Sporting WCA

Football’s Season Comes to Close

The Westminster Wildcats fell to the Borgia Knights 10-24 in the opening round of the playoffs.

This was the second straight week where these two teams faced each other. The Wildcats won last weeks game in a thrilling 46-35 win, but this week Borgia was ready for revenge.

“We knew Westminster had an explosive offense,” said Dale Gildehaus, Borgia’s head coach, “and how do you beat a good team that can throw it extremely well? You have to keep it out of their hands.”

That’s just what Borgia did, as Borgia made it 0-7 early in the first quarter on a 11 yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacob Unnerstall.

The Cats would respond 6 minutes later by putting together a 65 yard drive that got them down to the Borgia 15, but they were unable to find the endzone. They settled for a 30 yard field goal by sophomore kicker Andrew Kempen to make it 3-7.

However, Borgia was quick to answer with points of their own. They had another long drive to close the first quarter and start the second. Unnerstall almost had another rushing TD, but he was striped at the 1 yard line, and Borgia’s Justin Heggeman was able to recover it in the endzone for the score to make it 3-14 Borgia.

Borgia had another good chance to score with 5:16 remaining in the half, but senior safety Josh Pottebaum came up with a huge interception on the Wildcat goal line, his second of the game.

This set up Westminster’s best drive of the game. They marched down the field in 2 minutes and junior QB Chad Briden found senior Logan Sells in the endzone for a 12 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 10-14.

However, Borgia was able to work it’s way down the field and set up a 42 yard field goal try with 2 seconds remaining in the first half. Kicker Jacob Dralle barely snuck the ball through the goal posts to give Borgia a 10-17 lead at the half.

In the 3rd quarter the Cats had some promising drives, but they were not able to convert them to points. Briden was intercepted twice and they had to punt from inside the Wildcat 50 yard line multiple times. Westminster seemed to be one play away the whole game, but they couldn’t come up with the one play they needed in order to tie the game or take the lead. It did not help that senior RB and all time leading rusher Steve Webb was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Westminster would finish with -13 rush yards on the day, their worst rushing total on the year.

“That was a killer,” said Head Coach Chris Pederson, “we love to pass the ball but even to do that we need a good run game and control of the line of scrimmage. We weren’t able to do that today and it killed us.”

It also didn’t help that Westminster’s explosive offense did not touch the ball for an entire quarter. Yes, you read that right. Borgia received a punt on their own 13 with 3 minutes and 50 seconds to go in the third quarter. Their 87 yard, 25 play drive lasted 12 minutes and 22 seconds (quarters are 12 minutes) and ended in a 6 yard touchdown run by Heggeman, his second of the day, with 3:28 remaining in the fourth quarter to make it 10-24 Borgia.

The Cats weren’t able to get anything going and an interception by Jonathan Braun sealed the win for Borgia. This was the first time in four years that Westminster did not make it to at least the district quarterfinals and ended an 8 game win streak verse Borgia. The final score to the game was 10-24 Borgia.

Westminster finished the year 3-7; this was amidst losing 22 seniors from last year and battling with injuries to both their starting quarterback and running back.

“It’s obviously not how we wanted the season to end, but I’m still really proud of our team,” said senior captain Josh Pottebaum, “we had a lot of young guys step up where we needed them to and we fought the whole year. Man I’m going to miss these guys next year. It ended too soon.”