The lights switch on for local football this weekend.
Here’s the lineup to start the 2012 season;
Friday, August 24
(13-2) John Burroughs at Cape Girardeau Central, 7 p.m.
(8-4) Ladue at (10-2) Parkway Central, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 25
(11-3) Maplewood at (14-2) MICDS
Burroughs and Cape:
Ezekiel Elliott, everyone’s favorite running back will be a load for the Bengal Tigers to deal with.
The Tigers will offer plenty for the visiting Bombers. They have an enrollment five or six times bigger than the private school from St. Louis.
The Bombers need to settle on a quarterback. Sophomore Tre Moore and junior Nick Duncan are battling for the job held by graduated Davey Holmes who is at Pomona College in California.
Returner Christian Bledsoe is expected to blend with Elliott as a two back running threat. The Bombers have lots of receivers with various amount of skills, i.e. Foye Olukun (10 TDs, 669 yards a year ago); Peter Schnuck and newcomer tight end 6-foot-3 Nathan Van Slyke.
Trevor Bain is a nice talent at both wide receiver and outside linebacker. Expect, 6-foot-1, 265 pound Griff Palan to pound some holes for those swift backs.
Ladue at Parkway Central:
Every year, it seems the Rams open up on the Colts synthetic turf. That’s because in 2012, Ladue still does not have lights at its home field. They give away that advantage often.
The passing combination at Ladue left via graduation. Brandon Carr, threw for 17 TDS and was a 50 percent passer. His favorite target Jehu Chesson (53 catches, 75 yards and 6 TDs) is locked in a battle for a stating berth for the highly-regarded Michigan Wolverines.
Deavin Edwards, who rushed for 26 TDs and 1,579 yards before experiencing a season-ending ankle injury in the Clayton game is gone. He's at Missouri Valley College.
It looks like Matt Hooper will be the quarterback. Experienced players like receiver Sam Glancy, Cody Kniptash and Chase Lambie will have to carry the load.
One year ago Brandon Shepard (Oklahoma State) put on a pass catching display and scored 21 TDs overall and caught 37 passes for 818 yards, 14 through the air. Veteran quarterback Alan Gasani, (19 TDs, 1,383 yards passing too is gone).
Maplewood at MICDS:
Last year’s game opened the season with a bang. The Rams won an overtime road victory, 36-35, setting the stage for 14 consecutive wins before losing the Show Me Bowl title to Webb City.
The big guns are off to college. Michael Scherer is second team punt team at Mizzou. Jack Howell is a newcomer at wide receiver for Brown and Thomas Militello will be fighting for a spot on the depth chart at quarterback for Dartmouth. Foster Bundy headed to Arizona to play lacrosse, and defensive lineman Todd Hearns is playing at William Jewell College.
Expect the Rams to run more and pass less in 2012. Denzell Washington, 5-foot-11, 185 pound speedster will be a starter along with Cole Sigmund, a 6-foot-0, 200 pound back. Jack Kurzu, (Oklahoma State) giant tackle at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds is expected to open holes for those runners.
Joe Gholey returns to take over at linebacker. Last year, Elijah Keely rushed for 5 TDs against the Rams in the overtime game and he is just a sophomore this time around.