On a night that Bishop Dwenger set an offensive record, its defense was the key to victory.
The Class 5A No. 2 Saints rallied from a halftime deficit to defeat visiting Snider 17-7 thanks in large part to three fourth-quarter turnovers from their stifling defense. Dwenger quarterback Brenden Lytle threw for 169 yards, making him the all-time leader in career passing yards at Dwenger.
“It's just awesome to leave a legacy ... because it's special to play Bishop Dwenger football,” said Lytle, who completed 10 of 14 passes. “It's a different breed. I just feel like there's no other football team out there and there's no other football team I'd rather play with. I'm just happy I can do that here and add my name up there.”
Lytle was less happy with his and his team's performance overall, however. The Saints (7-1) trailed 7-3 at halftime and missed more than a few scoring opportunities. The first five times Dwenger drove inside the Snider 30, the Saints came away with a combined three points. Twice, Lytle threw interceptions deep in Snider territory.
In this rivalry game, a win is a win, but the Saints knew they were far from perfect.
“It's a big win because it's Snider and we get their best game every year, but I'm not as excited as I should be after a win because I feel like we beat ourselves, we put ourselves in that situation (trailing in the second half),” Lytle said. “Our coach called a great game, but it was just little things. I made a few mistakes, but I laid it all out tonight.”
Down by four early in the fourth quarter, the Saints punted it back to Snider (4-4). On the first play of the ensuing drive, the Panthers' Tyrese Brown fumbled and sophomore Ashton Skarie pounced on it for the Saints at the Snider 38.
The next three plays were all Devon Tippmann. He ran for five yards, then 13 more and finally rumbled through the right side untouched for a 20-yard touchdown and a 10-7 Saints lead. Tippmann finished with 15 carries for 63 yards.
The pattern repeated itself after the teams traded punts. As Snider desperately tried to mount a drive, Adam Lee undercut a wheel route and came up with an interception in the Panthers' red zone. An 11-yard run from Tippmann set up a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown from Lytle.
Another turnover sealed the Saints' victory as Callan Stauffer made an acrobatic interception along the sideline on the next Snider possession.
“(The turnovers) were huge,” Dwenger coach Jason Garrett said.
“We're thinking about all kinds of things to try to get a little momentum and it was created by our defense. In rivalry games like that, it usually comes down to turnovers and big plays and tonight was no different.”
The victory is Dwenger's second in a row over Snider. It also keeps the Saints alive in the SAC race heading into Week 9, needing a win over Northrop and a Homestead loss to South Side to take the title.
Snider's score came on a 1-yard run from Brown, set up by a 32-yard Deron Swanson reception on which he outmuscled a corner and lost his shoe in the process.