It was their best overall performance in years. And they want more.
"When I met with the kids on Monday morning, they were ready to go," Helias coach Phil Pitts said as the Crusaders (4-2, ranked No. 4 in Class 4) prepare to take on the MICDS Rams (3-3) on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis. "They saw that it was a lot of fun on Saturday night and they're ready to do it again."
The Crusaders made it a happy Homecoming last Saturday night, romping to a 59-21 victory against the Class 6-ranked Rock Bridge Bruins at Adkins Stadium.
"The kids did a great job of staying sharp throughout the game," Pitts said. "I was a really happy football coach."
The Crusaders dominated the Bruins on both sides of the football. Helias outgained Rock Bridge 501-377 and punted just once in the contest which was played with a running clock in the last six-plus minutes.
"Our kids opened a lot of eyes and they are ready to go out and do it again," Pitts said. "We have a pretty good football team when we do things right."
While the Rams don't have the pedigree of the Bruins, Pitts believes MICDS will present a stiff test in the 1 p.m. contest.
"They're getting better every game and they play a lot of good competition," Pitts said. "They're going to be game-tested."
The Rams are averaging 23 points per game behind a balanced offensive attack that operates out of a spread formation.
"They want to be 50-50 between the run and the pass, but we're going to do our best to make them one-dimensional." Pitts said.
Noble Tobias (5-9, 155, jr.) leads the Rams in rushing with 448 yards (8.5 avg.) and seven touchdowns. Brian Trelstad (6-1, 180, sr.) has thrown for 919 yards with nine touchdowns. Alim Muhammad (5-9, 155, sr.) is his favorite target, catching 30 passes for 468 yards (15.6 avg.) and six scores.
Trelstad has thrown nine interceptions and the Crusaders, who are plus-14 in turnovers this season, will look to add to that total.
"That's taking care of the ball on offense and getting it from people on defense," Pitts said of Helias' differential.
Pitts said MICDS runs a similar defense to Harrisonville, a 3-4 front that likes to get pressure in the backfield. Cole Sigmund (6-0, 205, jr.), a linebacker, leads the Rams with 77 total tackles
"They want to try to force you into mistakes," Pitts said.
The Crusaders had a balanced attack against the Bruins, running for 252 yards and throwing for 249.
"The offensive line did a really good job of moving guys off the ball," Pitts said. "That allowed us to both run and throw and that makes us a better offense."
The Crusaders don't want to let the momentum of last Saturday's win slip away.
"We're fired up," Pitts said. "We want to build off last week, take steps forward."
Notes: On the injury front, Helias starting safety Todd Buschjost should be ready to play Saturday after an eye injury. Backup running back Clayton Winter will miss the game with a shoulder injury. ... MICDS is short for Mary Institute and Country Day School. ... After starting the season with wins in three of their first four games, the Rams have dropped two in a row to John Burroughs (42-0) and Lutheran North (34-14). MICDS has beaten Maplewood-Richmond Heights (39-12), Lutheran South (47-21) and Priory (26-21), with its other loss coming to Westminster Christian (34-14). ... Helias defeated MICDS 59-19 last season at Adkins Stadium. ... This is the third of four straight Saturday games for Helias, who will host C.B.C. on Saturday, Oct. 19.