ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The 2020 high school football regular season has officially concluded as the postseason begins on Friday for many teams across Missouri.
It’s the first year that teams from St. Louis County will begin postseason play with four or fewer games under their belt. CBC and Marquette High School are two schools whose teams have only played four games.
The Cadets will face the Mustangs in the first round of postseason play on Friday. Both teams have a 3-1 record. The Cadets suffered their sole loss in Week 2 (41-21) to the De Smet Spartans, who are on a quest to defend their 2019 state title.
CBC rebounded quickly. The team is coming off a 49-19 victory over Chaminade. The Cadets don’t have a solidified starting quarterback in 2020 but are utilizing two juniors based on health and game strategy.
Junior quarterback Ayden Robinson-Wayne started in CBC’s first two games of the fall season before suffering minor injuries.
Junior quarterback Patrick Heitert took over from there. Heitert ranks fifth in pass ratio leaders in the state with 578 total passing yards and a 139.448 passing ratio.
The Cadets have been led offensively by senior wide receivers Chevalier Brenson and Zach Hahn who have a combined 12 touchdowns in four games.
Cadets head football coach Scott Pingel said the most challenging part of heading into the postseason with just four games of experience in 2020 is avoiding injuries, which have plagued many St. Louis county team’s this season.
“You didn’t have the ability to practice in the summer competitively,” Pingel said. “You didn’t have the ability to practice much in the fall competitively. So your first game, your first live action was Week 1. And it’s a pretty violent game when you’re not used to that kind of collision. So I think injuries have been the biggest thing.”
The Marquette Mustangs also have senior leadership to use to their advantage this postseason.
Pingel said the Cadets’ main focus heading into the game is shutting down senior running back Chris Kreh.
Kreh ranks eighth in scoring leaders in the St. Louis area with 16 touchdowns in four games. No other players on the Mustangs’ roster are even close to hitting this number.
Marquette is stacked with 29 seniors this year, but not in the quarterback position.
Marquette’s starting quarterback is sophomore Jack Ahlbrand, who Mustangs head football coach Michael Stewart said has stepped up in big ways this fall.
In 2019, the Mustangs made their deepest run in the playoffs in more than five years, and Stewart said the recent experience is giving many returning seniors confidence heading into round one.
“They got a significant amount of time last year, and followed the seniors ahead of them through the deep stretch of the playoff run that we had,” Stewart said. “And so they learned a lot through that process and it carried over into a strong summer, and even when we were delayed, we knew that when we got back going we had a special group on our hands.”
Marquette suffered its first loss last Friday in Week 9 of regular play to the Fort Zumwalt North Panthers by a final score of 35-16 but have the chance to rebound Friday.