Sporting WCA

Wildcats’ Running Game Shines in 57-14 Rout of Living Word Christian

Varsity Football defeated Living Word Christian on Friday night by a score of 57-14. Neither the rain nor the cold nor the Living Word defense could slow down the Westminster offense. 

On just the second play from scrimmage, Atlin Hall took a snap out of the Wildcat formation 62 yards to the house. The two-play, 70-yard opening drive was only a preview of what would follow the rest of the night.

“We just had to out-physical them and play our style of football,” said left tackle Bennie Anderson.

On the ensuing kickoff, a gruesome ankle injury to a Living Word player paused the game for fifteen minutes. When play resumed, the Wildcats stuffed the Eagles on three straight plays, forcing a 4th and 5. The Eagles lined up to go for it, and the Wildcats jumped across the line on a hard count, giving the Eagles an automatic first down. Two pass interference calls would follow, and Living Word had the ball around the 20. However, the Westminster defense stuffed Living Word on four straight plays, giving themselves the ball back up 6-0.

On the third play of Westminster’s second drive, Atlin Hall once again lined up in the Wildcat. He took the snap and looked to run, but he was hit low in the backfield and went down in a great deal of pain. He was helped off the field with an ankle injury and did not return to the field.

Then began the LJ Minner show. On the Wildcats’ second possession, he scored the first of what would be three touchdowns in the game, this one a two-yard run from the goal line. The Wildcats went for two, running the ball with kicker Andrew Kempen, who crossed just inside the pylon to give Westminster a 14-0 lead.

“They wanted to talk right off the bat. We let our pads do the talking,” said safety Ben Straub.

Christian High scored, making it 14-6, but it was no use.

LJ Minner ran for another touchdown on the next possession. The offense moved methodically up and down the field, running between the tackles at will. Jackson Selk threw his first touchdown pass as a varsity quarterback – a 70-yard strike to Isaac Johnston. By now, the score was 29-6. LJ Minner added another score for good measure to make it 36-6 before leaving with an ankle injury. He did not come back into the game, but he remained on the sideline.

Late in the second quarter, Straub intercepted the Christian High quarterback and ran the ball down the 24 yard-line where he tripped and fell to the wet turf. In came Freshman Chris Skiljan at running back. He ran for a ten yard touchdown that was called back on an illegal formation penalty. Two plays later, he did it again, scoring to make the score 43-6 on his first varsity touchdown.

Ben Straub returns the interception.

“We had guys step up like Skiljan and Max Radloff who played huge for us,” said Anderson.

Living Word scored a second touchdown to make it 43-14 with 30 seconds left in the half, but it was hardly consolation for the rout that had already occurred.

With a 43-14 halftime lead and a running game that simply couldn’t be stopped, all Christian High wanted was for the game to be over.

The second half included an opening kickoff recovered by Nick Moten, another Chris Skiljan touchdown, and an 8-minute fourth quarter where the clock did not stop.

“We’re just gonna treat every game like it’s a playoff game,” said Moten.

By the time it was all said and done, the scored was 57-14. Westminster evened their record at 4-4 with one of their best performances headed into their final week of the regular season. After this Saturday’s game vs. St. Charles West, the Wildcats are only guaranteed one more game as the playoffs start.

Living Word served mostly as a tuneup for the rest of the season, but it only gets tougher from here.

“We’ve got all we need to be successful, as long as we stay together as brothers and keep rolling, the playoffs are gonna be a show,” said Straub.