This past weekend, the seven football champions of 2012 were crowned at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Several of these games were high-scoring, quickly changing games that entertained most everyone (of course none of the losing team's fans were real "entertained'!)
It was all Blue Springs on this night. On a night when the STATE Champ of 20 years ago (yes...it was Blue Springs) was honored, the Wildcats scored on their first four possessions to break things open early in this contest. The Blue Springs Wildcats dropped the Howell Vikings 42-3 to attain their 4th STATE football title. The last STATE Championship trophy was from 2003 for the Wildcats. A dominant offensive and defensive line kept the Wildcats in control in this one from start to end. Star running back, Jr. Dalvin Warmack finished the night with 181 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns. He finished with 46 TD's for the season!Coach Kelly Donohue didn't have to dig too deep into his playbook as the o-line provided gaping holes for the backs (usually Warmack) to run, and plenty of time on the bootleg passes that Wylson Lamb used throughout the game. Last year, it was the Blue Springs South Jaguars that won the Class 6 title. On the other side of the field, Coach Bryan Koch has pushed his program continually upward for Howell since he took over the program. This was the first Championship appearance for Howell (last year was their 1st semifinal trip) but one expects that we'll be seeing them much more often now.
The Kirkwood Pioneers (13-0) frustrated by the loss in the title game of 2011, handled the Ft Osage Indians 31-7. Kirkwood had finished as State Runner-Up in 2011 against Staley and in 2006 versus Raymore-Peculiar. The tremendous Pioneer defense bottled up the Indian rushing game all night. Ft Osage finished with 30 rushing yards for the game. Kirkwood struck on back-back drives in the first quarter. Jordan Bishop connected with Clyde Benson on a 73 yard strike at the 6:18 mark of the 1st quarter. The next possession, the Pioneers marched down a "short" field of 53 yards in 9 plays that culminated in another TD pass for their next TD. This time, it was Bishop to Bishop (no...we're not playing a chess move here)..Jordan Bishop hit Jarrod Bishop from 7 yards out to stretch the lead to 14-0. A late 2nd quarter FG found the score at 17-zip at half. Ft Osage forced two consecutive 3 & out to open the 2nd half and they were rewarded as they drove 35 yards in 8 plays to slice the lead to 17-7. Early in the 4th Jordan Bishop threw his 3rd TD of the game to Edward Richey from 1 yard out and just 25 seconds later Eric Phillips picked off an Indian pass and went 46 yards for the score. That made the score 31-7 which was the final. This win broke a 10 game losing streak of St Louis teams in the Dome. The last StL wins belonged to Hazelwood Central (Class 6) and Webster Groves (Class 5) in 2009.
Some things just don't seem to change...now winners of 11 STATE championships, riding a 45 game winning streak and 3 consecutive STATE title, the Webb City Cardinals seem to be a constant in elite level football in MIssouri. Dismantling the Helias Crusadors 49-14, the Cardinals followed a familiar script. They jumped out to a 35-0 lead (as they scored on their first FIVE possessions) in the first half and basically the game was over as the turbo clock came into play. Three Touchdowns by John Roderique (38, 14 and 22 yards) and a 53 yard TD pass to Kohl Slaughter were the tools that WC used to score. Don't be fooled by that TD passing, the Cardinals rushed for 361 yards (vs 99 for Helias), were 8 of 9 in 3rd down conversions and as usual controlled the line of scrimmage. Congrats to Coach John Roderique for the program that he's established and maintained for a long time now.
It was the best matchup of the Dome. Two unbeaten teams, ranked #1 and #2 state wide by most polls. It promised to be a battle. John Burroughs was making their 3rd consecutive trip to the Dome and were seeking their first win in that time frame. The Maryville Spoofhounds would have none of it. First year coach, Matt Webb, a 1992 Maryville grad, came into a program that had gone 10-2 for each of the previous 2 seasons. He pushed them to the next level. Using a devastating ground game, Maryville whipped Burroughs 35-22. Yes, Ezekiel Elliott was terrific again for the Bombers (18 carries gained 234 yards, 5 receptions for 72 yards, a 79 yard TD run and a KO return for a 84 TD run) but you have to hand it the the Spoofhounds. They rushed the ball 69 times for 436 yards. They had three different backs that gained more than 90 yards (Kevin McMahon 216 yards, Derek Steins 102 yards and Jonathan Bake for 93 yards). Actually, the Burroghs were still in contention for the win until an 11 play, 75 yard drive that took 5:04 and made the score 35-22 in the 4th quarter. Jonathan Bake's 35 yards run iced it up for the Spoofhounds.
This was really a wild one! Blair Oaks led 34-33 at the end of 3 quarters after Derek Otto had galloped 69 yards with 15 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. Suddenly the Lamar Tigers came to life! The Tigers put 36 points on the board in the last quarter to win 69-41! Levi Petersen scored four touchdowns (including 2 in the 4th quarter) ran for 254 yards, returned kicks for 47 yards. He wasn't alone in the sizzling stats for Lamar. Cedric Gartman picked off 2 passes for toucdowns! He returned one pick for 33 yards and the was back-breaking for Blair Oaks-a 95 yard INT score! The Lamar defense stopped the Falcon drives in the last quarter with FOUR interceptions. Lamar defends their Class 2 title that they won in 2011 as they used a spread, misdirection run game for...are your ready...503 yards!! They had 74 rushing snaps and average 7.5 yards per snap in the entire game-WOW! The time of possession was 30:31 for Lamar to 17:29 for Blair Oaks.
Two programs very familiar with the Dome met on the field once again. The Valle Catholic Warriors, who own 11 STATE titles, and the Penney (of Hamilton) Hornets. Penney won the STATE titles in 2009 and 2010 and are now 46-1 in the last 3 years after they toppled the Warriors 60-34. Valle jumped ahead 14-0 in the first quarter and led 21-14 at half as Penney scored at the 1:15 mark of the 2nd quarter. In the 2nd half, Penney scored a touchdown on each and every one of their 7 possessions! Valle was still in the game until back-back interceptions in the 4th quarter created a wide margin for the Hornets. Penney had three long plays for TD's in 2nd half. Kellen Overstreet had TD runs of 68 and 62 yards and was on the receiving end of a 76 yard pass from Drew Finch. Valle had some wonderful offensive performances also. Feature running back, Tyler Fallert gained 262 yards in 32 carries as the Warriors rushed for 348 yads and passed for an additional 124 yards. Yes..472 yards in offense and they lost by 26 points! This game really was much closer than the final score makes it appear.
Talk about half-time adjustments! The score at halftime was 56-38 with Stanberry ahead of North Andrew. The Final score was 56-38! Really incredible, 94 points in one half and one in the 2nd half! It was 30-16 Stanberry after the 1st quarter. As happens so often in 8-man, there were some big plays. The Bulldogs of Stanberry were led by Nathan Luke scores on TD runs of 27 and 53 yards and two TD passes freom Reid Osborn for 56 and 36 yards. The first half, saw the Bulldogs score 8 touchdowns and the North Andrew team scored 5 TD's In the 2nd half, Stanberry punted twice, was stopped on downs twice and threw an interception. North Andrew was halted on downs three times, fumbled and punted.
Beyond the Prep Scores...
...the Rams win could have really been a "blowout" victory. Some missed opportunities must be converted in the future to take the next step. For example, the penalty that deprived Steven Jackson's run to the 1 followed by a missed FG was one golden opportunity. The late drive that fell just inches short of the first down on the 1 and did result in a FG gave the Rams but 3 points. On the other side of the coin, I really think that I"ve seen Jackson run this well for many years. Nevertheless, a win is a win. Those fans that think we're really struggling...check the standings, we've moved up in one year from the worst team in the league to the lower end of the "Middle of the pack".
...will there be a change at the top at Mizzou? My sources tell me that there may be a quick press conference. Again...I shouldn't believe rumors (but who doesn't believe some of them?) and it is just a rumor.
...Black Friday may have been good for the merchants but it was a Black weekend for many coaches in the college level as they received their pink slips. There are already openings at Auburn, Colorado, Purdue, Arkansas, NC State. With the big money involved now, schools aren't so willing to "wait" more than a couple years.
...here's a sad side-note, the Phillies have won a game more recently than the Eagles in Philadelphia. Maybe they'll end it tonight against a mediocre Carolina team.
...I really couldn't believe that Mizzou fans wanted them to go to a bowl with a 6-6 record if they had beaten Texas A&M. Check their wins...Southeastern Louisiana, Arizona State, Central Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee in OT. Does that look like a bowl team? I've heard, and believe, losses to good teams don't make you good. In fact, it demonstrates that you aren't good.
...Did anyone notice that N. Illinois is in the top 25 of the Country!
...when will the defenses catch up to the offenses in high school? These scores resemble basketball scores more than football in some cases.
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