on the clock, De Smet’s Jamie Placht had a 22-yard blocked punt return that he brought in for six points. The Spartans tried for the extra point but missed it.

Lindbergh answered that one quickly as the defense came up big when Krueger brought in his second of the night on a 74-yard fumble recovery early in the third quarter with 9:14 left.

But it was all De Smet in the fourth as the Spartans added a 25-yard field goal by David Rudolph at 11:57 and a touchdown from Jack Barry at 6:06. Neal added his second touchdown with 1:51 left in the game.

The loss also bodes a much-tougher route to the playoffs for the Flyers as they almost need to win their final two games against Mehlville and SLUH to qualify for a sectional game and even that doesn’t even guarantee them a spot.

In district play, for the last three games of the season, teams face the other three teams that comprise their four-team district. So Lindbergh (5-3), Mehlville (4-4), SLUH (5-3) and De Smet ( 7-1) are in one district. After last weekend’s games, SLUH and De Smet are 1-0 while Lindbergh and Mehlville are 0-1.

That means that the two teams that have the best record in district play advance. If there is a tie, then they move on to tiebreakers to determine a winner.

Beauchamp told the Call his squad has to improve and execute if the Flyers are going make it out of district play.

“We’ve got to play well and SLUH and Mehlville are both capable of beating anybody on any given night … SLUH is pretty good most of the time and Mehlville’s got a lot of talent, too,” Beauchamp said. “They way I see it, we’ve got to play better, get better and be ready to play next week.”