November 26, 2011
Valle wins 11th state title
STE. GENEVIEVE -- The Valle Catholic football team defeated South Shelby 49-7 in the 2011 class 1 state championship Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. It was Valle's 11th state football title.
The Warriors had been tied with Jeff City for the most championships (10) but with No. 11 in 2011 Valle now leads all schools.
Valle (14-1) was in the state championship game for the third time in the last three years and returning to defend their crown from 2010. The Warriors dominated the Cardinals (10-5) building a 35-0 lead at the half and as in so many of their games this season a continuous second half clock.
"It just felt great," head coach Judd Naeger told reporters after the game. Naeger said Valle has a strong football tradition and many of his players have had uncles, dads and grandpas who had won titles.
"A lot of these kids have been at Valle since they were five and have dreamed of this. The kids played great. They showed they deserved to be here," he said.
The Warrior defense held the Cardinals to a minus 9 yards on their first series which was a 3 and out. The Warrior offense then scored on their first offensive play but the 43 yard TD by
Alec Gremminger was called back on a motion penalty. The penalty did not slow down Valle's offense.
Quarterback Michael Wehner, who accounted for 6 Valle TDs, found Gremminger for 27-yards to the one then capped off the 7 play 43-yard drive with a one-yard TD plunge. Kevin Abts added the first of his seven extra point kicks and it was 7-0 at the 8:11 mark in the first and the dominating performance was underway.
Valle's defense held South Shelby to a minus 8 yards on the Cardinals second series. Abt's missed on a 29-yard field goal but the Warriors would add another score before the end of the first. Wehner found Jared Bruns for 27 yards and then finished off the 2-play drive with a 7 yard TD run and it was 14-0 with 1:03 on the clock.
Wehner led the Warriors to three more scores in the second. His 68-yard TD throw to Trevor Klump made it 21-0 with 4:53 before the half.
After a 37-yard pass to Bruns he connected with a wide open Cory Kertz on a 38-yard TD strike and it was 28-0 with 1:31 to play.
The Warrior defense gave Wehner another shot at the endzone with time running out in the half.
After a high snap on a punt attempt, Tyler Fallert tackled Cardinal punter, Weston Meddford, for an 18-yard loss at the nine. Wehner's 9-yard TD toss to Bruns with 10-seconds left and Abts 5th extra point kick gave Valle a 35-0 lead at the half.
Valle held the Cardinals to only 10 yards rushing in the first half.
The Warriors opened the second half with a 3 play 63-yard drive and Wehner hit Kertz again for a 32-yard score. It was 42-0 with 9:36 to play in the third and Valle began pulling many of their seniors and starters.
Valle's final TD came with 5:54 left in the fourth when Fallert on his only carry of the season ran in from 25 yards out.
South Shelby avoided the shutout when Austin Hall scored on a 27-yard run with 3:21 left in the game.
Cardinal Coach Robbie Wilt said after the game he knew Valle was fast, strong and athletic.
"We knew it would take a really good football team to beat them. They were even better than we expected," he said.
Wehner was 8 of 12 for 259 and threw for four TD's one shy of the championship record set by coach Naeger when he played for the Warriors in 1995. Wehner also ran for 30 yards and two more scores. The senior set a new school record with his 63'rd TD pass of the season. He was named the Nationwide is on your side player of the game by KBDZ sports. The award is sponsored by McClure and Associates in Ste. Genevieve.
Rich McClure and Michelle Hoog present the 'Nationwide Is On Your Side' player of the game award to senior QB Michael Wehner. The award is sponsored by Rich McClure and Associates.
Kertz ran for 50-yards on six carries and he caught two passes for 70 yards and a pair of TD's.
Bruns led Warrior recievers with four catches for 96 yards and one score.
Shawn Bertrand led South Shelby with 59 yards on 15 carries and Hall had 7 carries for 43.
Eric Meyer and Thomas Hermann each had 7 tackles for the Warriors. Kurt Bahr and Greminger both had interceptions.
The chant "11 in 2011" by Ste. Genevieve fans was heard loud and clear Saturday at the dome in St. Louis.