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story.lead_photo.caption Helias teammates Drew Higgins (11) and Ethan Holzhauser (42) go high and low to tackle Cardinal Ritter wide receiver Luther Burden during last Saturday night's game at Ray Hentges Stadium. Photo by Kris Wilson / California Democrat.

It was an ugly 48-14 loss for the Helias Crusaders against the Cardinal Ritter Lions last Saturday night.

It's in their rear view mirror.

"There's no sense looking back, there's nothing we can do about it at this point," Helias coach Chris Hentges said as the Crusaders prepare to face the Borgia Knights tonight in a clash of state-ranked 3-1 teams in Washington.

"We've moved on to Borgia, it's going to be a game against a talented, well-coached football team."

The Crusaders can't afford to let the loss to the Lions carry over into tonight's contest or the Knights will make them pay.

Hentges said it's a typical Borgia team.

"They play good defense, they play good offense, the kids are fundamentally sound," he said. "Everything you want out of a football team, that's what Borgia does.

"It's a good program, not just a good team."

Borgia, No. 9 in Class 3 in this week's edition of the Missouri Media Rankings, will bring a two-game winning streak into the 7 p.m. contest. The Knights have averaged 35.3 points in their three victories.

Sam Heggemann, a junior, is the Knights quarterback. He is 28-of-58 passing for 401 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.

But he is especially dangerous running the ball. He has 485 yards (6.9 avg.) and eight touchdowns on the ground.

"Everything goes through the quarterback, he's got our full attention," Hentges said.

Heggemann is supported in the ground game by running backs Alonzo MacDonald (317 yards, 5.5 avg.) and Tyler Stieffermann (187, 6.7).

As a team, the Knights have run the ball 166 times for 1,020 yards (6.1 avg.) and 11 touchdowns. Borgia has run the ball on 75 percent of their offensive plays this season.

Helias got a full dose of the Borgia run game last year when the Knights defeated the Crusaders 41-13.

"They dominated time of possession with their run game last year and we're going to have to play good run defense against them," Hentges said.

But the Crusaders can't afford to forget about the Knights' passing game. Eleven different players have at least one reception this season as Borgia is averaging more than 14 yards per completion.

"It's short, controlled passes they will use when you stack the box to try to stop the run," Hentges said.

Defensively, the Knights operate out of a 3-4 front. Borgia has not allowed an opponent to score more than two touchdowns in a game so far this season.

"We struggled moving the ball against them last year, they are well-coached in that defense," Hentges said. "We're going to have to execute at a high level."

Brady Kleekamp, a junior linebacker, leads the Knights with 37 tackles. Brandon Mitchell, a senior linebacker, is next with 26, while junior defensive back Sam Schmidt has totaled 24 stops.

The Knights are averaging three quarterback sacks per game so far this season. Vinny Fornter, a senior lineman, leads the team with four. Will Heggemann, a senior linebacker, has three.

"If we're not sound in our protection, they will get to the quarterback," Hentges said.

Helias is split nearly 50-50 between run and pass plays so far this season. But that ratio might change tonight.

"It's hard to run the ball against that defense, they play it so well," Hentges said. "They make it hard to try and run the ball between the tackles."

Helias was plagued by eight turnovers last Saturday. The Crusaders don't want anything near that to happen again tonight.

"Good teams are going to turn turnovers into points," Hentges said.

Borgia lost 19 seniors off last year's team that finished 10-2.

"When you watch them on tape in Week 1 and now watch the tape in Week 4, you can see the progress," Hentges said. "They start a lot of guys who didn't play a lot last year and you can see them getting better with experience."

The Crusaders figure it will be a tough test tonight.

"I expect a tight football game," Hentges said. "It's about us and us doing the right things."

Notes: Senior linebacker Garrett Schnieders will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury suffered in the second quarter Saturday night. "He's going to be a a player-coach for us," Hentges said. "He'll be around the team. We're going to support him just like he will support us. He will help the football team the rest of the year in any capacity he can." Ethan Holzhauser will replace Schnieders, Helias' leading tackler through the first three weeks, at starting linebacker. Helias starting running back/cornerback Alex Clement will miss the next two games with a shoulder injury. Ryan Klahr, a sophomore who ran for 42 yards against Cardinal Ritter, will get the start tonight at running back. "You're going to see a lot more of him over the next couple of weeks," Hentges said. "He showed his explosiveness and quickness, I'm excited for him to get this opportunity." Thomas Bruemmer a senior, and sophomore Carson Brauner will also see time at running back. Drew Higgins, a junior, will start in place of Clement at cornerback. Senior running back Brody Mays is expected to be back from his injury next week against Father Tolton, Hentges said. After its win against Helias, Cardinal Ritter has the most district points of any team in any class in the state. The Lions have 66.59 points. Class 1 Thayer is second is with 60.50. Lebanon, in Class 4 District 5 along with Helias, is third with 59.67. The Crusaders have 53 district points and are third behind Camdenton in the standings. After beating Helias, Cardinal Ritter moved up two spots to No. 2 in the nation among small schools in rankings by MaxPreps. Helias has not allowed a point in the fourth quarter this season.

Related Media: Helias Crusaders Football Podcast [St. Francis Borgia preview, Sept. 27, 2019]

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