The Lindenwood University scoreboard operator has been getting quite a workout at each Althoff football home game this season, and Friday figures to be no different.
Unbeaten Althoff is averaging 47 points through four games and typically has played high-scoring games against its next opponent, South Seven Conference rival Centralia. The teams combined for 961 yards in Althoff’s 39-36 victory last season.
Althoff also won 58-7 in 2013, but the Orphans won 38-35 in 2012 and 32-27 in 2011.
“They’re probably one of the most athletic teams I’ve ever coached against, and that’s saying something I think.,” said Centralia coach Ray Kauling, who coached previously at Mater Dei. “They’re very polished in their passing game. They definitely do a lot of things to put stress on the defense the whole width of the field — as well as going vertical.”
Althoff and Mater Dei combined for 114 points in Althoff’s 68-46 victory two weeks ago and this one features two more dynamic offenses.
Althoff boasts the St. Louis area passing leader in quarterback Jordan Augustine (82-of-114 for 1,397 yards and 14 touchdowns) and receiving leader in junior C.J. Coldon (23 catches, 520 yards, four TDs).
“We want to be able to run or pass, but this year it’s a little different,” Althoff coach Ken Turner said. “They’re talented, but the key is they all played last year so everything comes so easy for them. Now they can just play football and let their talents come out.”
They’re probably one of the most athletic teams I’ve ever coached against, and that’s saying something I think.
Centralia coach Ray Kauling
FRIDAY’S GAME: Centralia (4-0 overall, 1-0 in South Seven) vs. Althoff (4-0, 1-0) at Lindenwood Stadium in Belleville, 7 p.m.
RANKINGS: Althoff is fourth in the Class 4A state rankings and first in the BND Small-School rankings; Centralia is 12th in the Class 5A state rankings.
LAST MEETING: Augustine threw three TD passes in Althoff’s 39-36 win last year. It wasn’t always such a high scoring series as Althoff, which has won 10 of the last 12 meetings, held the Orphans to two touchdowns from 2004 to 2008 with three shutouts.
SCOUTING CENTRALIA: Centralia has hammered Salem, Wood River, Charleston and Carbondale, but 1-3 Salem is the only school of the four that has a victory. The Orphans have been dominant, outscoring teams 92-0 in the first quarter and 162-13 in the first half.
Leading the way have been sophomore quarterback Javon Williams Jr. (286 yards rushing, eight TDs; 40-of-59 passing for 658 yards and three TDs) and running back Keshawn Marshall (42 carries, 436 yards, 10 TDs, averaging 10.4 yards per carry).
“He doesn’t play like a sophomore and he looks good,” Turner said of Williams, who ran for two TDs and threw for three more last week in a 40-7 win over Carbondale. “We’ve got to tackle well and understand that it’s not just trying to stop the running back. We’ve got to control both of those guys.”
The top receivers are Dorian Reeves (12 catches, 236 yards, two TDs) and Shandon Webster (nine catches, 152 yards, one TD) while linebackers Will Henegan (23 tackles) aand Caleb Shipley anchor the defense.
92-0 Centralia’s offense has outscored its first four opponents by a combined 92-0 in the first quarter.
SCOUTING ALTHOFF: Along with Augustine and Coldon there are many more weapons, including senior receiver Keenen Young (28 catches, 415 yards, six TDs), senior receiver Tarkus Ferguson (14 catches, 198 yards, one TD) and junior receiver Jordan Goodwin (11 catches, 147 yards, one TD).
The ground game is led by Malik Easley (392 yards, six TDs) and Jaylon Bester (306 yards, four TDs). The defense includes linebackers Bryson Strong (54 tackles five sacks) and Chris Branson (46 tackles, one sack).