Three West County teams have a chance to win a district football championship.
Lafayette plays at Kirkwood and CBC hosts Hazelwood Central. Both games are at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 7).
The Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats(10-1) host St. Francis Borgia (10-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday. The lone loss for the Knights came to the Wildcats on Oct. 17.
Since the teams played so recently, Westminster coach Cory Snyder said that is helpful.
“The preparation is definitely a little bit easier when you are playing a familiar team,” Snyder said. “Of course, you have to prepare for any new things that they’ve done since you played them as well as any wrinkles that you anticipate.”
In the first meeting, Westminster scored a 35-14 victory on its home field. It was a good win for the Wildcats, Snyder said.
“Our defense played excellently and we were able to take advantage of great field position in the first half to jump out to a quick lead,” Snyder said. “Borgia battled back though and I was impressed with how hard their kids played.”
Westminster led 14-7 after the first quarter. The Wildcats then scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter before the Knights scored late in the half.
Neither team scored in the third or fourth quarters.
“We missed some opportunities in the second half and became a little more conservative on offense,” Snyder said. “With the lead, we felt like we could lean on our defense to finish out the game.”
Borgia has a dynamic one-two punch in quarterback Justin Baylard and running back Dominic Struckhoff. Baylard has thrown for 1,077 yards and 16 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 526 yards. Struckhoff has gained 1,211 yards and scored 18 touchdowns.
The duo impresses Snyder.
“Offensively, Borgia has some dynamic players in the backfield with their quarterback and running back,” Snyder said. “Those guys can make plays. Defensively, they are really good upfront stopping the run and rushing the quarterback.”
Defensive end Brandon Guehne has 12 sacks and nine tackles for a loss. Defensive end Logan Bell has 11 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss for Borgia.
Westminster quarterback Brendan Bognar has completed 56 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 2,292 yards and 22 touchdowns. Steve Webb has rushed for 1,151 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.
On defense, Michael Weston has 22 tackles for a loss along with five fumble recoveries and three sacks. Caleb Miller has 12 tackles for a loss along with four fumble recoveries and three sacks.
“Defensively, we must stop the running back and the quarterback from making big plays and create turnovers,” Snyder said. “Offensively, we have to run the ball well and protect the football. Our special teams need to create good field position.”
Snyder likes what he has seen from his team this week.
“Practice has been good,” Snyder said. “We’re just trying to stay focused and prepare well for the game on Saturday. I think that our seniors have done a good job of keeping the team focused throughout the season. We’ve had a ton of injuries this year, most of them season-ending, to a bunch of our starters but the guys seem to rally around the next man in and just keep playing.”
The team has a chance reach one of its goals in the game.
“I think that our kids are excited right now. Competing for a district championship was one of their goals this season and to have the opportunity to do that is great,” Snyder said. “They aren’t underestimating Borgia, though. They know that they are a good team that is going to play hard for 48 minutes.”
Getting to play the game at home with a chance to win the district before its fans is a good bonus for the Wildcats.
“I think that not making the trip out to Washington is nice but then again, our guys love the football atmosphere on Friday nights out there,” Snyder said. “We expect them to bring a strong crowd on Saturday and for it to be an exciting game.”
Lafayette (6-5) is coming off an exciting 40-35 victory over Eureka. The Lancers face a tough task in playing the 9-1 Kirkwood Pioneers.
CBC and Hazelwood Central are both undefeated at 11-0.