Now on to the Final Four [or Two]

damonIn a zany Class 1 quarterfinal game from Skyline High School in Urbana, the game reflected the weather, near 34 degrees throughout with repeated snow flurries to contend with.  The home Tigers roared out to 20 unanswered points to start the game and blaze to a three TD lead at the end of one quarter.  Midway finally answered mid second quarter with a 15 yard run from QB Tyler Wright.  The key stat battle came between the QB’s after Skyline’s Dylan Mountain had opened the Tiger scoring with a 46 yard run, then threw two TD passes.  Skyline answered when Chipper Berry would score from five yards out.  But Midway answered again when Wright hit a wide open Clay Dahman for a 41 yard score to close the gap to 27-12 at the half.
The second half would open perfectly for Skyline taking the kick and driving down to score on Berry’s second run.  The PAT pushed the score to 34-12.  Then the floodgates opened, as Midway took the ensuing kick 80 yards on Conor Hayes’ second kick return for a score in as many weeks.  Wright’s conversion cut the deficit to fourteen.  A quick three and out gave the ball back to Midway who would march for another score as Wright went in from 9 yards out.  The conversion failed, and Midway trailed by eight.  An onside kick recovery would lead to an immediate short field when Wright raced 20 yards for another score.  The conversion failed, but Midway had raced back to within two at the end of three, 34-32.
The fourth quarter opened with Mountain responding as he scampered 75 yards for a TD.  Josh Dansby’s kick was again good (detect an important theme with the conversions).  Wright again scored midway through the fourth and his two-pointer cut the lead to 41-40 Skyline.  After stopping them again, Midway would mount a drive that could give them their first lead, but an overthrown pass was intercepted and returned for a score, nullified by a penalty.  The Tigers burned two more minutes of clock, and Mountain scored again from 10 yards out.  The PAT pushed the lead back to 8 with only 1:44 to go.  Midway would drive to midfield and then break a huge pass down the sideline to set up a first and goal.  On third down, Wright would go in again, this time from four yards out to cut the margin to two.  His conversion attempt failed, as did the onside kick to follow, and Skyline escaped 48-46.  The Tigers travel to Ste. Genevieve to visit Valle Catholic, who handled Marionville, as the win pushed Skyline to 10-3.  The loss ends Midway’s season at 12-1.
Final QB lines–Mountain for Skyline, three TD’s rushing and two passing; Wright for Midway, five TD’s rushing, one passing, and two conversions for two points.  Impressive QB play for the dual players of the game, along with kicker Josh Dansby for Skyline, who ultimately was the difference in the contest.
Friday action included another yawn for Webb City as they rolled Harrisonville on the road, 35-0, jumping to a three TD lead after one, up four scores at the half, and then letting the running clock shorten the game in the second half.  Tyson Roderique was the player of the game for his all-around offensive performance leading the Cards to another victory as they seek to five-peat.  They will host Kearney this coming weekend. 
The other network game from Friday night featured Class 6 semi action as #2 Rockhurst hosted #3 Francis Howell.  Similar to the Skyline-Midway game, Rock roared to an early 18-0 lead before the Vikings responded.  TD scores on a 1 yard run by TJ Green, and then two Green passes, one to Jimmy Dixon and another to Nick Bosma, would set that table.  Howell scored when Desmond Niboh would go in from 3 yards out to cut the margin to 18-6 where it would remain at the half.  But that was not without exceptional Hawklet defense, including a blocked field goal and a stoppage four consecutive attempts inside the four to close the half.  Green would toss his third score of the night, a beauty to AJ Taylor, to give Rock a 25-6 lead.  Howell responded strongly with two more third quarter scores, a 46 yarder from Sam Hefner to Sutton Smith for Smith’s 32nd pay-dirt romp of the year.  Niboh’s second TD rush of the night, coupled with two PAT’s would trim the score to 25-20 at the end of three.  Howell would twice move inside the forty of Rockhurst in the fourth quarter but was shut down each instant and the final score would remain the same as the 12-1 Hawklets will now face CBC for the state championship chasing their tenth state title.  Howell finishes the year at 11-1.  TJ Green was the player of the game with a sound nod to tremendous team defense through the night for Rockhurst.

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