Week six was the final home football game of the regular season for the St. Clair Bulldogs.
And they made the most of it.
Playing on senior night, the Bulldogs used a balanced attack of rushing and passing to defeat St. James in a Four Rivers Conference contest, 39-7.
“We had lost two straight games, so it was good to get back into the win column,” said St. Clair Head Coach Cody McDowell. “We did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball. There are still things to work on, but we’re coming along.”
It’s possible the Bulldogs could get a home game in week 10, the opening round of district play, but will focus on the final three games of the regular season.
“We don’t mind playing away games. It kind of eliminates the distractions. We’re looking forward to these next three games,” said McDowell. “That’s just the way our schedule worked out. You have to play the hand you’re dealt.”
St. Clair (3-3, 2-2) scored 39 straight points after falling behind 7-0.
It was another big game for Bulldogs senior running back Skyler Hutchison, who scored four touchdowns, three rushing and one receiving.
Alex Miller added two touchdown receptions on passes from quarterback Collin Scott.
St. Clair accumulated 564 yards, 320 rushing (on 51 carries) and 244 passing.
Hutchison carried the ball 23 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns. He added one reception for 39 yards and a score.
For the season, Hutchison has rushed for 996 yards on 144 attempts.
Scott was 12-22 passing for 216 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 57 yards on six carries.
“Collin played better. We probably expected too much from him early in the season. He didn’t have any varsity experience at quarterback and had to learn how to handle things,” McDowell said. “He’s starting to relax and play better. There are still mistakes, but that’s expected from someone who’s played only six games at quarterback on the varsity level.”
Damon Arnold completed his only attempt for 28 yards. He carried the ball three times for 15 yards.
Evander Spinks returned to the lineup after missing time with an injury and rushed for 35 yards on four attempts. He also had three receptions for 38 yards.
Paul Armistead carried the ball 12 times for 20 yards.
Seven different Bulldogs had at least one reception.
Miller finished with four catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Ian McQueen added two receptions for 24 yards.
Kyle Walters (28 yards), Kevin Cox (15 yards) and Harley Love (12 yards) each had one catch. Walters also rushed for 20 yards on two carries.
Defensively, Love paced the Bulldogs with two solo tackles and eight assists.
Jake Oermann finished with three solos and two assists. Dalton Ulrich had two solos and three assists.
Lucas Magruder (one sack), Branden Brown, Mason Helton and Spinks each had two solos and two assists.
Collin Avery collected one solo, three assists and an interception.
St. James (3-3, 1-2) grabbed a 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Karnes to Jamal Sconiers.
The Bulldogs answered with four touchdowns in the first half to take a 25-7 advantage into halftime.
St. Clair had things in cruise control during the second half, outscoring the Tigers, 14-0.
“We’re coming along offensively pretty well. We’ve had some injuries we’ve had to deal with. Our offensive line is a work in progress,” McDowell said. “Our defense did some good things. We’re getting better. Like anything, we just have to eliminate some mistakes.”
Week Seven Preview
St. Clair returns to action Friday at Hermann (3-3, 2-1). St. James visits Sullivan (4-2, 4-0).
The Bearcats (3-3, 2-1) suffered their first FRC loss last week at Sullivan, 35-14.
Hermann held a 14-7 halftime lead over Sullivan and the game was tied 14-14 after three quarters.
“Andy (Emmons) does a good job and they’re doing well,” McDowell said. “They got their system implemented and are doing good things. They play physical.”
The Bearcats are mostly a running team with their option attack.
Quarterback Craig Winkelmann is the catalyst of the offense. He rushed for 95 yards on 19 carries against Sullivan.
Chris Hug carried the ball eight times for 86 yards against the Eagles.
Saige Hale, Garrett Leimkuehler, Jarrod Kolbe and Conner Lane also are threats to carry the ball. Kody Thompson is the top receiving threat.
Hermann’s three losses have been to Montgomery County (6-0), South Callaway (5-1) and Sullivan (4-2).
Wins have come in convincing fashion over Cuba, St. James and Owensville.
St. James takes on a Sullivan team that’s the only remaining unbeaten squad in FRC play.