Dale Gildehaus knew he needed to remind his Borgia football Knights that they could play with Westminster Christian Academy.
Unfortunately for the Knights, the Wildcats learned the lessons from a Week 7 contest much better, crushing Borgia in the rematch Thursday night at Parkway North, 46-6.
“This team we played was not the same team we played in Week 7,” said Gildehaus. “For some reason on this evening, they seemed to be faster and bigger. We were manhandled physically. We were in the right positions, but they made plays.”
Borgia (5-5) had lost Oct. 12 at Westminster (8-2), 35-20, and had chances to take charge in that contest.
However, Westminster wasn’t going to let that happen in the second meeting, a district tournament contest, Thursday night.
The Wildcats scored the first 46 points in the Week 10 matchup while cruising to the victory.
Westminster outgained Borgia 301-57, and that was just for the first half.
For the game, Westminster outgained Borgia 482-110.
The Wildcats specialized in the ground attack, and ran for 409 of those yards compared to a 10-yard deficit for the Knights.
That included one touchdown in the first quarter, a 38-yard run by standout Trey Merritt just 2:32 into the game. David Williams kicked the extra point.
Merritt became the first Westminster player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season during the game.
Borgia halted the Wildcats on the next drive, but Westminster still found a way to get onto the scoreboard as Williams split the uprights from 47 yards out with 5:20 to play in the second quarter.
Williams gave the Wildcats a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter on a 41-yard field goal with 10:04 left in the half.
Brett Bond then broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown with 7:13 left in the half. Williams kicked the extra point and the Wildcats led 20-0.
Westminster still wasn’t done for the half. Merritt hit the open field for a 26-yard touchdown run with 1:38 left in the half. Williams kicked the extra point and it was 27-0 at the half.
Williams hit a 23-yard field goal with 7:48 left in the third quarter to give Westminster a 30-0 lead.
The Wildcats then scored on defense, getting a safety with 6:18 to go in the third quarter, making it 32-0. Wes Park tackled Borgia quarterback Justin Baylard in the end zone for the two-point play.
Westminster activated the running clock on its first passing touchdown of the game, a nine-yard strike from Brendan Bognar to Bond with 3:11 to go in the quarter. Williams kicked the extra point to make it 39-0.
In the fourth quarter, Caleb Miller scored on a 36-yard run for the Wildcats with 4:30 to play. Williams kicked the extra point to make it 46-0.
Borgia’s lone scoring highlight came with 16 seconds left in the game. Senior Korey Fumagalli caught a two-yard pass from sophomore Kelan Winters. The extra-point kick failed and the game ended with a 46-6 Westminster victory.
“That was the most gratifying feeling to see him score,” Gildehaus said. “Korey is a senior and hasn’t played very much. To see him accomplish that was special.”
Borgia’s positive yardage came through the air. Baylard was 6-12 for 58 yards. Winters completed five of eight chances for 62 yards and one touchdown.
On the receiving side, Dominic Struckhoff caught three passes for 15 yards.
Todd Kleekamp had two catches for 33 yards and Drake Raftery had two receptions for 21 yards.
Winters had one catch for 22 yards while Bret Snider caught one pass for 16 yards, Jeremy Humphreys caught one pass for 11 yards and Fumagalli had one catch for two yards.
On the ground, Winters ran 16 times for 11 yards. Struckhoff had three carries for four yards. Baylard lost 25 yards on seven attempts.
Defensively, Brandon Guehne had eight total tackles with seven solos. Charlie Smith and Hunter Warmack each had seven total tackles with five solos.
Tyler Breckenkamp and Kleekamp each had five tackles.
“We have to become more aggressive on our tackling,” Gildehaus said.
Snider averaged 43.3 yards per punt.
“We made tremendous strides this year,” said Gildehaus. “We lose seven tremendous seniors. We battled injuries all season long. That made it more difficult. It’s not all about winning and losing, but how you handle adversity.
The Wildcats advance to a Wednesday night game at Sullivan. Westminster (8-2) is seeded third in the district while Sullivan (8-2) is the second seed.
The other district semifinal sends Priory (6-4) to Ladue (9-1). That game could be moved as Ladue does not have lights.
WES - Trey Merritt 38 run (David Williams kick), 9:28
WES - Williams 47 FG, 5:20
WES - Williams 41 FG, 10:04
WES - Brett Bond 64 run (Williams kick), 7:13
WES - Merritt 26 run (Williams kick), 1:38
WES - Williams 23 FG, 7:48
WES - Safety Wes Park sacked Justin Baylard in end zone, 6:16
WES - Brett Bond 9 pass from Brendan Bognar (Williams kick), 3:11
WES - Caleb Miller 36 run (Williams kick), 4:30
BOR - Korey Fumagalli 2 pass from Kelan Winters (kick failed) 0:16.