For the second time in two weeks, St. Clair proved to be too much for Borgia on the football field.
The second-seeded Bulldogs (9-1) took the lead in the first minute of the game and never looked back Thursday in a 38-7 Class 4 District 3 victory over the seventh-seeded Knights.
“I’m happy with the way our kids responded with a short week. We answered the bell,” said St. Clair Head Coach Cody McDowell. “It’s tough to beat a good team twice. The kids were ready to go and played pretty well.”
The loss marked the end of a tough season for the Knights (4-6).
“It’s over. I lost 21 seniors who are great kids. We lost to a very good football team. St. Clair has outstanding speed. They’re a well-coached team,” said Borgia Head Coach Dale Gildehaus. “The neat thing about playing St. Clair is they win with class and they lose with class. That’s what’s neat about playing a Cody McDowell team. He’s a gentleman. We wish them the best.”
St. Clair will host Priory (8-2) in the district semifinals Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Priory defeated Union in its district opener Thursday at Parkway North, 8-0.
“I don’t know a lot about them. I’ve seen some film on them and have an idea of what they do,” McDowell said. “They have a good record and have beaten some good teams. We’ll be ready for them.”
The Metro League runner-up has lost only twice this season, 55-34 to Alton Marquette and 59-28 to John Burroughs.
Priory put 42 points on the board in a win over MICDS, 49 in a win over Westminster and won 34-7 last week against previously unbeaten St. Dominic.
But the Rebels were held to just eight points Thursday against Union.
Running back Thomas Raybuck entered the Union game with 1,411 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns, but didn’t play against the Wildcats because of a turf toe injury he suffered during practice. He is questionable to play against St. Clair.
Quarterback David Nogalski has 885 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns and 1,248 passing yards with 12 touchdowns.
Main receivers are Dan Watson and Patrick Agnew.
Sam Friedman leads the team in tackles.
Sullivan (10-0) hosts Westminster (8-2) in the other semifinal game.
The semifinal winners advance to the district championship game Monday, Nov. 5.
“Our kids are keeping it loose and understand what we have to do,” McDowell said. “We have a lot of older guys on the team, so that helps.”
St. Clair accumulated 410 total yards, 328 rushing and 82 passing.
Quarterback Kyle Juergens was 7-13 passing for 82 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also carried the ball eight times for 74 yards and two touchdowns, including a 50-yard dash.
Adam Brott rushed for 104 yards on seven attempts, which included a 90-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game. He also had five receptions for 49 yards, which included a five-yard touchdown catch.
Evan Powell had an eight-yard touchdown catch from Juergens in the second quarter.
Rickey Grivetti rushed for 76 yards on 14 carries. Josh Martin carried the ball three times for 83 yards. Skyler Hutchison had two carries for 10 yards.
“Our offense was consistent. We made some mistakes here and there, which we’ll work on,” McDowell said. “This time of the year, you just have to win and advance. That’s what we did and now we’ll go on to the next one.”
Powell had an interception. Blake Dierking had a fumble recovery.
“Our defense played well,” McDowell said. “We did a good job containing their playmakers.”
Borgia managed 195 total yards in the contest.
Quarterback John Baumstark was 6-14 passing for 34 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries.
Ray Smith carried the ball 13 times for 65 yards.
Jacob Haskins scored the Knights’ lone touchdown on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter. He had 26 yards on three carries.
Robbie Vossbrink finished with four catches for 31 yards.
Baumstark had an interception on the defensive side. Clayton Pezold and Jacob Long both recovered a fumble.
“For us, it’s time to put the equipment away. We won four games. That’s unusual. It just doesn’t happen. This is my 26th year at Borgia, we’ve been 4-6 one time. This is it. This is a first,” Gildehaus said. “So what do we do this offseason? Well, we evaluate everything that we do — from your weight program to the offense and the defense that we run. The kids have to re-evaluate themselves. A coach can only do so much, and we will. I told the kids that I promise I’ll work harder this offseason.”
St. Clair held leads of 14-0 after one quarter, 25-0 at halftime and 38-0 after three quarters.
Juergens threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more.
Brott scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving.
Powell added a touchdown reception.
Haskins ran for a score for the Knights.
“We haven’t been done in October in a long time. Life goes on. Borgia football won’t stop today. We’ll be better next year,” Gildehaus said. “It’s a great group of kids. We worked hard and put a lot of time and effort into it, but it wasn’t meant to be.”