Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Warriors, Indians to Clash in Key Contest Tonight

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Warriors, Indians to Clash in Key Contest Tonight

Article excerpt

When the Wentzville and St. Charles West football teams square off at 7:30 tonight at West, there will be a lot at stake.

For West, the game is a key one in Class 5A District 10 play. The Warriors, ranked No. 16 in the Post-Dispatch large-school poll, are 5-2 overall, 4-2 in the Gateway Athletic Conference and 1-0 in district play.

Wentzville, coming off a district loss at Columbia Hickman, is 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the GAC.

"Wentzville still has a shot in the GAC and beating us could put them back in the district picture," West coach Steve Stahl said. "This is a big game for both of us."

Last year, in one of the season's best defensive battles, West won 9-6 in overtime.

Defense will again play a major factor this year. West is coming off shutout victories over DeSmet and Fort Zumwalt North. Wentzville, led by Brent Mueller, has also won two games by shutout this season.

West's attack is built around Kenny Ball, who has rushed for 100-plus yards in five consecutive games. Ball has 682 yards and has scored eight touchdowns.

The Brian Manning-to-Jason Sparks passing connection has produced seven touchdowns this fall.

Wentzville's ground game features the inside-outside combination of Leonard Demming (527 yards, 7 TDs) and Keith Crumes (501 yards, 5 TDs). Quarterback Jeff Clapp has completed 57.5 percent of his passes.

"It should be a very good game," Stahl said.

In other 7:30 p.m. games tonight:

Francis Howell North at Jefferson City - "No team is unbeatable," Howell North coach Tom Cella said. "We're not afraid of Jeff. City and we're not going to be intimidated. Our goal is to play the best game we can. Hopefully that'll be good enough."

The 20th-ranked Knights (5-3) are coming off an emotional 15-8 victory over previously unbeaten Francis Howell. North has won three straight and five of its last six.

"We've improved steadily this season," Cella said. "Our seniors have given us great leadership and the younger players have been better with each game."

Senior Tom McFarland has been a force on both sides of the ball for the Knights this season. …

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