Priory got a first-hand look of how dominant and explosive St. Clair has been all season.
Playing in the Class 4 District 3 football semifinals Wednesday at St. Clair High School, the second-seeded Bulldogs fell behind by a touchdown early on, but responded with six unanswered touchdowns in a 42-13 victory over third-seeded Priory.
“We played a good game, especially after the first 10 minutes of the game where they had the ball,” said St. Clair Head Coach Cody McDowell. “We knew coming in that Priory was a good team. They’re well-coached and very disciplined. They had good size up front. We just made some plays. We played physical and knocked the ball lose a few times. That’s something they probably haven’t seen too much.”
St. Clair (10-1) visits Sullivan (11-0) in the district championship game Monday at 7 p.m.
The district winner advances to the Class 4 quarterfinals Saturday, Nov. 10, against either Webb City (11-0) or Hillcrest (10-1).
St. Clair accumulated 523 total yards against Priory, 377 rushing and 146 passing.
“We did a good job up front,” McDowell said. “Those guys deserve a lot of credit.”
St. Clair quarterback Kyle Juergens had another huge game. He carried the ball eight times for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Two of his rushes went for a combined 162 yards on touchdowns of 71 and 91 yards.
With Wednesday’s effort, Juergens surpassed 1,000 yards rushing on the season.
Juergens also made the most of his passing attempts, completing six of 12 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
“Kyle busted one on our first play and got another big one later in the game,” McDowell said. “He played the way we expect him to play.”
Collin Scott was 1-1 passing for 18 yards.
Rickey Grivetti carried the ball 12 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
Wyatt Mehler rushed for 39 yards on seven attempts. Skyler Hutchison carried the ball once for five yards.
Adam Brott finished the game with three receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
Harley Love (18 yards), Evan Powell (17 yards), Blake Dierking (11 yards) and Alan Barrett (eight yards) each added one catch.
“We just made more plays than they did,” McDowell said.
Defensively, Evan Murphy paced St. Clair with seven solo tackles and six assists.
Jake Yerkey collected four solos and two assists, including two sacks.
Josh Martin and Brott both collected three solos and two assists. Juergens also had three solos.
Ben Suntrup registered two solos and three assists. Hutchison, Powell and Dierking each added two solos and two assists.
Jake Oermann and Grivetti both had two solos.
Priory running back Thomas Raybuck, who entered the game with 1,411 yards rushing on the season after missing last week’s Union game, rushed for 88 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown against St. Clair.
Quarterback David Nogalski was 16-28 passing for 162 yards and one touchdown.
“The running back is a good player. We did a good job keying in on him and didn’t let him break any big ones,” McDowell said. “The quarterback made some throws.”
Priory (8-3) had the game’s first possession and took over 10 minutes off the clock, capping a 23-play drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Raybuck to make the score 7-0 with 1:49 left in the first quarter.
It was all St. Clair from there.
On the Bulldogs’ first play, Juergens raced 71 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with 1:27 remaining in the opening quarter.
The game was tied 7-7 after one quarter.
St. Clair found the end zone three times in the second quarter.
Brott had a pair of touchdown receptions from Juergens. The first went for 69 yards to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead with 8:36 left in the second quarter. The next went for six yards to make the score 21-7 with 1:50 remaining in the second quarter.
St. Clair then reached into its bag of tricks, scoring on a hook-and-ladder from Juergens to Barrett to Grivetti for a 46-yard touchdown with one second left on the clock.
“We’ve used plays like that on occasion. We thought it was a good time to try it,” McDowell said. “We did a good job executing it and got the touchdown.”
The Bulldogs led 28-7 at halftime.
St. Clair put the game away with a pair of third-quarter scores.
Grivetti raced 34 yards for a touchdown to make the score 35-7 with 9:48 left in the third quarter.
Juergens capped the Bulldogs’ scoring with a 91-yard touchdown run to make the score 42-7 with 1:01 remaining in the third quarter.
The Rebels scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter on a 62-yard pass from Nogalski to Dan Watson with 2:48 left on the clock.
St. Clair 7-21-14-0=42
P-Thomas Raybuck 3 run (Lucas Correa kick), 1:49
S-Kyle Juergens 71 run (Jacob Meisel kick), 1:27
S-Adam Brott 69 pass from Juergens (Meisel kick), 8:36
S-Brott 6 pass from Juergens (Meisel kick), 1:50
S-Rickey Grivetti 42 pass from Juergens (Meisel kick), :01
S-Grivetti 34 run (Meisel kick), 9:48
S-Juergens 91 run (Meisel kick), 1:01
P-Dan Watson 62 pass from David Nogalski (pass failed), 2:48