Football Wildcats top Bearcats in opener

Snap 8-game skid to Hermann in 31-16 win

By Theo Tate
Posted 9/2/21

After his team knocked off the Hermann Wildcats 31-16 in its season opener on Aug. 27 at Hermann High School, Montgomery County senior Ty Leu shouted out one word.

“Finally!” Leu …

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Football Wildcats top Bearcats in opener

Snap 8-game skid to Hermann in 31-16 win

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After his team knocked off the Hermann Wildcats 31-16 in its season opener on Aug. 27 at Hermann High School, Montgomery County senior Ty Leu shouted out one word.


“Finally!” Leu said.


With the victory over Hermann, MCHS snapped an eight-game losing streak to its longtime rivals. The Wildcats picked up their first win over the Bearcats since 2013.

“It’s always been frustrating because as a team, we felt like we had more talent than Hermann,” Leu said. “Every year, we came into Hermann and we wanted to beat them, but we fell short. Finally, in my last year, we all brought it out, brought everything we could and we finally beat them.”

Both the Wildcats and Bearcats played under hot and humid conditions. The contest, which moved its starting time to 7:30 p.m., had several stoppages due to players on both teams cramping up because of the heat and humidity.

“We had a lot of guys who didn’t finish the game,” MCHS coach John Klekamp said. “I bet we had three or four starters who weren’t able to finish the game due to hydration issues in this heat and humidity. We think the humidity was higher in the second half through the third quarter. It really zapped us.”

But the conditions didn’t slow down the Wildcats (1-0). They stormed to a 20-0 halftime lead and never looked back.

“I’m happy with the win,” Klekamp said. “You’re never upset with the win, but I do think we’re going to have to play better football in the future going into conference play.”

MCHS will look to improve to 2-0 at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3, when it plays the Louisiana Bulldogs in its home opener at Jim Blacklock Field. It is also the Wildcats’ Eastern Missouri Conference opener.

“Hopefully, the heat breaks so we don’t have to deal with hydration issues,” Klekamp said. “Louisiana has a lot of really good and fast athletic kids.”

The Wildcats got a strong performance from junior quarterback Adam Czerniewski. He scored a pair of touchdowns and threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Leu with 56 seconds left in the second quarter.

Czerniewski also made a key play on special teams with 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter. He tackled a Hermann receiver after a punt. After the receiver fumbled the ball, MCHS senior Drake Smith recovered it and scored a 10-yard touchdown to give his team a 7-0 lead.

“That was honestly the turning point,” Leu said. “That made everyone fired up. We were all super excited. I think it got us ready to go.”

Czerniewski scored a 58-yard touchdown run with 2:44 to go in the second quarter to increase the Wildcats’ lead to 14-0. Leu’s touchdown gave MCHS a 20-0 halftime lead.

“Defensively, we were super solid,” Klekamp said. “That’s the first time I could remember us shutting out a Hermann team in the half. We caused their head coach to call two timeouts. I can’t remember the last time that happened.”

After Hermann got a touchdown from JJ Mundwiller with 10:41 left in the third to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 20-7, MCHS bounced back three minutes later with a 15-yard TD run from Czerniewski and a two-point conversion from Leu to take a 28-7 lead.

Senior Evan Abercrombie kicked a 34-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to give the Wildcats a 31-16 lead.

All 12 of the Wildcats’ seniors were in elementary school the last time MCHS beat Hermann. Leu said getting the win over the Bearcats at Hermann was pretty special for the senior class.

“We’ve been talking about beating Hermann for the whole week,” Leu said. “Even if we lose the rest of our games, the one thing we wanted to do was beat Hermann and that’s what we did. I couldn't be more thankful for a better group of guys.”

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