Westminster Christian Academy off to fast start this season
By: Warren Mayes
The Wildcats whipped visiting MICDS 34-0 last week to move to 2-0 this season. Westminster is 1-0 in the Metro League after defeating the Rams, who were the Class 4 runner-up last season.
“It’s nice to be 2-0 but we know that the season is still young,” Snyder said. “We have taken steps toward accomplishing some of our goals but we haven’t accomplished any yet.”
In the Class 4 state poll, Westminster Christian Academy picked up five votes after its big win over MICDS.
The Wildcats return to action with a Metro League game at Lutheran North at 2 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 8).
The game with MICDS was moved up a day because of the forecast for bad weather because of the remains of Hurricane Isaac moving through the region. The decision turned out to be a good one.
“The first half weather was fine,” Snyder said. “The rain picked up some in the third and fourth quarter.”
Nothing in game preparations led Snyder to believe his Wildcats would shut out the Rams.
“(I) Definitely wouldn’t have predicted that,” Snyder said. “We got a couple of breaks early that gave us some momentum and we built on that through the first half. Our kids played hard the whole game and didn’t let up.”
Certainly, Snyder’s squad was ready to play against MICDS.
“I think our kids just enjoy playing the game of football no matter who the opponent is,” Snyder said. “It was also the opening game of our league schedule so there were some steps that we were able to take toward accomplishing some of our season goals.”
Westminster scored just 17 seconds after the opening kickoff. The Wildcats recovered a fumble inside the MICDS 1 and capitalized. Junior quarterback Brett Bond hit paydirt on a quarterback sneak.
Later in the first quarter, the Wildcats hit a 57-yard touchdown pass and then enjoyed a 22-yard TD pass in the second quarter. Westminster added a 55-yard scoring strike in the third quarter. The Wildcats never looked back.
Topping a high profile program like MICDS is a high-profile victory for Westminster. The Wildcats were 2-8 in each of the last two years.
“Whenever you win a game against a program with the tradition of MICDS, it’s a confidence builder,” Snyder said. ” We know that the season is still young and there is a long way to go and try not to put too much significance on any one game.”
Bond hit seven of 10 passes for 155 yards and three touchdowns. While Snyder said it was a solid performance, he pointed out Bond did not do it alone.
“I think that Brett would be the first guy to tell you that he had some help from his offensive line and receivers making some good catches,” Snyder said. “He is doing a great job running the offense and taking what the defense is giving rather than forcing the ball.”
There were several other standouts in the victory for the Wildcats.
“Justin Creighton at nose tackle had a monster game for us,” Snyder said. “He didn’t record a ton of stats but he really plugged up the middle and ate up blocks. There were a couple of fourth-and-shorts where his penetration stopped the run.
“Jesse Gruneisen also played really well at linebacker for us last week. Those are some guys that might not appear at first look because they aren’t making big catches and/or runs like some of the other guys on the team.”
This weekend, the Wildcats hit the road to play at Lutheran North. The Crusaders are 0-2.
This is a case, Snyder said, where his squad will have to ignore the Lutheran North record.
“Absolutely. They have some great players on that team and a line with good size,” Snyder said. “We know that they will come out and compete on Saturday and are looking forward to a good contest.”
The Wildcats have work to do. They will not be able to just walk on the field and leave with a win.
“We need to keep building and improving each week,” Snyder said. ” It’s important for us to put past games and outcomes behind us and focus on the next task at hand. All we can do is work hard this week, show up on Saturday and play our best football to give ourselves a chance to win.”