It’s the rematch area football followers want to see.
Longtime Four Rivers Conference rivals St. Clair and Sullivan will get together to decide the champion of Class 4 District 3.
The district championship game takes place at Sullivan High School Monday at 7 p.m. Admission to the game is $6.
The winner advances to the Class 4 quarterfinals Saturday, Nov. 10, against either Webb City (11-0) or Hillcrest (10-1).
“Well we have our work cut out for us, that’s for sure,” said Sullivan Head Coach Pat Burke. “They are a very impressive team with explosive potential. It will be a huge challenge, but it will be fun. We’ll be ready to go.”
St. Clair Head Coach Cody McDowell said St. Clair is looking forward to seeing Sullivan again.
“I’m sure kids from both teams have thought about playing this game again, but our focus all year has been taking things one game at a time,” said McDowell. “Now that it’s here, we can prepare for Sullivan. That’s the next game on the schedule. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Top-seeded Sullivan (11-0) advanced with a 42-14 semifinal win over fourth-seeded Westminster.
Second-seeded St. Clair (10-1) cruised past third-seeded Priory in the semifinals, 42-13.
The Bulldogs’ one and only loss this season came during a week four showdown Sept. 14 at Sullivan, a 35-21 victory for the Eagles.
In that game, Sullivan held a 12-7 lead early in the second quarter and broke it open with scores of 28-7 at halftime and 35-7 after three quarters.
The Bulldogs pulled closer with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
St. Clair quarterback Kyle Juergens was 11-26 passing for 130 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the first meeting against Sullivan. He also rushed for 89 yards on 12 attempts. Adam Brott carried the ball nine times for 29 yards. Rickey Grivetti rushed for 18 yards on five carries.
Sullivan quarterback Adam Tiefenbrunn was 6-10 passing for 108 yards and one touchdown against St. Clair. He rushed for 34 yards on six attempts and scored two touchdowns.
Justin Biermann carried the ball 17 times for 145 yards and one touchdown.
Clayton Mayer rushed for 108 yards on 22 carries.
“They came ready to play that night and we didn’t,” McDowell said. “We didn’t execute well enough on offense or tackle well enough on defense. They played a good game.”
St. Clair’s defense will have to figure out a way to slow down Sullivan’s rushing attack, led by Biermann.
However, Biermann is questionable for Monday’s game along with running back-linebacker Joey Rigdon. Both were injured during the district semifinal game Wednesday.
“Both Biermann and Rigdon are questionable for the game,” Burke said. “Obviously anytime you lose someone at this time of the year it is a huge loss.”
McDowell feels Sullivan does a very good job running the ball.
“Sullivan is a very disciplined team. Their running game is the biggest part of what they do. It’s different than what most defenses are used to playing against,” McDowell said. “They have a lot of mature kids, a lot of seniors, just like we do. With such a good group of seniors on both teams, neither team wants this game to be their last game.”
Sullivan has worked on developing depth and that could be tested in the game. By jumping out to large leads, the Eagles have been able to use a number of younger players and give them experience.
“It is really good to get those younger kids in,” said Burke. “It’s something that we really haven’t been able to do much over the last few years so hopefully it’s something that we can build on for the future.”
McDowell knows that if Biermann plays, he’s a game changer.
“They have a lot of good players, and Biermann is one of them. He’s one of the best offensive players in the conference. We also have some of the best players in the conference.”
St. Clair and Sullivan are the area’s two remaining football teams still alive.
“It’s two good teams playing for a district championship. That’s the way it should be,” McDowell said. “This time of the year, there are no soft spots on the schedule. We’re a little beat up right now, but every team still playing is going to be beat up. We feel good about the way we’re playing. We’re going to play hard against a very good team. We’ll see how it turns out.”