After a scoreless first half Friday the Borgia Knights (1-0) were able to come alive for a 26-6 victory over the Owensville Dutchmen (0-1) Friday.
“We got a break when we changed quarterbacks,” Borgia Head Coach Dale Gildehaus said. “When Raftery came in, he broke the long one. I really felt that whoever got the first big break (would win) and we got the first big break. I mean, look, they were going on one and luckily we caught them. So that was the big break in the ballgame.”
Borgia got on the board with 9 minutes, 17 seconds left in the third quarter on a 65-yard run by junior quarterback Drake Raftery. The extra-point kick failed and Borgia led 6-0.
Raftery, who rushed for 119 yards in the game, extended the lead to 12-0 on a 10-yard run with 5:02 remaining in the third quarter. The Knights were unsuccessful with a two-point conversion.
Raftery also completed five of eight passes for 45 yards. Junior Justin Baylard started the game at quarterback. He completed two of six passes for 15 yards and threw one interception. He rushed for 42 yards.
“Give credit to Coach Gildehaus, he’s got a great team over there and they played hard all night long,” Owensville Head Coach Dale Long said. “I felt like we had our chances and deserved to take it from them and we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times tonight.”
The Knights scored once more in the third after blocking a Dutchmen punt attempt with 3:26 left in the quarter. Senior defensive lineman Brendan Joyce recovered for the touchdown, and Jake Erwin’s extra point extended Borgia’s lead to 19-0.
Owensville cut into Borgia’s lead with 2:15 left in the game after junior linebacker Dalton Chapman recovered a Borgia fumble at the 1-yard line and scored to make it 26-6.
Borgia would score once more with 5.3 seconds to play after intercepting a Dutchmen pass. Sophomore Kelan Winters returned the ball 28 yards for the touchdown and Erwin connected on the extra point to secure the final score, 26-6.
“They played their hearts out. We made some mistakes,” Gildehaus said. “I thought defensively Hunter Warmack did very well for a sophomore. Kelan Winters, he’s another sophomore. They’re going to get better.”
Defensively, the Knights had strong games from Warmack, who finished with six tackles, and Winters, who had 10. Senior linebacker John Hanneken finished with nine tackles and two sacks.
Borgia will be on the road again Friday at Union (0-1).
Union lost to Poplar Bluff 31-14 in its season opener Friday.
“We’ve just got to build every week and we’re doing that so let’s take the mistakes, watch those things on the film tomorrow morning, learn from those and if we can cut out 10 of the 20 that we made, it’ll be a competitive ballgame. But if we make 20 mistakes against Union, we’ll get beat by 35,” Gildehaus said.
The Knights beat Union 56-12 last season.
Gildehaus noted that his team is much like Union’s was last year in how many younger players they have. Borgia has just seven seniors, and there are quite a few sophomores playing key roles for them this season. While that may be difficult for the Knights now, Gildehaus is confident they’ll continue to improve.
“You look at Union when they played us last year, they struggled, I mean we beat them bad, but look what they did at the end of the year. They were ahead of us,” Gildehaus said.“My goal is this year step by step by step because this year it’s only going to get tougher with Union this week and then Duchesne and then it’s Westminster.
“It’s not an easy road. As with our sophomores our pass protection needs work, we all do, but you know what, it’s only week 3 (since practices started). Doggone it, take the win, be happy with the win, keep getting better.”
Owensville had opportunities to score in the game, including on a 30-yard field goal on the first drive of the game that was blocked.
Owensville had a few highlights in the game with junior quarterback Jesse Lowder completing 10 of 25 passes for 170 yards, eight of which were caught by senior wide receiver Ben Angell. Angell had 153 yards receiving in the loss.
Junior running back Matt Pohlmann and sophomore running back Tristan Crofford each rushed for 40 yards.
The Dutchmen travel to Blair Oaks (0-1) on Friday.
BOR — Drake Raftery 3 run (kick failed), 9:17
BOR — Raftery 10 run (2 pt. conversion failed), 5:02
BOR — Brendan Joyce 1 run (Jacob Erwin kick), 3:26
OWN — Dalton Chapman 1 run (kick failed), 2:15
BOR — Kelan Winters 28 run (Erwin kick), 5.3