The game was marked by excellent defense on both sides but in the end, a couple of big plays would determine the outcome of the game as the Dragons slipped by Dexter, 12-7.
On the first series of the game, the Dragons' quarterback, Tanner Wolk, kept the football and scampered 37 yards down the field to put Ste. Genevieve in good field position.
At 10:33 of the first quarter, Wolk would score on a 7-yard quarterback keeper. After a failed two-point conversion, Ste. Genevieve led 6-0. Wolk carried the ball three times on the drive for a total of 46 yards.
After the initial score by Ste. Genevieve, both squads became stingy on defense and no one scored in the second quarter as the Dragons took a 6-0 lead into halftime.
"Our linebacking corps were active and flying to the football and were not being hesitant at the point of attack," said Dexter head coach Aaron Pixley.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback, Josh Stevens, looked impressive in his first start of the year. Stevens completed nine passes for 140 yards on the night as he took quite a beating from Ste. Gen. The Dragons sacked Stevens five times on the night.
"Stevens is a young quarterback but he did a fine job tonight," said coach Pixley, "He didn't get rattled and led our team."
More of the same came in the third quarter as both teams would not give an inch on defense. The Dragons were led by Garrett Ditch and all-stater Brad Schweigert who limited Dexter to 97 yards on 38 carries for the game.
Heading into the fourth, Dexter was down 6-0 and looking for a big play on defense. Ste. Gen looked to be putting a nail in the coffin of Dexter as they drove inside the territory of the Bearcats.
On a third down play, Wolk received the football and did a quick drop and threw out in the flat to wide-open Bearcat defender, Drew Pixley, who ran uncontested for a 68-yard interception return for touchdown. After the extra point was converted, Dexter led for the first time in the game by a score of 7
-6 with 8:47 left in the fourth quarter.
The excitement of the moment for Dexter would be short-lived. Fatigue could have been factor as most of the defensive unit also plays on offense. On the second play after the big interception return, Dragon running back, Taylor Huck, would bounce off right tackle and out-run the Bearcat defenders for a 75-yard touchdown.
Ste. Genevieve would fail on the two-point conversion and with 7:03 left in the fourth quarter, the Dragons led 12-7.
Ste. Gen's lead would stay at five with the clock running down to the 2:00 mark. Dexter started to drive the ball down the field led by the running of Alex Becker. With a minute to play, Dexter had the football on the Dragons' 23-yard line and were looking for the go-ahead score.
On fourth down from the 23, Stevens dropped back looking for an open receiver. Running an out pattern down the right side of the field was wideout Eric Rinehart, who had gained some separation from the cornerback.
Stevens lofted a beautiful pass that floated right in the hands of the open Rinehart for an apparent go-ahead score. But the pass slipped through Rinehart's hands and bounced in the end zone harmlessly.
That was the ballgame, Ste. Genevieve would take a knee the next three plays and let the clock run out.
While Ste. Gen won the game, head coach Bob Stolzer saw room for improvements.
"This was a learning game for us," said coach Stolzer, "We were very fortunate to beat Dexter. Have to give credit to Dexter, they did an outstanding job tonight but we did not come out here mentally focused."
For coach Pixley, a few plays here and there and the outcome could have been a different ballgame.
"A few big plays cost us tonight but the kids played hard tonight and for us to be so young we can only get better," said coach Pixley.
On the big run by Huck, Pixley thought his defense was fatigued.
"Our defense just made a big play and with all the excitement that comes with a big score, we were just tired and we didn't take on the lead blockers and a big run took place," said coach Pixley.
On offense, the Dexter running attack was led by Becker who gained 84 yards.
The Dragons enjoyed a nice running attack with Huck gaining 114 yards and Wolk ran for 66 yards. Wolk added 73 yards passing.
The story of the night had to be the excellent defensive play from both teams. Both teams did not total more than 300 yards combined on offense.
Leading tacklers for Dexter were Mathews who tallied 10, Davis hauled down nine, and Drew Pixley, who had the big interception return, had five tackles. Anthony Alsup had a fumble recovery for the Bearcats.
For Ste. Genevieve, Ditch led the team with 10 tackles, Schweigert was next with nine. Kellen Stolzer racked up three sacks from his defensive line position.
Both coaches saw areas of the game that improvements would be needed before next week's games.
"We made some mistakes. Our fundamentals were lacking tonight and we need our linemen to stay low and not stand up on blocks," said coach Stolzer.
For coach Pixley, he echoed the sentiment that his linemen need to improve for next week.
"We didn't run-block very well and we didn't pick up the blitzes tonight," said coach Pixley.
Ste. Genevieve will clash with cross-town rival Valle next week.
Dexter will travel to Gosnell (Ark.) with kickoff set for Friday at 7:00 p.m.