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‘Thursday Night Football’, the other channel

Like a TVwith two ESPN channels, area fans have their choice of which great game they want to see tonight. The Central Rebels will be hosting the Ste. Genevieve Dragons, second at state last year, in a just as important game as the North County/Farmington game. The Dragons will be trying to win the district title again this year when they play the Rebels tonight in what could be a winner-take-all battle between the two Class 3 teams.

‘Could be’ means that a couple of factors must take place. First, the 6-3 Potosi Trojans must defeat the 1-8 Fredericktown Blackcats. Potosi cannot win the district title, but with a Central win the Trojans can make the contest a three-way tie, which enables Central to have a shot at the title.

With the Potosi win, Central must still do more than win. They must win by at least 11 points. In district play, if there is a three-way tie, a point system is applied to break the tie. The difference in the scores of each of a team’s three district games are added together for their tiebreaker score with a maximum of 13 points allowed for each game.

Central has 5 points so far and Ste. Genevieve has 26. Potosi has a -5 points and could not catch the Dragons even if Central would win by a bunch of points. If the Rebels win by as much as 11 points, it would give them at least 16 points and Ste. Genevieve would fall to 15 or less, and Central would advance to sectionals. Anything less than 11 points means a Ste. Genevieve district title.

Whichever team wins, regardless of points, they will pull into a tie with Herculaneum for the conference title at 4-1.

Record-wise, Ste. Genevieve (5-4) and Central (3-6) have not had a stellar season, but season records are not the basis for winning districts, only the last three games of the regular season count.

Both teams are on the winning track. Central has won two of their last three games, and Ste. Genevieve has won three straight going into tonight’s contest. The edge might be seen as belonging to the Dragons since they are 2-0 in district play and have experience being in this position, having won districts the last three years in a row.

But Central should not be deterred, because they are the team that gave state-ranked Herculaneum its only defeat. The Rebels have vastly improved from their 0-4 start and have been playing with a great deal of confidence once they entered the winning track.

Quarterback Ronnie Calvird is a threat to the Dragons not only in passing, but the sophomore has the ability to take off on the run as well if the defense should back off for the pass.

Calvird averages 57% in passing completions and has receivers in David Barker, Grayson Clark and Ryan McFarland who can take the ball to the house if let go. Coupled with a good running game from Corey Beard, Zach Bone, Brian Gann and James Scholz, the Rebels will be able to attack Ste. Genevieve’s defense from all angles. Central’s offense should be able to score on the Dragons defense which has given up 21 points per game this year.

However, it will have to be Central’s defense to step up big. Ste. Genevieve has the ability to score points, and Central, already down 11 points, needs the Dragons to score as little as possible. The Rebels have given up 19 points per game while the Dragons have averaged 25 points per game.

Ste. Genevieve will look to quarterback Tanner Wolk to guide them into the state play-offs junior. Wolk , a junior, has 15 touchdowns on the year, averages 46% in passing and runs for an average of nearly six yards per carry on 138 attempts.

In the backfield with Wolk will be Taylor Huck, who averages 6.2 yards per carry, and Kellen Stolzer and Brad Schweigert who are both good ground-gainers.

Again, like the North County/Farmington game, both teams will have to keep their turnovers and penalties to a minimum. Central needs the motivation and momentum on their side. Ste. Genevieve has play-off experienced Coach Bob Stolzer on theirs.

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