Sporting WCA

The Calm before the Storm: WCA vs. St. Charles West Pregame

As the regular season draws to a close, Varsity Football is preparing for their final opponent: the St. Charles West Warriors. The Warriors enter this week with a record of 6-2 and are coming off a 48-17 victory against their rival St. Charles Pirates.

While the Warriors carry a 6-2 record and are on a five-game win streak, their resume of wins is fairly unimpressive. They’ve beaten just one team with a record better than .500. Both of their losses, however, have come against teams in Westminster’s District.

Similar to Westminster, the Warriors run the ball on the majority of their snaps. They’ve attempted just 51 passes all year, surprisingly 16 fewer than the Wildcats’ 67 passing attempts. However, the reason the Warriors throw so little is because they’re able to run the ball very effectively; they’ve run for an impressive 8.9 yards per carry this season.

Look for the Warriors to try to run the ball all day, but don’t be surprised if they don’t put up a bunch of points like they have in the past few weeks (a combined 143 in their last three games.) The Wildcats play their strongest football at the line of scrimmage, so a low scoring game like Westminster tends to play is easily foreseeable.

The highlight of this year’s team has been the defensive line and linebackers.

On the Westminster side, the Wildcats are still fighting injury. Atlin Hall went down on the second offensive possession last week with a high ankle sprain. He will not play Saturday. LJ Minner also went down with an ankle injury in last week’s game against O’Fallon Christian, but will be on the field against St. Charles West. Quarterback Nick Ford will miss his second consecutive game with a knee injury.

With only one week left and all teams being guaranteed a playoff game, the Wildcats won’t force anyone to come back prematurely for a game that means relatively little. Next week will be all hands on deck as every game after Saturday will be win-or-go-home.

The Wildcats’ offense will remain very one-dimensional as they’ll run the ball on the majority of all plays. Someone will have to be there to fill in for all of Hall’s carries, and Minner will likely see at least 25-30 touches. Jackson Selk will be the main quarterback for the game, but Zach Brasier may enter for a handful of plays.

St. Charles West is a tough team. They have three players with more than 625 rushing yards and at least eight rushing touchdowns. Their quarterback has run for an additional 334 yards. If they can run the ball successfully, they’ll have an easy day. If the Westminster defensive line can generate pressure off the line, the result will likely be the opposite.

At the end of the day, the most most important factor on Saturday is the Westminster defense. If the Wildcats win, they’ll have momentum heading into the playoffs. If not, hopefully they’ll be able to get healthy enough to survive next week.