The fall season comes to its dramatic, exciting ending this weekend the Edward Jones Dome. Let's take a look, comment and pick some winners for you on all the classes. In case you're wondering, we went 8-4 in last weeks semifinal picks.
Both teams come roaring into the Championships. Both games were heard (and replays may still be heard on www.prepcasts.com ) here on Prepcasts. I traveled to Blue Springs as they hosted the DeSmet Spartans. It was our first trip to the their newly renovated, Peve Stadium. It's a tremendous facility. Much more like a small college stadium than a high school field.
Blue Springs (12-1)dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides against the DeSmet Spartans (12-1). Drew Kerber, Garret Bunch, Jordan Chrisman deserve individual recognition for their superb line play. Darrion Miller lugged the ball on quickly snapped plays from a myriad of formations. He was all that he was cranked up to be...phenomenal running back. Keeston Terry was used for shovel passes, wildcat formations and other touches to maximize his speed. The 35-5 (5 points in a football game...when is the last time that you heard that total ?) Winning easily, and clearly earning it, the Wildcats did have a couple fortuitous plays. Leading 14-0, with DeSmet threatening in the 2nd quarter inside the 10 yard line, Aaron Peola recovers a fumble, races 95 yards and boom...it's 21-0, not 14-7 as one might have expected. On one TD scamper by Darrion Miller, the ball was dropped on the exchange. It bounced straight back up to Miller, who never missed a step and galloped through a gapping hole for the score. Nevertheless, the best team won on this night.
The Defending Class 6 Champion, the Hazelwood Central Hawks (12-1) have been a different team in the post-season play. Barely escaping through Districts (they actually finished 2nd in District behind McCluer North), the Hawks quickly dismantled the Oakville Tigers(9-4) 38-8. It started with a bang for the Hawks when Spencer Davis went 96 yards on the opening KO return. The Hawks opened up a 24-0 halftime lead and forced the Tigers into a one-dimensional offense (42 pass attempts). QB Kerry Gibson, continuing the long line of athletic Hawk signal callers, had over 200 total yards as he led the diversified Central offense.
One can't help but walk away Friday night from Peve Stadium without being really impressed by the Wildcats of Blue Springs. Coach Kelly Donohoe has won two previous state titles and this 09 edition has the right ingredients...super line play, incredible running back, a 2nd offensive threat -- we're looking for a new class 6 champ.
Webster Groves was brought back to life after being seemingly dead against Chaminade in the Quarters. The winning Hail Mary+ pass that went 80 yards at the buzzer against the Flyers refocused the Statesman. Webster (12-0) controlled the Parkway North Vikings 29-0. Webster outrushed the Vikings 239-36 and that tells the tale of this one. One casualty will be the annual WG-Kirkwood Turkey Day game. Again this year, one of the JV teams will represent one of the schools.
On the other side of the STATE, the Ft Osage Indians used a suffocating defense on route to a 13-6 over Raytown South. Coach Ryan Schartz felt that the Indians had to halt the talented, 3 year starter South QB-Dennis Tanner. Mission accomplished ! Tanner,who led South to the Dome last year when they dropped a heart-breaking loss to Hazelwood East, was held to 67 yards passing and 64 rushing. The Indians stalwart defense has been in the shadows most of the year to the high-flying Indian offense led by Mizzou recruit- EJ Gaines. Ft Osage will be making their inaugural appearance in the State Championship game as they face Webster Groves.
Both teams bring tons of speed to the table, Ft Osage loves to run the ball. Webster, at times, has struggled defensively with teams who churn it out on the ground (see Chaminade, Eureka). WG does have the ability to run and pass offensively. We like the real skill on both sides of the ball of the Indians in a low scoring game.
The Helias Crusaders will be back in the Dome again this year but not facing the Webb City Cardinals! Helias dominated the Sikeston Bulldogs 37-8. No trickery, razzle-dazzle, miraculous plays--simple good blocking and tackling, smart -experienced players who make few mistakes-- this is the recipe that has led the Crusaders to many Thanksgiving meals in St. Louis.
The Kearney Bulldogs upended Webb City 38-13 avenging last years' defeat to the Cardinals in the same semifinal round and snapping the 28 game win streak of Webb City. Two third quarter scores broke open this tight game. After dropping their first two games of the year to strong teams (Staley & Ft Osage), some observers faith in the Bulldogs was shaken. Unbeaten since that time, Kearney's post season resume included wins over Staley, Harrisonville and Webb City- no cupcakes there !
We are overwhelmed by Kearney's string of wins in post-season. We're going Bulldogs as Helias will go home (again) as the #2.
The defending Class 3 champions, Cassville, fought off a spunky, extremely fast O'Hara Celtic team 23-7 in the semis. Two 4th quarter scores made the final score seem wider than the play during the game. The rock-solid defense held O'Hara to a season low-7 points in the game.
Bowling Green(14-0)had a much rougher ride in the semifinals. The Bobcats edged Priory 20-7. The tide turned in the 4th quarter. After the Rebels stopped the Bobcats on three tries from the 1 yard line, the attempted FG went wide. Priory marched out to mid-field only to fail on their 4th down attempt. Now B-Green capitalized and scored two TD's on long plays of 40+ yards.
We like the Cassville defense -- defense wins titles and that's what we're calling for on Saturday--Cassville.
Brentwood stunned most everyone in the STATE with their 28-27 win over previously unbeaten Centralia on Saturday. The Eagles built up a 28-14 lead in the 3rd quarter only to see Centralia fight back. The Panthers scored to make it 28-27 in the 4th quarter but missed the PAT. 28 points was the most points scored on the Panthers in ANY game of 2009!
One team that didn't have their defense dented was the Maryville Spoofhounds. Maryville's 21-7 win over red-hot Lamar (7-7)was due to the Spoofhounds stopping the effective misdirection of
game of the Tigers. Lamar started the season at 1-6 ! Congrats to them for pulling it together !
It's the cinderalla team (Brentwood) against the seasoned vet (Maryville) in this one. While I'm intrigued by the Eagles huge upset win, I'm leaning to defense (sound familiar ?) Maryville
This game should prove to be a real shoot out! Each team is averaging over 40ppg, each is unbeaten, both have rolled over practically every opponent with a devastating offense and ball - hawking defense. The Valle Catholic Warriors (14-0) beat Tipton 49-21 in one of their closest games of the year while Penny (13-0) ousted Wellington-Napolean 62-27. Yes, you score 27 and lose with a running clock....ugh !
I'm going with the Senior laden, Valle Catholic team in a game that could be the most entertaining of the day. If you can't make the game, listen to it on Prepcasts Ste. Genevieve (home page