The Dragons used a power running game to rack up 326 rushing yards as a team on 53 attempts. Every one of Ste. Genevieve's starters on offense were seniors.
"The kids stepped up a notch tonight," said Ste. Gen head coach Bob Stolzer. "Ran three plays most of the game, but we did it out of different formations. We have rode our seniors all year and tonight was no different."
While the Dragons' offensive line only averaged 190 pounds, what they lacked in size, they made up for in leverage and technique.
"Our offensive line got better as the season went on this year," said Stolzer. "All of our kids practiced hard this week and we executed well as an offensive unit."
"They physically blew us off the football tonight," said Pixley. "As a team, we didn't match their physical play. They simply outplayed us tonight."
Ste. Genevieve got a whopping 29 first downs on the game, of which, 25 were gained by the rush. The Dragons averaged six yards per play, while the Bearcats averaged only 3.7 yards per play.
Dexter had the football for three drives in the first quarter, on all three, the Bearcats went three-an-out and punted away their possession.
The Dragons scored on their first possession as quarterback Tanner Wolk capped off a 49 yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed and the Dragons led 6-0 after one quarter of action.
The Bearcats received the football after the score and had another three-an-
out, their fourth to start the contest. Dexter punted and the Dragons started on their own 26-yard line with 10:13 left in the second quarter.
The Dragons started what looked like to be another long scoring drive before Bearcat safety Eric Rinehart stepped in front of pass by Wolk for an interception and returned it 30 yards to the Dragons 19-yard line with 5:20 left in the second quarter.
Dexter running back Alex Becker scored on a 1-yard plunge to get the Bearcats within seven. Dexter trailed 14-7 at the half.
Becker did score in the first half, but he was contained all night by the bruising Ste. Genevieve defense.
"Our defense worked hard all night," said Stolzer. "Becker really scared us because he is such a tough running back. He is hard to bring down. Our boys did a nice job on Becker, we tackled very well tonight. But that is what Ste. Gen is known for, a hard-hitting team that will battle for every game."
Ste. Genevieve started the second half with the football on their own 25-yard line. The Dragons proceeded to march down the field in a grind it out fashion, as the drive ate up 7:30 of the play clock.
At 4:23 of the third quarter, Huck scored on a 7-yard touchdown run to put the Dragons up 21-7.
Dexter had just one drive in the third, as they took the football from their own 24-yard line and were driving down the field as time expired in the third quarter.
The Bearcats got down to the Ste. Gen 35-yard line but did not convert a fourth down play, and the Dragons took over possession.
In the game, Dexter did well on fourth down conversions as they converted on four of six attempts. However, the Achilles heel for the Bearcats was their third down conversions. Out of 14 attempts, the Bearcats converted only four.
"We did little on offense," said Pixley. "We just couldn't get another going. Got to hand it to Ste. Gen, they played an excellent game. They deserved the win."
The Dragons put the game away in the fourth quarter, as the ground attack started to wear on the Dexter defense.
At 7:31 of the fourth quarter, fullback Kellen Stolzer scored up the middle on an 8-yard run. Ste. Gen led 27-7.
Ste. Gen put the game away with a Jamie Dixon 1-yard touchdown run with 5:
21 left in the fourth quarter. Dragons led 34-7.
Dexter did not give up and showed a lot of heart as they put 14 points on the scoreboard with two minutes left in the game.
Becker scored on a 8-yard touchdown run and quarterback Josh Stevens found Rinehart open for a 12-yard touchdown pass to round out the scoring for the Bearcats. Ste. Gen moves on in the playoffs after a 34-21 victory over Dexter.
"I am proud of our team," said Pixley. "We have some great kids who have worked hard all season. Our seniors have come along way since eighth grade. They have made huge strides and I have nothing but great things to say about them."
The Dragons controlled the football for 29 of the 48 minutes in the game. Ste. Gen converted five of eight third down conversion and were penalized only on one occasion.
Huck had an outstanding game as he carried 27 times for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Wolk had 98 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown for the Dragons. Fullback Kellen Stolzer ran for 58 yards on nine carries with a touchdown.
Wolk completed four passes on seven attempts with an interception for 32 yards. Garrett Ditch had two receptions for 23 yards to lead the Dragons.
Becker was the only significant rusher for the Bearcats as he carried the football 21 times for 88 yards with two touchdowns.
Stevens completed seven passes for 100 yards with a touchdown toss. Rinehart led the Bearcats in receiving with four receptions good for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Ditch led Ste. Gen in tackles from his defensive end position with five and had a sack. Brad Uding tied Ditch with five tackles and K. Stolzer had four tackles with a sack. Brad Schweigert recorded three tackles on the night and also recorded a sack.
Zach Ventura led Dexter on defense with 12 tackles. Taylor Joyner was second with 10 tackles. Rinehart had an interception plus nine tackles. Linebackers Austin Matthews and Josh Davis had eight tackles apiece, while Anthony Alsup recorded seven tackles and also had a fumble recovery.
Dexter ends its season at 7-4 and are Class 3, District 1 champions and SEMO Central Conference champions. Ste. Genevieve (10-1) will host a quarterfinal game on Monday night at 7 p.m. as they will face MICDS (11-0). MICDS defeated Herculaneum 31-24 to advance to the quarterfinals.