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St. Paul turns focus to Patrick Henry challenge

Mark Hazelwood • Nov 14, 2019 at 12:00 PM

NORWALK — There is a lot to know about Patrick Henry senior quarterback TJ Rhamy.

But perhaps the most telling: On top of rushing and throwing for more than 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns — the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Rhamy is also the Patriots’ defensive tackle.

A QB that size, who also plays at the center of the defensive line, tells quite a bit to St. Paul head coach John Livengood. The state-ranked Flyers (9-2) face the state-ranked Patriots (8-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday in a Division VII Region 26 semifinal at Harmon Field at Don Paul Stadium in Fremont.

“A very tough, physical runner, yet an explosive-type kid who is a tough matchup — and he’s that way on both sides of the ball,” Livengood said of Rhamy.

On offense, Rhamy has ran 200 times for 1,177 yards and 14 TDs in 11 games for the Patriots — ranked No. 10 in the final Associated Press state poll. He is 68-of-131 passing (52 percent) for 1,411 yards and 13 TDs with seven interceptions.

He is joined in the backfield by Wil Morrow (5-11, 200), who has 935 yards and 13 TDs on 149 attempts. At receiver is the 6-2, 180-pound senior Kolton Holloway, who has 36 catches for 925 yards and 9 TDs.

The Patriots average 31 points and 356 yards per game on offense.

“Rhamy has a really good compliment in Morrow in the backfield,” Livengood said. “They have two really great players in their backfield, and they are also their two best defensive players.

“Holloway is a big, quick kid out there to throw to,” he added. “They run shotgun, but they run a lot of two-back sets out of it — but it’s a mix. They spread you out to run, but also have the big-play threat with Holloway. He has a chance to score every time he touches the ball. They are very balanced offensively.”

Defensively, Rhamy has 71 tackles and five sacks. He also has a 36.0 average as the team’s punter. Morrow adds 60 tackles and three sacks, while Noah Kistner leads the defense with 78 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions.

Defensive end Garrett Schwiebert (6-6, 250), also a standout offensive lineman, adds 36 tackles and four sacks.

Patrick Henry allows 17.7 points and 233 yards per game.

“It starts with the same two players on defense,” Livengood said. “Rhamy is in the middle of the defense and is just a tough, physical kid. They’ll move him around a little bit, but he’s just a tough one-on-one matchup. Both he and Morrow are moving around and are tough to block.”

The AP No. 9-ranked Flyers entered the playoffs by losing two of their last three games — both at home — to Western Reserve (41-35 in overtime) and Monroeville (13-0) after a 7-0 start.

But in last week’s 35-21 win over Edon, St. Paul never trailed in a game that running back Cam Caizzo scored all five TDs on 276 yards rushing.

“You lose two of your last three, and it becomes a mindset — how is your mindset for the next game?” Livengood said. “That’s where I give a lot of credit to the seniors. They said some really good things. They led, and others followed.

“They came with a different mindset last week,” he added. “And you can control things and do so many more things if your state of mind is in the right place.”

As for Saturday’s game against the No. 3-seed Patriots, the No. 2-seed Flyers will certainly need to slow Rhamy and Morrow. The winner of Saturday’s game will face the No. 1 Liepsic (10-1)/No. 5 Edgerton (9-2) winner in the regional championship game.

“We’ve got to control those two,” Livengood said of Rhamy and Morrow. “We can’t be in a situation where they are on the field picking up first down after first down. And they have the capability of doing that. We have got to get stops early on them. They are going to have their plays and get their yards, but we cannot let it continue play after play.”

Caizzo paces the Flyers with 1,335 yards and 17 TDs on 199 attempts (6.7 average). St. Paul is averaging 35.3 points and 333 yards per game. Senior Justin Butler adds 736 yards and 13 TDs on 103 attempts, while junior Myron Stoll is 55-of-92 passing for 746 yards with 8 TDs and 2 INTs.

Defensively, St. Paul allows 9.7 points and 162.1 yards per game. Sophomore Will Stieber leads the way with 108 tackles, three sacks and four fumble recoveries at linebacker. Butler has 77 tackles, while senior safety Lars Livengood has 50 tackles, seven interceptions and six pass breakups.

On offense, Livengood said his team needs to finish off lengthy drives and limit turnovers. The Flyers turned it over twice and gave up a kick return for a touchdown — and another that set up a short field for a second Edon score.

“We have to try to end every drive with a score,” he said. “Punting isn’t necessarily a horrible thing, but we have to have the mindset of a touchdown or a field goal. It’s all those things.

“Playing smart, physical … but the most important key element is having the right mindset when you step foot in the locker room on Saturday.”

In a tale of the tape, both programs have state championships in the past 15 years, with Patrick Henry featuring 18 trips to the postseason with a 28-16 record. The Patriots won a state title in 2005.

The Flyers are 41-19 in 60 playoff games that spans 21 appearances, including a state title in 2009.

 

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St. Paul team stats

Yards for: 3,660 (332.7)

Points for: 388 (35.3)

Points allowed: 107 (9.7)

Yards allowed: 1,783 (162.1)

St. Paul leaders

Cam Caizzo: 199 att., 1,335 yards, 17 TDs

Justin Butler: 103 att., 736 yards, 13 TDs; 77 tackles

Myron Stoll: 55-of-92, 746 yards, 8 TDs

Will Stieber: 108 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries

Lars Livengood: 50 tackles, 7 INTs, 6 PBU; 18 catches, 198 yards, 5 TDs

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