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Seton Catholic races past Stevenson, 59-0

Cougars (4-0) off to best start in program history

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 22, 2023, 11:14pm
13 Photos
Seton Catholic junior Jacob Williams sprints down the field Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, during the Cougars’ 59-0 win against Stevenson at Seton Catholic High School.
Seton Catholic junior Jacob Williams sprints down the field Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, during the Cougars’ 59-0 win against Stevenson at Seton Catholic High School. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Boy, have the Seton Catholic Cougars grown up in a hurry. 

With a football team of just two seniors and several ninth graders and sophomores making big impacts on both sides of the ball, the Cougars are off to their best start in program history. 

A 59-0 victory Friday night over Stevenson is the first time Seton (4-0) has begun a season undefeated through the first four weeks. The victory marked the lopsided victory in program history. 

This game, quarterback Kolten Gesser said, had a complete-game feel the Cougars have been waiting to see. 

“(Previously), it’s been either all offense or all defense,” he said of their previous three wins, “but this game, we went on both sides of the ball.”

Just about everything went right Friday for Seton in a battle of two undefeated teams entering the day. But it was all Seton from the start. It scored points on nine of its 10 offensive possessions, built a 31-0 lead at halftime and reached the running-clock mercy rule with 6 minutes, 25 seconds left in the third quarter. That’s when Teddy Wieczorek’s 17-yard touchdown reception from Gesser stretched the lead to 45-0. Seton worked with a short field all night; most drives began at or near midfield. 

Gesser went 17 of 22 for 220 yards and five touchdowns. He hit six different receivers, including four who scored TDs (Ryan Stuck, Kaiden Wilson, Sawyer Clifton and Wieczorek). Running back Jacob Williams powered the run game with 122 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. 

Seton’s defense held Stevenson to fewer than 70 yards. 

Stuck, who had five catches on Friday, is one of Seton’s two seniors and a four-year varsity member. He’s been part of the program’s growth: consecutive playoff appearances in 2021 and 2022, plus a program-record five victories last season. 

Now, this year’s team is one win away from tying that record and it’s still only September.

“It’s the unity,” Stuck said. “This team, we have an extremely strong brotherhood. When I was a freshman, we had 16 or 17 guys (on the team). We had a strong brotherhood then, but now, it’s a lot bigger.”

It’s only September, but for Stevenson, these first four weeks have had a must-win feel. The program is in its second season playing a hybrid 2B/1A schedule, and in order to be Week 10 state preliminary round eligible for Class 1A, it must meet requirements set forth by the 1A Trico League. Officials will look at Stevenson’s head-to-head results, winning percentage and record against 1A Trico foes compared to how the rest of the league fares. While Stevenson went 3-1 against Trico teams, it won’t be determined until October if it earns a postseason bid. It concludes the regular season facing five 2B Central teams.

No surprise, a third straight postseason berth is what Seton is aiming for. 

“If we can stay 1-0 every week, we’ll get there,” Gesser said.

SETON CATHOLIC 59, STEVENSON 0

Steve 0 0 0 0 – 0

Seton 17 14 21 7 – 59

First quarter

SC — Sawyer Clifton 5 pass from Kolten Gesser (Dalton Woods kick)

SC — Woods 29 FG

SC — Ryan Stuck 17 pass from Gesser (Woods kick)

Second quarter

SC — Teddy Wieczorek 21 pass from Gesser (Woods kick)

SC — Jacob Williams 4 run (Woods kick)

Third quarter

SC — Kaiden Wilson 28 pass from Kolten Gesser (Woods kick)

SC — Wieczorek 17 pass from Gesser (Woods kick)

SC — Aeven Napoleon 2 run (Woods kick)

Fourth quarter

SC — Xavier Crank 6 run (Woods kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Stevenson — Kacen Bach 12-6, Tucker Wyninger 6-25, Jayden Lankford 2-(minus-1), Jude Travinski 3-16; Seton Catholic — Jacob Williams 16-122, Joe Callerame 1-6, Xavier Crank 3-38, Tru Feldman 2-27, Aeven Napoleon 1-2.

Passing: Stevenson — Bach 4-16-1-12; Seton Catholic — Kolten Gesser 17-22-0-220; Feldman 3-3-0-24.

Receiving: Stevenson — Lankford 2-3, Jordan Waymire 1-2, Garrett Funk 1-6, Wyninger 1-1; Seton Catholic — Williams 3-13, Clifton 1-5, Wieczorek 5-64, Stuck 5-67, Callerame 2-29, Wilson 2-44.

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