ST. LOUIS — Scoring the only touchdown of the final quarter, the Borgia Knights earned a second-place finish in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division with a 29-22 win over the Bishop DuBourg Cavaliers.
Borgia (4-2, 3-1) got a one-yard touchdown by quarterback Justin Baylard with 7:27 to play to take the lead, 27-22. The Knights then scratched and fought for the two-point conversion to make it a seven-point game.
Baylard started with the ball, but was cornered. He found Kelan Winters, but the Cavaliers seemed to have him stopped short of the goal line.
Winters then flipped the ball to Drake Raftery, who scored to make it 29-22.
And that’s how the game ended.
After stalled drives by both sides, the host Cavaliers jumped on top in the opening quarter.
Stafford Green took a handoff and scored from 12 yards out with 1:15 to play in the first quarter.
DuBourg maintained possession by recovering an onside kick.
Borgia got the next chance, but had to punt. However, Logan Bell recovered a fumble which bounced up to him and returned it to the DuBourg 1. That set up a touchdown by quarterback Justin Baylard with 7:48 left in the half. Jacob Grellner’s kick tied it and that’s how the half ended.
The theme for the first half was missed chances and mistakes.
DuBourg was called for eight false start penalties and Borgia took two of the same call.
Turnovers hurt as well. The Knights drove down to the DuBourg 15 on the game’s opening drive before Baylard was sacked and fumbled back to the DuBourg 27.
DuBourg then drove down the field, converting on key plays by quarterback Thomas Kinney and Green to score the game’s first points.
After an onside kick, the Cavaliers continued to pressure Borgia’s defense, but the Knights stopped the Pioneers at the 27-yard line.
Borgia drove again. Baylard picked up a big gainer to the DuBourg 30 and Kinney was hurt while helping make the tackle.
Borgia stalled there. Incomplete passes, penalties and a sack forced the Knights to punt with 8:13 to play in the quarter.
DuBourg started at the 20, but was moved back on false start penalties. That led to the fumble which bounced to Bell and he moved the pile forward to the one before being halted.
The Knights had another chance late in the quarter. After a DuBourg punt went out near midfield, Borgia’s Kelan Winters picked up 25 yards down to the DuBourg 19.
Baylard carried to the five, but the Knights were halted there. Baylard fumbled and DuBourg’s Matthew Davis recovered.
Borgia struggled to contain running back Maurion Warren from the Stack-I formation and he nearly broke a touchdown run, but Todd Kleekamp halted him long enough for teammates to finish the tackle at the DuBourg 41.
That paid dividends as Brandon Guehne recovered a fumble with 1:07 left in the half.
Borgia tried to push forward, but was forced to punt. DuBourg then was thwarted when Kleekamp intercepted a Kinney pass with 22.9 seconds to go.
Baylard found Winters on the half’s last play for a long gainer, but he was stopped at the DuBourg 16 to end the half.
In the second half, DuBourg made another key mistake, getting called for an unsportsmanlike deadball penalty after just missing converting on third down. So, instead of having the ball fourth and an inch, the Cavaliers had to punt.
Winters took over at quarterback and ran 50 yards for a touchdown on Borgia’s first play with 7:48 to play in the quarter. However, the extra point went wide and it was 13-7.
That was huge because after Green made a big return on the kickoff to the Borgia 32, Warren ended up going for a 38-yard touchdown with 7:06 to play. However, he pointed to the sky near the end zone and was hit with a taunting play. The officials determined he had scored before the penalty, so it was tacked onto the kickoff.
Schwartz gave the Cavaliers the lead, 14-13, with the extra point.
The penalty robbed the Cavaliers of one of their better athletes as he was ejected for two unsportsmanlike penalties.
Borgia struck back. After a penalty erased a 49-yard run by Winters to the DuBourg one, Baylard hit Drake Raftery for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Raftery caught the ball in the middle and cut back to the left side for the touchdown.
Borgia made it a seven-point game when Baylard looked like he was going to run, stepped back and lobbed the ball to Tyler Breckenkamp in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
The Cavaliers drove back downfield and got a 44-yard scoring pass from Kinney to Green on the right sideline. The Cavaliers then faked the extra point kick and Kinney threw to Davis for the two-point conversion to make it 22-21 in favor of DuBourg.
The Knights pushed down the field with Dominic Struckhoff taking it to the DuBourg one.
On fourth and goal, Baylard plunged over for a touchdown with 7:27 to play.
The Knights opted to go for the two-point conversion. The play started with Baylard running, but then throwing to Winters near the goal line. As he was being tackled, he flipped the ball to Raftery, who crossed into the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Borgia was hit by a penalty on the kickoff and the Cavaliers started their next drive near midfield with the clock running.
Struckhoff stopped that drive with an interception at the Borgia 20, but the Knights were forced to punt.
DuBourg quickly pressed back into Borgia territory, but the Knights held on fourth down at the Borgia 26. Struckhoff broke up the pass with 2.3 seconds to play.
The Knights visit Westminster next Saturday with kickoff set for 1 p.m.
DUB - Stafford Green 12 run (Jeff Schwartz kick), 1:15
BOR - Justin Baylard 1 run (Jacob Grellner kick), 7:48
BOR - Kelan Winters 50 run (kick failed), 8:11
DUB - Maurion Warren 38 run (Schwartz kick), 7:06
BOR - Drake Raftery 55 pass from Baylard (Tyler Breckenkamp pass from Baylard), 5:22
DUB - Green 44 pass from Kinney (Matthew Davis pass from Kinney), 2:09
BOR - Baylard 1 run (Raftery lateral from Winters after pass from Baylard), 7:27