ST. CHARLES – At times Friday night, it must have seemed to the St. Charles North football team that every St. Charles East player was wearing No. 34.
That number belongs to East senior Joe Hoscheit, who was everywhere, doing everything, for the Saints in their 23-13 victory over their archrivals from across town on North’s home field.
Hoscheit rushed for two touchdowns, turned a short pass reception into another score, threw a pass for a first down on a fake punt, and anchored an East defense that held the North Stars (0-3, 0-1 Upstate Eight River) to six first downs and forced four turnovers.
“I can’t say enough about Joe,” East coach Mike Fields said. “We go as Joe goes. We’re gonna get T-shirts printed up. … We went for it on fourth down at their 15 to start the game and Joe says, ‘Coach, give me the ball.’ I can’t help but get emotional thinking about it.”
Fields gave the ball to Hoscheit, who picked up the first down, then caught a pass from Jimmy Mitchell at the one, then carried the ball into the end zone behind a nice lead block by Jon Finn to give the Saints a 7-0 lead barely four minutes into the game.
That score was set up by the North Stars’ first turnover, a fumble on their first play from scrimmage that was recovered by Mike Candre at the North 25.
“It does kind of take the air out of everything,” North coach Mark Gould said. “We told the guys, ‘you’ve got to make plays. You can’t do that.’ We have to be able to make plays and we just didn’t do it.”
All of the turnovers were fumbles and two came when the North Stars were in the red zone.
“There’s not much to say,” North running back George Edlund said. “We didn’t execute the plays when we had the chances. … It’s a harsh reality, but we’ve got a lot of football left to play.”
Edlund scored North’s first touchdown with 51 seconds left in the first half on a one-yard plunge, tying the game at 7. But the Saints used a good return by Mike Eyre on the ensuing squib kickoff to set up a 37-yard field goal against the wind by Pat Frio as time expired in the first half.
Hoscheit extended the East lead to 16-7 in the third quarter with a 5-yard run.
The North Stars got back into the contest late in the fourth quarter when Ryan Fischbach hit Benjamin Kaplan for a 29-yard touchdown pass.
The Saints (2-1, 1-0), trying just to run out the clock in the closing two minutes, called Hoscheit’s number again on a short third-down pass over the middle.
East would have been happy with a first down, but Hoscheit broke a couple of tackles and rumbled 56 yards for the game-clinching score.
“Coach made a great call,” Hoscheit said. “I think they were expecting run. I was wide open in the flat and I saw a cutback lane. Our receivers made some great blocks and it was just open to the end zone. It was awesome.”
Fittingly, the North Stars coughed the ball up on their last possession.
“I think our defense took a big step up,” Fields said. “We got the turnovers and we always talk about turnovers. If you get the turnovers, you’re going to win the ball game nine out of 10 times.”
ST. CHARLES EAST 23, ST. CHARLES NORTH 13 St. Charles East 7 3 6 7 – 23 St. Charles North 0 7 0 6 – 13
HOW THEY SCORED
First quarter STCE – Hoscheit 1 run (Frio kick), 8:46Second quarter SCN – Edlund 1 run (Stutesman kick), :51 STCE – Frio 37 FG, :00Third quarter STCE – Hoscheit 5 run (kick failed), 6:06Fourth quarter SCN – Kaplan 29 pass from Fischbach (kick failed), 3:43 STCE – Hoscheit 56 pass from Mitchell (Frio kick), 1:19
RUSHING – St. Charles East: Cameron 16-54, Finn 1-0, Zajieck 1-2, Sciarrino 10-23, Hoscheit 11-31, Mitchell 7-15. Totals: 46-125. St. Charles North: Kurtz 5-23, Edlund 18-66, Fischbach 4-minus 12. Totals: 27-77. PASSING – St. Charles East: Mitchell 10-16-0-160, Hoscheit 1-1-0-20. St. Charles North: Fischbach 8-14-0-190.RECEIVING – St. Charles East: Hoscheit 5-94, Cameron 2-5, Barry 3-36, Munroe 1-45. St. Charles North: Kaplan 4-80, Johnson 2-84, Kirby 2-26.TOTAL YARDS – St. Charles East 305, St. Charles North 266.