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High school football Week 12: District championship games

By: Warren Mayes

Parkway Central coach Mark Goldenberg doesn’t care when his Colts play just as long as they get to play.

The Colts (10-1) play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Riverview Gardens against the Rams (8-3) in a Class 4 district championship game.

The other postseason district title games will be played Friday. All the kickoffs will be at 7 p.m.

In Class 6, defefeated Eureka (11-0) will host Lindbergh (10-1) while CBC (10-1) will entertain Hazelwood Central (10-1). In Class 4, MICDS (9-2) will play Ladue (9-2) at Kirkwood.

All the winners will advance to the quarterfinals in their brackets.

“Playing on Saturday means an extra day of preparation,” Goldenberg said. “We plan to be there and be ready to play. We’re playing well right now and everybody is excited to be in a position to win a district championship.”

Parkway Central earned a convincing 42-7 victory over rival Parkway North last week. Riverview Gardens rallied to score a 42-41 victory over Fort Zumwalt East.

Senior quarterback Lawrence Johnson rushed for 214 yards and four touchdowns and also threw for 125 yards and a touchdown in the Rams’ win.

The 6-foot-1 and 160-pound quarterback has thrown for 1,463 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. He’s also rushed for 1,652 yards and 22 touchdowns.

He has Goldenberg’s attention.

“I know they are very well coached football team,” Goldenberg said. “They’re very athletic. One (Johnson) touches the ball on every single play. He can produce some challenges.”

The Colts going into the game in good shape health-wide, Goldenberg said.

“We’re proabably as good as you can be in Week 12. We lost couple of kids to knee injuries earlier this year. Everyone else is pretty healthy.”

Running back Jayden Mitchell has been out (knee) since Week 1.

The Colts have plenty of weapons to counter the Rams.

Senior running back Noah Wittner has rushed for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He finally got his chance to play regularly this season and he has made the most of it.

“He’s a fanstastic year,” Goldenberg said about Wittner. “He came into the season as a third-strong running back. He’s done everything you’d want from a kid. I’m very proud of him as a four-year program player. He’s done everything to get on the field and now that he’s got his opportunity, he’s taken it and run with it. He was ready when his time came.

“That’s what you do this for as a coach. He’s someone who will do anything for anybody. He’ll run down on a kickoff. He’ll be a lead blocker. He’s the ultimate program player.”

Senior quarterback Patrick Dill has thrown for 1,358 yards this fall. He’s also set the school record for most touchdowns in a single season with 21. That breaks the record was held by Isaac Byrd, who starred in college and in the NFL.

“Patrick Dill is the same way as Noah,” Goldenberg said. “He’s come into his own as a senior. He’s been fantastic for us. He really, really worked hard this summer to be as prepared as he could be.

“With the decisions he’s made this year and the little things he does, he just has played way above my expectations.”

What Goldenberg likes is his ability to see the whole field. He throws a “catchable” ball and he gets it out quickly.

“Before things on the field were going fast but now it’s slowed down,” Goldenberg said. “I like he handles himself out there.”

His top two targets are senior receivers DeAndre Campbell and Arther Green. He’s also got Jayden Littlejohn,Nate Moore, Cory Rice and Devin Rice.

“We have good receivers,” Goldenberg said. “It’s a good group. Everybody does their job.”

That includes the offensive line.

“The line has gotten bettery every game,” Goldenberg said. “We have time to pass and our backs have good holes to run through. It makes for a good combination. They have jelled into a solid group.”

Goldenberg pointed out the Colts’ defense and special teams have played a huge role for the team this season.

“The defense and special teams are an absolute key to our sucess this year,” Goldenberg said. “Our defensive coordinator Mike Wright and Ryan King are defensive masterminds. Aaron Muller and his special teams have worked so hard in prepartion to be successful and make plays.”

To get a victory and reach the quarterfinals, Goldenberb said all three phases of the game must work hand in hand.

“The keys will be to contain their playmakers and be opportunistic when we get chances,” Goldenberg said. “We have to be able to execute well. We have to tackle extremely well.

“Those guys at Riverview are very, very good and they want to win, too. We have to be ready.”

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