In my humble opinion, if you are a sports fan, this has to be your favorite time of the year. Major League baseball is entertaining us with the playoffs and Worlds Series. The NFL has given us the first quarter of its season (and our Rams have even won a pair of games). College football moves into conference play and that means games every weekend really mean something (like top-ranked Alabama losing) as well as a dozen marquee games per weekend. The Blues started their NHL season last Saturday with an exciting 2-1 overtime thriller vs Philadelphia. Will this finally be there year? (I doubt it, but they should be better.) I love all that!
And then there is the high school scene. Last Friday night was everyone’s last tune up in football before the “state tournament” begins. Throw out those first seven games and just worry about your last three. Then you just need to come in the top two in your four team district to keep playing. After that is all sorted out, the real fun begins!
Girls’ softball playoffs are now in full swing as districts ended over the weekend and sectionals and quarterfinals play themselves out this week. The state‘s final four will be played in Springfield the weekend of the 22-23. Top ranked Oakville (22-1) received 12 strikeouts from starting pitcher Remy Edwards and got by Cor Jesu 3-0 in Class 4 District 2 action last Saturday. The district title was the Tiger’s eighth in a row. They should get a test on Wednesday as they host Hillsboro (23-4).
Also keep an eye on Parkway South (22-5). They defeated Eureka 9-3 to win their district. They handed Oakville their only loss. Saint Joseph and Ft Zumwalt East also pulled off upsets in district play to earn titles in Class 4 play as well as Troy.
Volleyball and soccer will soon follow. St. Joes’ is ruling the large schools in Volleyball and I still have to say that SLUH is the best of the boy’s teams that I have seen so far on 2010.
I only did one game this week for Prepcasts.com so my weekly “Caught My Eye “award goes to Lafayette Quarterback Dominic Besesi. He was extremely sharp in throwing four touchdown passes for the Lancers in their 39-24 win over Oakville last Friday.
By the way, as district football begins this coming week, check out the Prepcasts.com lineup of games Friday. Highlighting the schedule is Chaminade (5-1) vs Lindbergh (6-1). Then, maybe the quietest 7-0 team in the area Fort Zumwalt East takes on Holt. How about listening in on the CBC Marquette contest featuring two teams that have identical 6-1 records?
Let’s take a peek at some of last week’s highlights…
The two big games in the Saint Louis area did not disappoint. In a game video-streamed on Prepcasts. com., CBC (ranked 3rd) and Chaminade (ranked 5th) battled it out for the MCC Conference championship where the Cadets, with the aid of the ol’ “hook-and-ladder” play late in the game, propelled them to a 38-35 win. CBC fell behind 17-14 at halftime but rallied for 21 points in the second half. They had touchdown runs of 12 and seven yards by Johnathan Parker and the game winner from Antonio Brown from five yards out after that key fourth- and- 11 yard hook-and ladder call from the CBC sideline. CBC is now 6-1 with a six game winning streak. Chaminade despite four touchdown passes from Christian Suntrup (three of which were in the hands of Giovanni Ferrara), fell to 5-1.
The other fun matchup pitted eighth–ranked Eureka against SLUH. In this one, the big play came with just 12 seconds left from the foot of field goal kicker Matt Ward. He calmly booted a 40-yarder to lead his team to a 27-24 road win to run their record to 6-1. Eureka quarterback Sean Strehl rushed for three touchdowns in this game scoring from seven, 30 and 19 yards. SLUH fell to 3-4.
Otherwise, there were not a lot of shake ups in the top ten. Only Chaminade and tenth-ranked Belleville East lost (48-13 to No.1 East St. Louis) in the large school area rankings. On the small school side of things, all ten teams were victorious!
Here’s a quick glance around the state at some of the games of interest this past weekend.
In a class 6 match-up featuring two teams in the top ten, Francis Howell defeated Rock Bridge28-21 last Friday night. Howell jumped out to 21-0 lead. Quarterback Brett Graves sandwiched a pair of touchdown passes of nine and 32 yards to Keith Brown around a Jarret Strode 72-yard fumble recovery for a score, to get to that 21 point advantage. But Rockbridge worked their back into the game thanks to their quarterback Mark Pickeral. He ran in from four yards out and tossed a 42-yard strike to Jerome Fulcher. Then it was Cullen Parris intercepting a pass and returning it 14 yards to tie the score at 21-21. Graves’ 12- yard pass to Cory King in the third quarter turned out to be the games’ final scoring play. Howell moved to 5-1 while Rock Bridge, whose losses have come from(state ranked) No. 1 Rockhurst, No. 2 ranked Hazelwood Central and Jefferson City Helias, fell to 3-4.
Class 4’s second ranked Webb City picked up a nice win over Class 5 power St. Thomas Aquinas of Overland Park. The Cardinals improved their record to 7-0 downing the previously unbeaten St. Thomas squad 34-26 on the road. Phoenix Johnson rushed for 105 yards subbing for injured starting running back Slade Buford who was out with a concussion. Johnson scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to further highlight his evening. Ironically, Johnson’s older brother Maddy rushed for an identical 105 yards-but
showed up little brother by scoring two touchdowns!
Look for the big battle of undefeated teams this Friday when Webb City travels to Carthage in a district showdown.
Speaking of the Class 4 teams, how about the 20-17 come-from-behind win Miller Academy picked up off Class 6 DeSmet last Thursday? Quarterback Demarco Billups paced the 6-0 Academy team by going eight of 20 for 97 yards in the air and rushing for 111 yards on the ground. He also scored a pair of touchdowns including what proved to be the game-winner with 50 seconds left. DeSmet (3-4) was leading the game on a pair of Connor Harrison touchdown tosses to Durron Neal and a 47- yard field goal by kicker Chris Adams.
In a Big 8 Conference showdown between Class 3 state-ranked Seneca (No. 8) and Aurora (9) and two teams who love to run the football, the Indians found success on the legs of tailback Allen Frost as they pounded Aurora 27-6 Friday night at Earl Campbell Stadium.
Frost, a senior back, had 77 yards on 18 carries and four touchdowns. He scored on runs of 6, 5, 6 and 8 yards — two of them coming on crucial fourth-down plays.
The Indians moved to 6-1 (4-0 in the Big 8) while Aurora fell to 5-2.
Also in Class 3 John Burroughs remain undefeated and held on to their no. 2 ranking as they whooped up on Lutheran South 50-15 on Saturday. Running back Karlos Bledsoe rushed for 209 yards and scored three touchdowns while their quarterback Sam Van Doren passed for 209 yards and also had three touchdowns!
And finally, how about the ending of the Kickapoo Nixa battle………..
Kickapoo had fallen behind 28-21 in OT on Dean Deetz’s 13 yard TD run on their first possession of the overtime period. Kickapoo came right back when Brett Diers hooked up with Cody Anderson on a 25-yard TD completion to move the scoreboard to 28-27. Kickapoo faked the extra point. Ryan Thornhill took a handoff and tossed to Jacob Hill for a game-winning two-point conversion.
"It was ridiculous," Thornhill said. "It's the best feeling in the world winning a game like that."
So….as fun as these first seven weeks have been, you can now toss it all to the side as the real season starts this week as the run for a state title in 6 different classes in the state of Missouri begins. Stay tuned and come back to this space next week for wrap up of week eight.
More high school sports at prepcasts.com