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Prep Football: Week 7

By: Warren Mayes

The record shows coach Jake Sumner’s Eureka Wildcats are undefeated at 6-0. However, Sumner doesn’t see it that way.

“We treat every game like we have a 0-0 record,” Sumner said. “We just want to keep building and growing.”

The Wildcats hit the road for a tough test at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 5) when Eureka will play the Pioneers at Kirkwood.

Here are the other local football games scheduled for this weekend.

Friday, Oct. 5 • 7 p.m.
• SLUH at Chaminade
• CBC at Vianney
• Lafayette at Parkway North
• De Smet Jesuit at Jefferson City
• Marquette at Pattonville
• Parkway South at Summit

Saturday, Oct. 6
• Lift For Life at Principia, 11 a.m.
• Parkway Central at Clayton, noon.
• Lutheran South at Priory, 1 p.m.
• Parkway West vs Ladue at Kirkwood, 1 p.m.
• MICDS at Westminster Christian Academy, 2 p.m.

Eureka is the No. 2 ranked team in the Class 6 Missouri Media poll. Kirkwood (5-1) is  ranked No. 4 in the Class 6 Missouri Media poll.

The two teams don’t cross paths often. They have met just twice and Kirkwood prevailed both times.

Kirkwood rallied to defeat Eureka in 2015 quarterfinals with a 28-21 victory. In 2016, Kirkwood thumped Eureka 45-7 in the quarterfinals.

“These kids have been around and they were freshmen and sophomores then. They know about those two games,” Sumner said. “It’s always on their minds. When they got put on our schedule this year, it’s one of those games you like to see on there and get exited about.

“Everybody is excited about this game. We’ve worked hard to be 6-0. We’ve worked hard to be ready to play in a game like this. It will be a heck of a football environment. We’ll see where we’re at as a football team.”

Eureka began the season with two hard-fought wins. The Wildcats got past Fort Zumwalt West 24-20 and Timberland 20-13.

The team found itself and came together after those first two games. Eureka has rolled to easy wins in its last four games.

The Wildcats outscored Hazelwood Central, Lafayette, Parkway South and Lindbergh by a combined 159-26 total in those four games.

“We had some tight ones early,” Sumner said. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year. We had to figure out what it takes. And they have. We’ve got a special group here.

“I’ve been telling everyone they just keep getting better. They’re improving. I’ve got a good hard working group of young men. They have all the variables you want in athletes and they’re hungry to improve.”

The Wildcats use two quarterbacks. Sophomore quarterback Carter Davis and senior quarterback Tyler Kennedy handle the duties. Kennedy also is a starting safety.

“Both of them are real talented quarterbacks,” Sumner said. “Tyler was a two-year starter for us. Carter played a little bit last year. He threw a touchdown pass against CBC.”

Eureka lost to CBC in the state semifinals last year.

“We knew we had two successful quarterbacks going into this season. It’s an awesome situation for us. They’re great for each other. Both are just unbelievable kids.

“They are both talented. They play off each other well. Carter has been successful throwing the ball and running the ball. Tyler is the same but he also plays full time on defense. This just works for us.”

Davis takes the majority of the snaps, Sumner said. Kennedy comes in different situations like on goal-line plays or in the red zone.

Sumner is ready to see how his squad will fare against Kirkwood.

“It’s an exciting match-up for sure,” Sumner said. “We’re all excited about it. We know we’re playing at their place. It’s another variable we have to overcome.

“We just have to play between the whistles. I’m telling them it’s just another field.”

Kirkwood coach Farrell Shelton used to coach at Eureka. Sumner was on his staff. The two remain in contact.

“We talk from time to time,” Sumner said. “We catch up with each other.”

Sumner said he knows Kirkwood will be ready to play.

“Kirkwood is a very talented football team. There is a lot of talent over there,” Sumner said. “They have great team chemistry going. Their offense is high powered. They play good defense. They have a lot of speed.

“They’re coached up well. It’s just a football team.”

Sumner knows what his Wildcats must try to do to leave Kirkwood and maintain the undefeated record.

“We’ve got to come out and play the best football that we’re capable of playing,” Sumner said. “It comes down to who makes plays. Don’t make turnovers. Eliminate the big plays on defense.

“This will be two good teams playing. That’s what it’s all about. It will be a fun time Friday night.”

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