(KMOV/Prepcasts.com) – In Class 6, two very familiar teams will be on the docket for the championship game. Each struggled to win tight games, especially early in the year, but each team is rolling now. Hazelwood Central (13-0) won nine games this year by 7 or less points! Rockhurst was the winner of six games decided by 8 or less points. Each of these teams find a way to win. Be it by offense, defense, in the heat, in the rain, kicking, these teams KNOW how to win. How did they do it in the semifinals?
The Rockhurst Hawklets upended the Ft. Zumwalt West Jaguars 42-6. The Hawklets opened the scoring with a 72 yard TD interception by Scott Herring. Just minutes later, Noah Pearl rambled 61 yards taking the ball to the 1 yard line. Frank Arbanas scored on a sneak to make it 14-0. Prior to half, it was 35-0 as the Jags offense was shackled all game long. Paul Day and the West staff continue building their program and taking it to higher levels each year despite this loss. Rockhurst has won 8 STATE titles going into this game.
Like Rockhurst, Hazelwood Central used their defense to jump on top. Two turnovers set up the 14-0 lead. The Hawk defense gave the ball to their offense for 14 and 21 yard drives to take this early lead. When Jamaal Flowers hit Kevin Short with a 57 yard pass in the last minute of the first half, many thought that the route was "on". Not so...DeSmet fought back with a huge 3rd quarter. The Spartans crossed the goal line twice to cut the lead to 20-14. The defenses took charge from this point on and the Hawks visit the Dome (which they call the HOME. Amazingly, Central has played 15 semifinal football games and
Class 5 saw an exciting new wrinkle. Due to the success of both programs, WG and Kirkwood met 6 days earlier than usual (Thanksgiving Day). Sprinkle in the Turkey traditions (fans arriving hours early to chat, play touch football, tailgate, regaling about their own exploits on the field of yesteryear) and the excitement of a STATE semifinal game and you have a recipe for 12-15,000 folks enjoying HS football. WG threw a 28-0 shutout over the Kirkwood Pioneers. The Statesman had game-planned to take away the Kirkwood run game and force the Pioneers into a one dimensional game. IT WORKED PERFECTLY! Justin Meehan was unstoppable on defense. His 12 tackles, along with several assists were incredible. Maybe more astonishing was the Meehan TD. He caught a short pass over the middle and outraced (he was actually pulling away) the fleet-footed Pioneer defense on route to an 84 yard TD strike.
On the West side of the STATE, Lee Summit West won in a nail-biter. The Titans scored with only 52 seconds left to take the lead (and the win) 17-14 over the Staley Falcons. It was a 60 yard drive that was completed by a 28 yard strike from Luke Knott to Brandon Smith. West makes their first trip back to the Dome since 2007.
At Sikeston when the Bulldogs (13-1) Darryl Howard raced 88 yards early in the 3rd quarter giving Sikeston a 21-6, many of the 7000 fans thought it was over. Warrenton's defense "stepped up". Forcing back-back turnovers and providing the Warrior offense with short fields, Warrenton tied it at 21-21 on two touchdowns by Austin Black. He rumbled for 17 yards for the first and caught an "ad lib" lob pass over the rushing defensive end's head for a 14 yard strike. With the game tied midway in 4th, Sikeston's 4th down
pass attempt was knocked out of the hands of a Bulldog receiver. Scott Lathrop marched the Warriors down the field and scored on a 9 yard scramble giving Warrenton their 28-21 lead. The final Sikeston drive ended as Warrenton forced a fumble and recovered. The Warriors take their 11-3 mark to the Dome to face the incredible Webb City Cardinals.
WC will be going for its 11 time to the STATE title game and seeking its 9th title after blasting Harrisonville 35-8. The Cards used a tremendous defense and the four touchdowns of Maddie Johnson to breeze to the Dome. For the game the Wildcats rushed 40 times for 95 yards. From the Wildcat perspective, when Harrisonville intercepted the first play of the game and returned it to the 13 yard line, but were unable to put any points on the board. IT was a momentum changer.
Class 3 semifinals were both GREAT games. John Burroughs (14-0) scored with only :31 seconds left to edge the Bowling Green Bobcats 16-14. This 1 yard sneak capped an 8 play drive. Bowling Green scored first to lead 7-0. JB gradually chipped away. It was 7-3 at half and grabbed the lead 10-7on the Grant Wallace 5 yard pass reception. The Bobcats regained the lead with only 2:52 left in the game. This set up the game winning drive for the Bombers. JB returns to the Championship game for the first time since 2001.
The 27 game winning streak by Cassville was snapped by the Richmond Spartans (14-0) 23-21. The Spartans used a bend-don't[-break defense that saw them escape from four deep Cassville penetrations into their end of field and go scoreless. Three turnovers and a 4th down stop changed the landscape of this game. Meanwhile, Richmond, leading 16-14 at half, recovered the 2nd half KO as the line drive kick bounded off a Wildcat. The Spartans pushed across a quick score and led 23-14 which proved to be the difference. Gabe Vandiver led the Spartans with 30 carries for 235 yards and two scores.
Speed! Maplewood Richmond-Heights (14-0) burned it by the Lamar Tigers 33-19 in Class 2 with two 4th quarter touchdowns. The #1 ranked Blue Devils had Cortez Cooper pull in two long TD strikes in the first quarter while Terron Dale scored both scores on the ground in the final quarter.
The other Class 2 game was the highest scoring affair of the weekend. Hamilton-Penney (the defending Class 1 champions) outlasted Macon 47-28 in a wild one. Penney will face Maplewood in the Dome.
Class 1 is the rematch that everyone was hoping to see. The Valle Catholic Warriors (12-1)dispatched a previously unbeaten team- the Concordia Orioles 44-13. Using their power spread offense, the Warriors have average over 50 ppg. in 2010. The lone loss was to the Westran Hornets who toppled the Wellington-Napoleon Tigers 13-0 to set the table for this exciting rematch. Westran beat Valle 21-14 in early October.
Mound City-St Joseph will raise the curtain at the Dome with their 8 man game. You can hear all seven games on www.prepcasts.com Join us !