Welcome to the Archdiocesan Athletic Association, Tolton Catholic.
St. Francis Borgia Regional’s football Knights defeated the Trailblazers in their first-ever AAA Large Division contest Friday at Borgia, 49-21.
“Tonight was a great night for us,” Borgia Head Coach Dale Gildehaus said. “Our special teams came up huge. We didn’t take advantage like we wanted to, but to put 49 points up on the board, you’ve got to be tickled to death. I’m pleased, but I want more. I think there’s more in the tank.”
The win, combined with other results put the Knights on top of the Class 4 District 5 standings. Borgia is the only undefeated team in the eight-team district. Both Camdenton and Helias lost, so Borgia vaulted over them. The Knights have 46.33 points to Camdenton’s 44.33 and a total of 38.67 for Helias. Rolla is fourth at 38.33 points. The second three are each 2-1 as is fifth-place Washington (35).
Rounding out the standings after three rounds are Union (24.33), Pacific (15.33) and Sullivan (11.33).
“It’s a good win over a smaller team and that’s the only thing which hurts us in the standings,” Gildehaus said. “This makes us better and gets us ready for a very good St. Mary’s team this week.”
Borgia improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the league. Tolton Catholic, of Columbia, fell to 1-2 overall, 0-1 in the conference.
Borgia heads to St. Louis Friday night to take on St. Mary’s (1-2) in a 7 p.m. game.
After driving down the field on the opening drive, Matthew Sinnott rumbled up the middle for the first score with 9:02 left in the opening quarter. Jake Nowak’s kick made it 7-0.
“This was a game where we did what we wanted to do early running right down the field,” Gildehaus said. “You don’t get a prettier drive than that running the inside and outside veer right down the field.”
Cole Meyer intercepted a Tolton pass as the Trailblazers moved deep into Borgia territory and that set up a long play for the Knights.
Tyler Stieffermann took a pitch and fired a halfback pass to an open Tyler Glosemeyer for a 69-yard touchdown with 3:34 to play in the quarter. Nowak’s kick made it 14-0.
A botched punt gave Borgia a short field and Meyer scored on a 21-yard run around right end with 1:21 to go in the first quarter. The 21-point lead was just what the Knights needed as the Trailblazers started to find success after that.
“That’s a special teams touchdown,” Gildehaus said. “That made it easy for our offense.”
Each team scored once in the second quarter and Borgia led 28-7 at the intermission. Borgia’s scored was a 24-yard run by Meyer. The Trailblazers got a 10-yard pass from Robert Hunter to Dylan Block. Nowak and Harrison McCrary kicked extra points for their respective teams.
“That young man at quarterback (Hunter) is as good as any quarterback we’ve seen,” Gildehaus said. “Union has a good quarterback. This young man is very tough. Monroe Mills is as good as any defensive tackle we’ve seen this year. We were told he’s leaning toward Kentucky right now.”
Each team scored in the third quarter with Louie Eckelkamp scoring on a two-yard run and Tolton’s Connor Fogue getting to the end zone from five yards out. Both kickers were successful.
In the fourth quarter, Borgia added a five-yard run from Eckelkamp and an 80-yard run from Sam Heggemann to activate the running clock, briefly.
“He followed his blockers well,” Gildehaus said.
Jack Washer returned the kickoff 74 yards for a score with 5:59 to go and that was the last score of the game.
Both kickers were perfect on extra-point attempts, but Nowak missed two field goals in the wet, windy conditions and McCrary hooked one.
The game had an early kickoff, 5 p.m., due to the arrival of the remnants of what had been Tropical Storm Gordon. Stormy weather stayed away, although there was rain at times and the wind was gusty.
“I think we played it right,” Gildehaus said. “It was a really good night overall. We had a good game with the weather for three quarters.”
The game had a delay for a different reason as Borgia’s Adam Bell had to be taken off by ambulance after he intercepted a pass and suffered a suspected neck or back injury. After he was checked out, he returned to the sidelines by the end of the contest.
“He was back here smiling,” Gildehaus said. “Hopefully he will be back next week. That was more of a precautionary thing.”
Borgia’s Justin Thacker suffered a shoulder injury in the game as well.
“He’s a tough kid and he says he’ll be back,” Gildehaus said. “We’ll see.”
Borgia again kept the ball mainly on the ground, running for 314 of its 510 offensive yards. Borgia also threw for 196 yards.
Tolton was pass-oriented with 276 yards through the air. The Trailblaizers had 344 total yards with 68 rushing yards.
Tolton had more first downs, 18-17, and was 4-14 on third down conversions. Borgia was 1-5 on third down. Borgia was penalized for 50 yards while Tolton was flagged for 42 yards.
Tolton made the game’s only three turnovers.
Meyer was Borgia’s top runner with 90 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.
“We tried to mix things up a bit,” Gildehaus said. “Cole Meyer is a weapon by himself. Not only does he throw the ball well, but he’s fast when he runs the ball. Tonight, you saw what we are trying to build. Cole is super fast and then you bring in Sam Heggemann and he’s big, strong and fast. It’s nice to get two quarterbacks into the mix because down the road we’re going to use them both. They have to play.”
Heggemann had six carries for 87 yard with 80 of those coming on his touchdown run.
Eckelkamp ran 12 times for 72 yards and two scores. Sinnott had five carries for 41 yards and one score. Alonzo MacDonald ran four times for 23 yards and Glosemeyer had one carry for one yard.
Heggemann was 8-10 passing for 127 yards. Stieffermann completed his only pass for a 69-yard touchdown. Meyer attempted three passes.
Glosemeyer was the top receiver with three catches for 126 yards and one score.
Eckelkamp (21 yards), Stieffermann (14), Adam Molitor (14), Joe Schmidt (13), Nate Rickman (six) and Meyer (two) each had one catch.
Sinnott paced the defense with 14 total tackles and two interceptions.
Glosemeyer had 11 stops while Molitor made seven tackles.
Four-tackle players were Braedyn Frankenberg, Mitchell Gildehaus, Joey Bolte, Bell and Rickman. Meyer added an interception and Molitor recorded a sack.
Schmidt punted once for 32 yards.
“I thought our linemen played well,” Gildehaus said. “Joey Bolte had his best game. With Justin Thacker out, Vinny Fortner, Zach Garbs and Jared Kriete played well. When you put all of these points on the board, we’re doing something right.”
Gildehaus knows his team faces a major test when it visits St. Mary’s Friday at 7 p.m. in AAA Large action.
The Knights won last year on the road while St. Mary’s won at Borgia two seasons ago.
St. Mary’s is 1-2 overall and this is the league opener. The Dragons lost in the opening week to Westminster Christian Academy, 44-30. In Week 2, Lutheran South defeated St. Mary’s in overtime, 29-28.
The win came last Saturday over Normandy, 36-8.
Borgia’s pass defense will be tested against the Dragons. Cam’Ron McCoy is the top thrower so far, completing 34 of 64 attempts for 628 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. It will be up to Borgia’s pass rush to put some pressure on McCoy to make it a little easier for the defensive backs.
Kevin Coleman (16-374, four touchdowns) and Travion Watson (7-141, one touchdown) are the top receiving threats.
The Dragons have rushed for a total of 175 yards in three games. Cyril Ikeh (22-59) is the top runner so far this season. Coleman and Timmy Muxo have the only rushing touchdowns so far.
Top defensive players are Wardell Buchanan, Will Menendez, Patrick Harris and DeShawn Fuller. Jalen Bethany, Muxo and Coleman each have two interceptions so far.
Coleman is a threat on kick returns and averages over 45 yards per return. Borgia will need to deal with that threat after allowing kickoff return touchdowns in each of the past two weeks.