Sunday, August 29, 1999
Moeller 35, Lakota West 0
Crusaders QB rebounds from shoulder injury
BY DAVE SCHUTTE
The initial and most important test of the football season for Moeller senior quarterback Brian Reisert resulted in a grade of "A' plus.
After suffering a serious shoulder injury in January, Reisert underwent nearly nine months of therapy and rehabili tation in order to be ready for the 1999 season.
Turning in a near-flawless performance, Reisert threw three touchdown passes and rushed for 12 yards on two carries, giving No.1 ranked Moeller a 35-0 victory Saturday over Lakota West in the Skyline Crosstown Showdown at Nippert Stadium.
Brian had the same injury as the Elder quarterback (Matt Glacken) but didn't have the surgery, Moeller coach Steve Klonne said. It's been a long haul back, and we're hoping he's 100 percent next week.
The uncertainty of Reisert's ability to throw may have been the reason behind Moeller's conservative first-half offense that saw tailback Marcus Blanks carry the ball 15 times. He finished with 31 attempts in the game for 147 yards.
I thought we started slowly but we're still trying to find our legs, Klonne said. Another question is our offensive line and if they're as dominating as they can be.
Although Lakota West was held to 40 yards rushing and 23 passing, coach Larry Cox saw some positives, especially on defense.
Our defense played well in the first half and if it weren't for the fumble, it would have only been 7-0 at halftime, Cox said.
If we can put two halves, together, we'll be all right. But the offense didn't sustain any drives, which kept the the defense on the field and they wore down. My worst nightmare was the Moeller defense. They were as good as we thought.
Klonne agree with Cox's assessment of the Crusader defense, especially Jake Holthaus, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound tackle, who controlled the middle against the run-oriented Firebirds.
Jake is a force in there, Klonne said. He's playing with a bad knee, and we can only hope he doesn't reinjure it and can continue to play.
After a lackluster and scoreless first quarter, Moeller's defense forced a fumble, which defensive back Mike Senich picked up and returned to the Firebirds' nine-yard line.
It took Moeller two plays to score with Marc Wall taking it in from the two. Reisert ran in the conversion for an 8-0 lead. Moeller extended the lead to 14-0 at halftime on a Reisert-to-Matt Cooper 14-yard pass play.
The second half was all Moeller with the Crusader offense scoring three times while the defense recovered a fumble and intercepted two Firebird passes.
Reisert hesitated when asked about his performance.
The first week is a little too soon to tell, Reisert said. We played conservative the first half, but it came together the second.
Lakota West ....... 0 0 0 00
Moeller ....... 0 15 13 735
M-Wall 2 run (Reisert run)
M-Cooper 15 pass from Reisert (Murphy kick)
M-Dabbelt 65 pass from Reisert(Murphy kick)
M-Cooper 16 pass from Reisert (run failed)
M-Blanks 1 run (Murphy kick)
A: 4,000 estimated