The St. James High School football team may have backed into a district home game this week.
But the Tigers will take it.
Despite losing its fifth consecutive game last week (to Pacific 39-22), St. James earned the No. 4 seed in the seven-school Missouri Class 3 District 2 and drew fifth-seeded Bishop DuBourg at home in Friday's district opener.
Kickoff for Friday's game is set for 7 p.m. at the St. James High Field.
The winner of the St. James-DuBourg matchup will play the district's top seed, John Burroughs, in the district semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Unbeaten John Burroughs is ranked No. 2 in the final regular-season Missouri Class 2 state poll and was Class 2 state runner-up in 2012.
In the Class 3 District 2 standings John Burroughs is seeded No. 1 with an 8-0 record and 55.81 points while Cardinal Ritter is No. 2 at 6-3 and 42.1 points, Soldan No. 3 at 5-4 with 40.44 points, St. James No. 4 at 3-6 with 28.55 points, Bishop DuBourg No. 5 at 3-6 with 27.22 points, Owensville No. 6 at 1-8 with 21.03 points, and John F. Kennedy No. 7 at 0-9 with 13.07 points.
In other Class 3 District 2 matchups this week Owensville plays at Soldan and Cardinal Ritter hosts John F. Kennedy. John Burroughs gets a first-round bye.
Last week the Bishop DuBourg Cavaliers kept John F. Kennedy winless with a 35-22 victory. DuBourg finished the AAA Large-School Conference with an 0-4 mark.
St. James' defense figures to get a heavy dose of Cavalier rushing. And that concerns Tiger head coach Greg Harlan, since teams have hurt St. James on the ground in recent weeks.
"They're a run-heavy team," Harlan said of DuBourg. "They're only averaging 8-to-10 pass attempts a game. They keep the ball on the ground. Obviously, we've got things to work on there.
"It won't matter what we do on offense if we can't stop their running game."
DuBourg has a balanced running game, led by junior running back Maurion Warren, who rushed for 225 yards last week and has a season-total of 648 yards on 75 carries (8.6 yards-per-carry) and six TDs. Also for the Cavs junior running back Stafford Green has 509 yards on 100 attempts and four TDs; senior running back William Kayser 414 yards on 67 carries and three TDs, and sophomore quarterback Thomas Kinney has four rushing TDs.
Kinney has completed just 31-of-92 passes for 423 yards, four interceptions and a pair of touchdowns. Junior wideout H.G. King has 11 receptions for 102 yards.
Kayser, a linebacker, leads the Cavs in tackles with 67 while a pair of freshmen, lineman Ron Warren and linebacker Matthew Davis, each have 47 tackles. Warren also has eight QB sacks.
The Tigers hope to continue their balanced attack.
Sophomore quarterback Brett Karnes has completed 96-of-186 passes for 1,094 yards, nine interceptions and 10 TDs while rushing for 282 yards and three more touchdowns.
Page 2 of 2 - Senior wideout Jamal Sconiers leads the Tiger receivers with 37 receptions for 507 yards while senior wideout Addison Conway has 20 catches for 210 yards and junior wideout Jake Money has 19 catches for 198 yards.
Senior running back Jesse Hays leads the STJ ground game with 645 yards on 122 carries and four touchdowns.
Cameron Orlando, a junior linebacker, has 59 solo and 86 total tackles for the Tigers while junior linebacker Garrett Ubben has 49 solos and 68 total and Money, a defensive back, has 42 solos and 62 total.
"Coming into the game this week we'd love to win so we would play an 11th game against a great team like John Burroughs," Harlan said. "I think it was 1993 the last time we played in an 11th game."