The St. James football team (1-2) was able to get their first win of the season in their conference opener against Hermann last week. They'll look to keep that momentum moving this Friday when they hit the road to face another Four Rivers rival in Owensville.
"I've seen a lot of progress from week 1 to week 3," said St. James head coach Josh Rodriguez about Owensville. "They're getting better. They're playing a lot of young kids and they're aggressive and they're starting to click. They're going to be a handful for us to be able to stop."
The Dutchmen have a junior at quarterback in Trevor Abernathy, who has shown some promise. He has a big wide out in Cason Gray as a primary target, so those will be two players St. James looks to lock down.
"(Abernathy) has been their primary weapon on offense with the running game. He's got a good little arm and he's got a couple of receivers," said coach Rodriguez. "Cason Gray looks like a legitimate deep threat that we'll have to keep our eyes on."
Owensville has some pass looks, but so far this season a lot of their damage has been done on the ground. St. James has seen their fair share of run-heavy offenses this season and their defense has responded well so far.
"Well it sounds like broken record, but we've gotta do the same things," said coach Rodriguez. "We've got to focus on our keys, especially in the linebacking corps."
St. James has found a lot of success on the ground so far this season and had their first win of the season in a game where the weather forced them to do very little passing. The Tigers will continue to lean on their running game, but they won't just blindly run the ball.
"We're going to take what they give us. They're going to load the box up in some of our sets and we have to have the ability to throw, so we'll have to be balanced," said the St. James head coach. "Tate has progressed considerably in the passing game since week one as far his reads, so I expect that to get better. But we'll have to have to be more balanced than we were last week to find success as teams load the box to stop (Tyler) Recker."