The 2,000-yard rusher put on a show, running over and around Eagle defenders all night long, leading the Dragons to a 41-12 victory on a cold, windy night at NMCC High School.
"You can't begin to realize how good of a running back he is just by watching him on film," said NMCC head coach Steve Rogers. "He is a good, hard-nosed runner. You're not going to bring him down by arm-tackling him."
The Eagles just couldn't bring him down -- period.
Schwent rushed for a game-high 377 yards on 41 carries, scoring four touchdowns. With the big game, he now has 2,497 yards on the season and he has 777 yards in his last two games.
The Ste. Genevieve playbook was simple -- Schwent left, Schwent right, Schwent up the middle.
He carried the ball on 36 of the Dragons' first 37 plays from scrimmage. He had touchdown runs of 80, 10, 7 and 69 yards.
"He picked up several yards on his own," said Ste. Genevieve head coach Bob Stolzer. "I was surprised at the home runs that he had when you throw in the speed that New Madrid's got. You've got to look at him and say, 'he's got some speed of his own.'"
Schwent proved he was the total package on the first play of the game, breaking off an 80-yard touchdown run on a toss-sweep to the right going straight into the wind. He took the pitch from quarterback Nathan Hutson, then cut back across the field toward the left sideline.
NMCC's Jeffery McFarland appeared to be in position to make a touchdown-saving tackle, but Schwent took him to the turf with a stiff-arm and out-ran the rest of the Eagle defense to the end zone to make it 6-0.
The first play basically describes how the entire game went for NMCC's defense, and showed just how talented Schwent really was.
"Unless you see him in person, you can't really tell how fast he is," said Rogers. "He did a good job of setting up his blocks, then accelerated through some of our tackles."
After NMCC turned the ball over on downs, Ste. Genevieve put together a nine-play scoring drive, capped off by a 10-yard TD run by Schwent on 4th-and-10.
The play was another toss sweep, a play the Dragons simply ran over and over again, mostly to the wide side of the field.
"They didn't make the necessary adjustments so we continued to run what works for you and basically that's what we did," said Stolzer.
The do-everything back then ran in the two-point conversion to give Ste. Genevieve a 14-0 lead with 3:41 left in the first. On NMCC's next drive, the Eagles were faced with a 4th-and-long on the Dragon 38.
Kicker Brandon Fields came up short on a 55-yard field goal attempt. Ste. Genevieve then fumbled the ball away on its next two drives, giving the Eagles excellent field position at the Ste. Gen. 46 and Eagle 45.
But NMCC was unable to take advantage, turning the ball over on downs both times.
"They were doing some blitzing and stunting, and sometimes they would guess right," said Rogers. "The better team won. They out-blocked us, they out-ran us and they out-played us tonight."
With under a minute left in the second quarter, Schwent broke off another tackle-breaking 47-yard run, setting himself up for a seven-yard TD run to make it 20-0 with 48 seconds until halftime.
"You do what you gotta do at this time of the year and that's get the ball into Adam Schwent's hands," said Stolzer. "He's our playmaker and he did a tremendous job tonight."
True to form to what they've done all year, NMCC's offense showed signs of life in the second half.
Willis opened the third quarter with an impressive 13-yard run, then broke loose for a 66-yard touchdown to shave the lead down to 20-6.
It was the only time Willis could get loose the entire night as the Dragon defense was able to keep the Eagles' big plays to a minimum.
NMCC's momentum was short-lived as Schwent answered with another TD run, this time out-running the NMCC defense 69 yards to the end zone. Schwent followed up with a two-point conversion run to make it 28-6.
NMCC fired back with a 12-play scoring drive, capped off with a one-yard TD plunge by Darrel Newsom on a quarterback keeper. The score made it 28-12 with 4:58 left in the third. Ste. Genevieve ate up the rest of the quarter, slowly chipping the ball down the field with runs by Schwent.
"We just had a difficult time stopping them all night," said Rogers. "They did what they like to do, lining up and playing smashmouth football. They were pulling people, leading around the end and knocking people down. The Schwent kid did the rest."
Ste. Genevieve scored early in the fourth quarter as Hutson took in a QB keeper from one-yard out to make it 34-12. The Dragons added another TD with 4:50 left as fullback Travis Gettinger scored from six yards out.
Dustin Fallert kicked the PAT to make it 41-12.
"We beat a good team that beat some very good teams over the course of the year," said Stolzer. "We've come a long way since the knuckleheaded things we did early in the season."
Neither team punted in the game and Ste. Genevieve didn't attempt a single pass. Behind Schwent, Taylor Huck rushed for 14 yards, Hutson had 12 and Gettinger added nine.
The Dragons out-gained NMCC 410-to-245 on the night.
Newsom was just 2-of-7 passing for 33 yards.
Willis led the way for NMCC with 177 yards on 26 carries. With 2,002 yards, he became the third NMCC player in history to break the 2,000-yard plateau in a season.
"Our kids did a tremendous job on him," said Stolzer. "I thought it might be a long night on their first play from scrimmage when he picked up a first down on about a 10-yard run. Our kids didn't let down, they just simply stepped in and got after it. Probably most of the kids that tackled him all night long are a lot smaller than what he was. I'm sure that we're going to be bruised and sore in the morning, but it'll be a good sore, so to speak."
With the victory, Ste. Genevieve improves to 8-3 and advances to the Class 3 quarterfinals. They will host Duchesne on Monday at 7 p.m.
NMCC ends its season with a record of 8-3.
"It was a tough way to go out, because our seniors have battled and fought all year," said Rogers. "I'm just so proud of our guys. They were 2-8 last year and they are district champs this year. They have nothing to be ashamed of. We just got beat by a very good football team tonight."