SANTO – The Santo High School Wildcats fell to .500 in district play this season after a one-sided loss to district-leading and state-ranked No. 3 Muenster on Friday, 49-7.
The loss put the Wildcats at 2-2 in district and 5-4 overall this season. Muenster stayed unbeaten with the win moving to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in District 8-2A.
“Our kids competed and played well against a very talented Muenster team,” said Santo head coach Devon Mann. “[They’re] better than anyone else on our schedule, and I’m proud of our kids' fight and grit.”
The Wildcats kept the game close in the first half after falling behind on a pair of Muenster touchdowns.
Hornets junior Parker McGrew put together a long punt return of 68 yards while senior running back Clay Stevens found the end zone. Stevens carried the ball 12 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Trailing 14-0, Santo senior quarterback Noah Mason found pay dirt for the Cats’ only score on Friday. on Senior Night, Maston totaled 90 yards on the ground on 17 carries. He also finished 3 for 7 passing for 50 yards.
After an extra point by senior kicker Fabian Valenzuela, the score headed into halftime stood at 14-7.
The Hornets stayed red hot in the third quarter scoring four different times, three on plays of 50 yards or more including a McGrew 50-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide out Danny Luttmer. McGrew finished 9 of 12 passing for 141 yards and a touchdown while Luttmer totaled team highs of four catches and 84 yards receiving.
The Hornets also had a trio of rushing touchdowns in the third, with four different running backs finding the end zone on Friday and nine total backs getting at least one carry.
Along with Stevens, Muenster senior Stetson McGrew had a touchdown on two carries for 96 yards. Junior Logan Pagel rushed four times for 97 yards and a touchdown, and senior Carson Trubenbach had six yards on two carries and a touchdown.
For the Wildcats, the final score reflected Muenster’s overall dominance as the Hornets led in total offense 560 to 191.
The Cats ran 48 plays on Friday night, averaging four yards per. What little success they did have came in the running game where the team totaled 130 yards against just 48 passing.
Other than Maston, senior Reagan Holland had the bulk of the carries with 10 for 22 yards. Senior Destin Montelongo carried the ball seven times for 19 yards, and sophomore Jett Bryan carried the ball twice for four yards.
Elsewhere, Wildcats Grant Nemeth and Grant Carter had two and one carries respectively.
Defensively, the Wildcats kept fighting throughout and were able to shut the Hornets out in the fourth quarter. They also did their best to limit points for a Hornets team that averaged 58 a game coming into Friday’s matchup.
Leading the team in tackles was the sophomore Nemeth with 6.5, six of them solo. Montelongo finished with five tackles, as did sophomore Austin O’Hair.
Along with Bryan, junior Bennett Motley ended up with four tackles on the night while the senior Carter had 3.5 and junior Juan Reyna finished with two.
Elsewhere, Maston, Holland, Brayden Benson, Kevin Barron and Jose Yanez each totaled one tackle.
“Our kids came out swinging and never stopped,” Mann said. “I love the heart and fight in this team. Proud to be a Wildcat.”
Santo senior Stone Tassione had four kickoff returns for 44 total yards.
Senior kicker Valenzuela totaled five punts for 170 yards, a 34-yard per-punt average.
*The Santo High School Wildcats can secure a third place result in district play with a win over the Ranger Bulldogs on Friday, Nov. 10 in Ranger.