James Damon Blog – FB – Semi’s

James DamonChampionships set; filled with mostly familiar faces –

In a flurry of activity over Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, the 7 classes all booked arrangements for their championship games following Thanksgiving.
In the Prepcasts-KCMW game of the week, Webb City took command early and, as good teams are able to do, never let Cape Central get into the ballgame or even a flow within the game.  Looking over the teams and statistics earlier in the week, coupled with a cross-state drive, gave me grave concerns for the Tigers to keep this one from a running clock, and they were not able to do so.  Webb intercepted a pass on the opening drive to set up shop inside the Cape 40, where they would methodically march in for the first of Trey Parra’s two scores.  A partially blocked punt would set up yet another short field before QB Devin Pickett ran it to pay dirt and put the Cardinals up 15-0.  Cape needed to answer, so they called out #1, the dynamic Al Young in the receiving game, but Webb had the right answer.  They called out #5, Kiante Hardin, who intercepted three passes in the Westminster win a week ago.  Hardin would snag the INT and house it after a 64 yard scamper that put up Webb City 22-0.  It was clear sailing from there.
Young, who came into the game with over 1100 yards receiving would not catch a ball until the final drive of the game when he caught two passes taking Cape near midfield.  They only crossed into Webb territory one time in the mid third quarter before the Cardinals defense stiffened and pushed them back.  Adding scores for the Cardinals were Tyler Davison on a short run, a pass from Pickett to senior TE Cooper Strasser, a second score from Parra.  A 38 yard field goal from Nathan Gooch cemented the scoring.
Stats don’t lie and here are some impressive ones from the game.  Cape Central, who entered averaging nearly 40 points a game, was held to 6 first downs, including one on the final drive.  They never crossed the midfield stripe (or came close) until the midpoint of quarter three.  Cape QB Dennis Vinson, who had thrown for nearly 1800 yards and 19 TD’s had this final line: three passes completed (two on the final drive of the game) out of nine attempts, two interceptions, harassed and hit all day long and very uncomfortable in and outside the pocket.
At the end of the day, it was another win for the Webb City machine.  In the most complementary way, the Cardinals keep plugging new players into their system and keep churning out wins at a prolific rate. Click here for the game – They now await their foe from a year ago in a repeat title match, Jefferson City Helias, as they seek a state record 12th championship.
Other familiar faces from semi-final weekend include the Lamar Tigers looking indestructible as they vie for a third straight title. Click here for the Lamar game – They will take on a Lawson Cardinal team who won a title in 2007, who upset Blair Oaks on the road Saturday afternoon in Class 2 action.
Valle Catholic got a bit of a scare from Osceola before they turned on the jets in the second half and pulled away for a 35-11 win.  Click here for the Osceola game – The Warriors also battle for their 12th state title as they take on Marceline, who took out last year’s champion, Hamilton Penney in a northern Mo shootout in Class 1.
Class 3 saw the largest surprise in my opinion as the hot Seneca Indians upended the Bombers from John Burroughs, holding them to only one TD on the day.  That ends a streak of four consecutive title berth appearances for the Bombers as they still chase title number nine.  Defending champion, Maryville, continued to use strong running to take out the California Pintos in the battle of the best mascots.  The Spoofhounds have still not lost in two years under coach Matt Webb and vie for back to back crowns next weekend.
Friday night action saw three rather decisive outcomes and one back and forth tilt that went down to the final minute.  Blue Springs continues their romp through Class 6 rolling past Eureka – Click here to view that game – and looking more like they might have already won the state title showdown after beating Lee’s Summit West earlier in the season!  They officially have to take out a Rock Bridge team that has been up and down all year, but is playing hot and dangerous right now after stealing one away from Hazelwood Central in Columbia.  Nobody wanted to play defense in the game’s final moments as the teams traded scores and the lead until the Bruins recovered a fumble in the end zone and knelt the clock out for the win.  It was the Hawks’ first loss ever in semi-final play! – Click here for the Rock Bridge – Hazelwood Central game
Class 5 will feature the Titans of Lee’s Summit West as they rolled Kearney at home, Click here to listen to that game – and they take on the Parkway Central Colts, avenging their lone season loss to Webster Groves.  The Colts are riding a hot streak behind the Double Fridge offensive set (coined by our good friend Bob Ryan) to the dome as the Titans look to become the only team in the past seven years in Class 5 to repeat as champion.  A Parkway Central victory would run that total to eight years. Click here to hear the Parkway Central – Webster Groves game

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