Week 1 Review: Upsets and Air Assaults

The Expected

If I did over or under score predictions (which could come to fruition) then I would’ve been correct on the Parkway Central versus Parkway North game. Both teams run the football, but have better defenses. A 20-9 result perfectly suits these two teams on how they approach each other. This may not be the last time these rivals face each other, as they are in the same Class 4 district.

Metro Catholic schools, CBC and SLUH, soundly defeated two lower schools, Miller Career and Gateway STEM by big margins. Both will be tested next week.

It was rough-sledding for most of the way for Marquette and Summit for most of the first half. A lot of long drives ended up stalling, but then the Mustangs finally pulled through late in the first half and galloped away for a resounding 49-6 victory over their Rockwood foe. Kyler Bayless totaled over 300 yards with 262 through the air and 42 on the ground. It’s great to see the Mustangs program getting turned around so quickly with the new coaching staff they have.

In just their first game, Webster Groves scored more points than last years team did through the first half of the season with a 42-6 victory over Hazelwood West. The expected part is Donovan Daniels running for 184 yards on 11 carries for two touchdowns and an addition receiving score.

The Lutherans did quick work with their opponents by pitching shutouts and ending the games in the first half. Aqeel Glass led North to a 52-0 thumping over Clayton with the explosive offense quickly showing how much of a blitzkrieg they can rain on teams. South defeated Roosevelt 53-0 and was led by Colton Bates’ four total touchdowns in the first half. North is now the No. 1 ranked small school in the GSV area with the victory and South moves up a spot to No. 6.

The Unexpected

Two big upsets. One that was not too improbable and the other was no way, man.

The Ladue Rams refused to read the script of laying down to the No. 5th ranked Class 5 team, Fort Zumwalt North Panthers and letting all-stater Cade Brister run all over them. In fact, the Rams led for just over 40 out of the 48 minutes of the ball game. Ladue had a shrewd game plan by targeting Brister on every QB-option play that the Panthers frequently ran. It worked wonders for most of the game, especially the first half. Zach Bush and Tyler Love came up big as receivers, while quarterback Jordan Jackson was calm as he always is. Chino Davis scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:53 to go and made the game-clinching tackle on a fourth down and three. Ladue earns an honorable mention in the GSV large school rankings, while they’ll probably get an actual ranking in the Class 4 state polls. Life isn’t always fair.

John Burroughs lost a nonconference game, which is enough of a shocker, however it was to the St. Dominic Crusaders, who’ve had average records over the past three seasons, however they could be turning a corner with this victory. The game was a wacky one because of a lightning delay, which pushed the game back to 10:25 p.m. After the delay and a Bombers touchdown, it was 20-7 in the third quarter and later 26-14 in the fourth. They persevered by taking their chances on some key turnovers late on. What does this mean for Burroughs? If they were looking for some fire to light within themselves then they got it. Surely this shocking loss will put a chip on their shoulders as they will hear about this for a couple of weeks. Coach Merritt made it clear that their new receivers are no Chris Booker’s and Ronald Smith’s, but they were certainly experienced and ready, going into it. They go down to No. 5 in the small school rankings and have time to bounce back up, but a lot will make presumptions that Burroughs won’t win a state title, get crushed in conference play, and might not even get close to state. All of those are still big question marks because this team will most likely rebound and improve, knowing the coaching staff, and the team’s usual work ethic. Still, losing in the way they did is a worrying sign.

One more game, which I consider to be an unexpected result was Vianney defeating Pattonville, 30-20. This is a talented Metro League school and were at home, however they are young. Most of their starters are juniors and sophomores, while Pattonville has an experienced roster. I was surprised how Vianney seemed to dictate the game from start to finish.

Where I was

The only was on hand to see Chaminade out-last Kirkwood 22-14. It was a stoic game for the most part that picked up in the second half. To me, it felt like a bit of a letdown because I wanted to see some more offense, rather than watching running backs get nowhere as they disappear into bodies of players in the trenches time and time again, which is what you will see Chaminade do on a basis. Nonetheless it did make for a nice resolution. The game opened up when Kirkwood took the lead, 14-8 with some big pass plays from Reece Goddard. In the end Chaminade used their offense wisely and called a clever hitch-and-go play that caused a poor Pioneer cornerback to lose his footing, which made for an easy six points. The Red Devil’s pass coverage was just as impressive with their vaunted run-defense, especially when it really mattered at the end. They successfully kept D1 recruit, Tahj Telfair extremely quiet and limited Goddard to just 208 passing yards. I thought Kirkwood would win, which makes it look odd that I chose Chaminade as the No. 1 team in large schools. They still are, while I look foolish.

For my usual Saturday game, I chose to go to St. Charles West at MICDS. I was intrigued to see these teams because they both have or had some potential in Class 4. As it turned out, the game was pretty much sloppy. Both teams had numerous penalties. The Warriors controlled the clock, overcame some mistakes and beat the Rams 20-13. The game was played on MICDS’s artificial turfed, multi-purpose field, which will fill in until their new 1,000 seat stadium is completed by next season. The Rams didn’t have much offense to show for their temporary field as they managed to get four first downs, all of which came in the second half, and scored no points. St. Charles controlled the possession with their heavy run game and ran a total of 52 plays to MICDS’s 31. To be fair, the Rams did not have the services of their best athlete, Preston Buchanan due to an injury. The best part of the of the game was the first four minutes of the second half when the Rams returned the opening kickoff to the house and then scored two plays later when linebacker Harry Wellford took the ball away from quarterback Cameren Jett. On the next possession, Jett redeemed himself with a smart last-second pass to Rashaad Chatman, who sped away to the end zone. It’s always nice to go out to MICDS because of their beautiful campus and having a boat load of options to carjack someone’s fine automobile.

Best Game

St. Mary’s versus Westminster could be among the most explosive encounters we’ll see all season long. 106 points scored, 14 touchdowns, and 1139 total yards. If this game tells us anything it’s that both offenses can light it up. A lot of bystanders knew that about Westminster with plenty of offensive talent coming back, but what about the Dragons? St. Mary’s went 1-9 last season, but they will be better this year. I guarantee it. Westminster may not have as great of a defense like last year, but they’re still decent in most areas. The Dragons will win ball games with that high-octane performance with the schedule they have.

Top Five Standout Performances

Tionne Harris (Vianney) - A junior that has been in the limelight since he was freshman, out-dueled fellow big time junior, Kaleb Eleby. Harris obtained 335 total yards as he threw for 205 yards and picked up 130 on the ground. He scored on four touchdowns, three passing and one rushing.

Gus Dattoli (St. Mary’s) - The junior threw for 528 yards for four touchdowns and was 29-for-50 through the air. If he throws around that many passes on a nightly basis then St. Mary’s will always be an entertaining bunch.

Antonio Burks (St. Mary’s) - Burks put in quite possibly, the best performance a wide receiver will put on all season. He caught 16 passes for 324 yards and scored once, in the 49-47 thriller against Westminster.

Steve Webb (Westminster) - Webb ran wild for 207 yards, on just 16 carries, and found the endzone three times. If there was some doubt about the Wildcats offensive linemen then they were crushed as they paved way for Webb all game long.

Krishon Merriweather (Hazelwood West) - The linebacker was busy on defense with 22 total tackles in a 42-6 loss against Webster Groves.