ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The 2020 Missouri high school football playoffs have been anything but predictable.
On Friday, the CBC Cadets (4-1) will face the De Smet Spartans (3-0) for the second time this fall.
The two teams first met in week one of the St. Louis County regular season where De Smet walked away with a 41-21 win.
And while the 2019 state champions are the favorites heading into Friday’s game, CBC has meshed and improved over the three weeks since.
CBC is coming off a victory over the Marquette Mustangs, which gave the team the amount of confidence it needed heading into this week. The Cadets will also gain multiple starters who missed games due to COVID-19-related issues or were injured.
De Smet is coming off a 55-0 shutout over Francis Howell Central, which ended with the Central Spartans taking a knee. The defending state champions have yet to be very challenged this year.
In week one, De Smet held CBC to 51 total rushing yards on 25 rushing attempts.
CBC had 151 total passing yards and was led by senior Chevalier Brenson, who tallied 87 receiving yards out of the Cadets’ 131 total receiving yards.
CBC was splitting time between two junior quarterbacks who have alternated since. After Ayden Robinson-Wayne suffered an injury, Patrick Heitert took the spotlight.
Heitert is now ranked 19th in passing leaders among schools from Mid-Missouri to the St. Louis area. Robinson-Wayne returned from injury last Friday, and may see more of the field on this weekend.
CBC head coach Scott Pingel said the team is determined to continue its season with a victory over De Smet.
"I think it means a little bit more, and plus it's in the playoffs, for the second year in a row it's been the second round of the playoffs," Pingel said. "So, ya know, that also just adds to it. Playing De Smet, playing in the playoffs, playing for a state championship, ya know it all adds to it."
Meanwhile, De Smet was strong on the ground with 215 total rushing yards, which was led by senior running backs Taj Butts and Rico Barfield.
The Spartans have also split time between junior quarterback Seth Marcione and sophomore quarterback Byron McNair who combined for 188 total passing yards against CBC earlier this season.
De Smet head coach Robert Steeples said the Spartans are approaching this game as though CBC is a brand new team.
"Both programs and teams have probably grown exponentially since that matchup," Steeples said. "And quite honestly what took place week one the season honestly doesn't matter. If it did, we wouldn't be playing this game. So, we understand it's going to be two new teams out there, and we're expecting each other's best effort."
CBC will visit De Smet on Friday. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.