Kelan Winters might be a quarterback at heart.
But Borgia Head Coach Dale Gildehaus certainly is happy that Winters, a sophomore, has done what’s best for the team by playing running back.
On Friday, Winters averaged 10.7 yards per carry while scoring four touchdowns in Borgia’s 34-7 Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division win over visiting St. Dominic.
“He’s just got great speed,” Borgia Head Coach Dale Gildehaus said. “His future is just outstanding.”
Winters also got some snaps in at quarterback.
I wanted to give him some carries at quarterback,” Gildehaus said. “He’s been a quarterback all his life. The more he plays, the better his reads will become.”
“We are continuing each week to get better,” Gildehaus said. “That’s our ultimate goal. We have. These young men have bought into the program. They’re not afraid to work and there’s not any complaining. Everyone wants the ball, but it’s all about the team. It was a team win and we keep on rolling.”
Borgia (3-2, 2-1) heads to Bishop DuBourg (2-3, 0-2) Friday night to take on the Cavaliers in the AAA Large Division finale at 7 p.m.
St. Dominic (3-2, 1-1) also goes to south St. Louis to take on St. Mary’s.
“If we can have another great week of practice, we can get to be 4-2,” Gildehaus said. “That’s the goal. Our ultimate goal is to get a home game come Week 10.”
Winters had 17 carries on the night, including touchdown runs of 46, 24, one and 59 yards to give Borgia a huge lead in the contest. He added three receptions for three yards and returned two kicks for 63 yards.
Gildehaus also gave his sophomore the chance to play quarterback as well and he did not complete either of his two pass attempts in the game.
The Knights really didn’t need Winters to complete passes. Junior Justin Baylard did a good job at that, going 11-12 for 113 yards and one touchdown.
“Justin did a nice job of running our read tonight,” Gildehaus said. “He ran hard. He did a nice job of throwing the ball tonight.”
Junior Drake Raftery caught that scoring pass, a 15-yard touchdown, in the fourth quarter. Raftery was Borgia’s leading receiver on the night with four catches for 62 yards and one score.
Todd Kleekamp caught two passes for 28 yards.
“Todd Kleekamp is another senior who has improved,” Gildehaus said. “He made some nice catches tonight.”
Riley Durbin had one grab for 14 yards and Jeremy Humpherys caught one pass for six yards.
Winters played a major role in Borgia’s 214 rushing yards in the game.
Dominic Struckhoff, making his return from injury, carried the ball six times for 30 yards.
Baylard was next with six carries for nine yards. Dean Lockhart, another player making his debut after injury rehabilitation, ran twice for four yards.
“Dean ran the ball hard,” Gildehaus said. “We eased in Dominic Struckhoff in his return from injury.”
Charlie Smith had one carry for two yards. Brett Snider, Borgia’s punter, suffered a 13-yard loss when he struggled to handle a snap.
Snider did average 38.3 yards per punt in the game. Ryan Jones frequently found the end zone with his kickoffs.
“Brett had never punted before Aug. 16,” Gildehaus said. “He did a great job tonight.
John Hanneken and Logan Bell each had nine total tackles for the Knights. Dylan Voss posted eight while Brandon Guehne recorded eight.
“I thought Tyler Breckenkamp had his best game on defense,” Gildehaus said. “Phillip Swoboda played his best defensive game. With Hunter Warmack out, Dylan Voss stepped in and did a great job.”
Gildehaus also praised Borgia’s offensive line.
“They’re all underclassmen and they have never played a single down of varsity football before this year,” Gildehaus said. “Before the game, they were asking great questions. In the game, we’re playing faster now. Tonight was one step in the right direction. They’ve shown tremendous progression.”
Borgia’s stats had St. Dominic with 193 total yards with 128 on the ground and 65 through the air.
Tony Papa led the Crusaders in rushing with 14 carries for 53 yards. Luke Mennemeier ran four times for 39 yards and one touchdown. Mark Weiss had nine rushes for 28 yards.
Mennemeier was 4-21 in the game for 37 passing yards. Gary Ernst completed two of four attempts for 33 yards.
Drew Basse led the Crusaders with eight total tackles. Jarod Sachs had six stops.
If you had to use one word to describe Borgia’s Week 6 opponent, young would be it.
The Cavaliers actually have three seniors on this year’s team, but remain extremely young.
Of the rest of the roster, only 11 players are juniors this year. The others are sophomores and freshmen.
“With that year of experience, they’re much better in running their spread. They’re much more fluid in running the misdirection. We’ll have to play very disciplined football.”
Heading into this game last year, the Cavaliers hadn’t scored a touchdown. This year, DuBourg has two wins to its credit.
The Pioneers defeated St. Charles Lutheran, 29-27, and won a 15-13 game over Cardinal Ritter last week.
“They have an offense,” Gildehaus said. “Even against Duchesne, they moved the ball at times.”
Losses have been to Lutheran South (49-0), St. Dominic (41-23) and Duchesne (41-3).
“It’s a conference school,” Gildehaus said. “We’ve got a chance to finish second in our conference. Still, second’s not happy, but that’s better than last.”
Stafford Green is the top rusher for DuBourg with 50 carries for 334 yards and one touchdown.
Maurion Warren has scored three times while carrying 34 times for 209 yards.
William Kayser has run 22 times for 123 yards and one touchdown.
Thomas Kinney is DuBourg’s quarterback and he’s completed 12 of 42 attempts for 153 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Warren is the top receiver with four catches for 82 yards and one touchdown. Kayser has caught four passes for 42 yards and HG King has three catches for 23 yards.
Defensively, Kayser leads the way with 35 total tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Jeremiah McCloud has 26 total tackles and a sack.
Warren has returned eight kicks for 194 yards this season.
BOR - Kelan Winters 46 run (Brandon Guehne pass from Todd Kleekamp), 11:16
BOR - Winters 24 run (run failed), 3:59
BOR - Winters 1 run (Jacob Grellner kick), 1:01
BOR - Winters 59 run (kick failed), 1:46
SD - Luke Mennemeier 24 run (Alex Castulik), 8:40
BOR - Drake Raftery 15 pass from Justin Baylard (Grellner kick), 4:46