WEATHERFORD – A group of Muenster’s junior varsity players got to put the finishing touches on a dominant playoff win Thursday night.
The Muenster Hornets defeated Cross Plains 55-7 in the bi-district round at Weatherford’s Kangaroo Stadium despite a sloppy first half from both teams.
Muenster (11-0) cruised to victory behind a two-quarterback rotation.
Cross Plains (5-5) failed to score offensively against a stingy Hornet defense.
Muenster coach Brady Carney said junior quarterback Devon Bindel did well in his first start in almost two months.
“He hit Grant (Hess) on a deep ball or two, and then Eli (Saucer) on one,” Carney said. “He runs the ball really well. I thought he looked good running the football, and he gives us another dimension back there.”
Bindel last started at quarterback Sept. 17 against Lubbock Trinity. An injury led to sophomore Seth Stoffels taking over for the rest of the regular season. Bindel played a couple of series in the second half of last week’s regular season finale but finally made his first start in the opening round of the playoffs. Stoffels still got plenty of playing time as the Hornets rotated him in periodically.
Bindel said it was weird playing some drives but not others, but it was great to be behind center once again.
“I think I played alright,” Bindel said. “I think I ran pretty well. I could have done better throwing.”
Muenster scored on its first two drives. Cross Plains scored its only points with 25 seconds left in the first quarter on a pick six by senior Cason Allen.
The score remained 14-7 until four minutes before halftime when Muenster senior Eli Saucer scored on a one-yard run. Junior Colton Deckard made it 28-7 13 seconds before the break.
The first half was anything but smooth. Both teams threw an interception and lost a fumble, and flags rained down throughout for a variety of penalties. Carney said in Muenster’s case, the sloppy first half may have resulted from the Hornets overlooking the Buffaloes in practice.
“I kind of felt that way all week in practice,” Carney said. “Most coaches will tell you, usually a bad week of practice, usually you don’t come out and play real well. I kind of thought that was the way we looked all week.”
In a much cleaner second half, Muenster scored on every drive but one. Leading 48-7, the Hornets substituted several JV players for the final minutes. Their first drive was the only second-half drive not to result in points, but their second ended with a touchdown by freshman Ethan Hinton with 1:01 to play.
Cross Plains junior Ryan Hopkins seemed to return the resulting kickoff for an 81-yard touchdown, but a penalty put the Buffaloes on the Muenster 20, instead. The JV defense stood firm, making a tackle at the 8-yard line on the final play of the game.
Carney said he was proud of how the young Hornets performed.
“Had a couple of freshmen cornerbacks and safeties make plays,” Carney said. “Dawson Voth made a really good play. I was really proud of those little guys when they came in and how hard they played.”
Muenster will face Seymour in the area round.