The battle between Hornets on Friday night turned out to be high scoring, but one-sided.
Muenster traveled to Era and opened district play with a dominant 77-20 victory at Era’s Hornet Stadium.
Muenster (7-0 overall, 1-0 District 7-2A-2) was unstoppable in the first half it raced out to a 60-20 halftime lead.
Era (1-6, 0-1) scored on a trio of deep passes, but those weren’t nearly enough to keep up.
No Muenster player had more than eight rushes or two receptions as the Hornets spread the ball around to numerous players. Muenster coach Brady Carney said the team’s depth is a big advantage.
“We’ve got a lot of one-way players in some key positions,” Carney said. “I think depth is something that really contributes to our success. We’re able to keep kids fresh and play them on one side of the ball. When our two-way players do need a break, we’ve got some really good guys that can come in.”
Muenster sophomore Seth Stoffels completed nine of 10 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Brody Tyler, junior Bradley Lutkenhaus and senior Grant Hess each caught touchdown passes. Tyler’s 51 receiving yards led the team.
Junior running back Colton Deckard led the Muenster rushing attack with 152 yards and four touchdowns on just four carries. Stoffels and senior Eli Saucer each added a rushing score.
Carney said Deckard is playing at a high level.
“I thought his linebacker play last night was just as good as his full back play,” Carney said. “He was really good in the passing game. Anything under 10 yards, I think he had three pass deflections as a mike linebacker… I think Colton’s playing on a really high level on both sides of the football, not just as a running back.”
Era junior Jarren Twiner threw for 211 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Senior receiver Kyle Greer caught two passes for 151 yards, both touchdowns of over 70 yards. Sophomore receiver Weston Griffin caught the third touchdown pass, a 60-yard bomb.
Carney said Muenster’s defense did well, but there is room for improvement.
“Against the run, it was really good,” Carney said. “I thought it was just a lack of making some plays on some deep balls from our secondary guys, which we’ve had an issue with throughout the year. It’s one of our weaknesses that we’re trying to fix.”
Muenster raced out to a 20-0 lead behind two long runs by Deckard and a 23-yard pass from Stoffels to Hess. Era got on the board with 2:56 to play in the first with a 73-yard strike from Twiner to Greer. Saucer extended the Muenster lead to 27-6 with a six-yard run on the final play of the quarter.
Muenster outscored Era 33-14 in the second. Neither team scored an offensive touchdown in the second half, but Muenster added a kickoff return and pick six to go with a field goal.
Carney said this was a big step toward achieving Muenster’s goals.
“Our goal is to go undefeated in district and be district champions,” Carney said. “It’s hard to do that if you start off with a loss, so to get that first win in district… I think it’s a huge, huge momentum boost just to get that first win and carry it over into the second game of district.”