Next weekend will bring us the District Finals for all classifications….let’s take a look at some of the story lines of the semifinals…
How about some OT to start things off…in Class 5, District 1, #1 seed, the Jackson Indians, had to go overtime to beat a fired-up #5 seeded, Oakville Tiger team 41-35! This thrilling see-saw battle saw the Indians holding a 14 point lead at half 21-7 but when Jackson fumbled the KO to start the 2nd half and the Tigers pushed it across for the TD, momentum switched quickly. Oakville tied it up at 21-21 at the end to 3 quarters to set the stage for the 4th quarter. The final quarter saw both teams moving up and down the field for 2 TD’s each. At the final buzzer, it was still tied 35-35. Jackson’s Xominique Davis caught the TD pass in the OT but the kick failed. Oakville punched out a quick 1st down only to have the ball fumbled when the QB was scrambling trying to elude the heavy pressure. When Jackson recovered, it was over 41-35. Next week Jackson faces Vianney for the 2nd time this year. In the 2nd week of the season, the Indians edged Vianney 30-23. This time for the Class 5, District 1 title.
The turning point of the game…..Blue Springs avenged the earlier 31-13 loss to the Ray-Pec Panthers (7-3) as the Wildcats raced to a 40-17 win on Friday. A fumble with only 11 seconds left in the 2nd quarter gave the Wildcats possession on the Panther 2 yard line. A pass from Ian Brown to Terrance Sanders, followed by a 2 point conversion made it 17-10 Blue Springs. That play seemed to be the moment that turned the tide in this game. Rockhurst will host Blue Springs on Friday for the Class 6, District 4 title.
Bouncing back from a 41-6 defeat? Gateway STEM lost their regular season game to Miller Career 41-6. Most observers felt that this semifinal game would be more of the same—the #5 Jaguars visiting the top seeded Phoenix. BUT WAIT JUST A MINUTE! Shocking almost everyone, Gateway STEM (7-4) shocks Miller Career (9-2) 7-6 as soccer star, Amir Osmanovic, booted the winning PAT. Both TD’s came in the 2nd quarter so no one expected the 7-6 lead to “stand up” for the rest of the game.But….it did! Congrats to Coach Jason Dulick and his staff for a huge win for his program! The Jags will now face the unbeaten #2 seed, Affton Cougars (10-0), at Affton for the Class 4, District 2 title.
The quietest 9 win team of the State? …. The Orchard Farm Eagles notched their 9th win of the 2014 season has they handled Centralia 35-13. The Eagles of the Gateway North finished 2nd in their conference to St Charles West so major headlines avoided them during the regular season. Now the #1 seed of Class 3, District 5 with 9-2 record hosts the #2 seed, Macon (8-3). Macon barely escaped O’Fallon Christian 20-19 on Friday!!
Best comeback of the night? … Easy one…it’s the St. Francis Borgia Knights. Falling behind by 13 points in the first 4 minutes of the game to the Union Wildcats, it was going to be an uphill battle all night. It was still 29-7 Union midway in the 2nd quarter and at halftime, Borgia was behind 37-14! On this chilly night, maybe…maybe-but not likely…some Knight fans wanted to leave at half. But…what a 2nd half it was for #2 seed, Borgia. Scoring 21 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter, the Knights were still behind 37-35. Justin Baylard ran for a TD, then threw the 2 point conversion with 9:29 left in the game. That made it 43-37 for the first Knights lead of the game. The Wildcats answered on a 5 yard pass from Blake Hulsey to Nick Eads from 5 yards out with 7:35 left but…the 2 point conversion failed and we were tied at 43-43. After all these offensive fireworks, it was a pick-6 by Hunter Warmack that ended the scoring with 3:43 left and Borgia(10-1) winning 50-43. #3 seed, Union’s season ends with a 9-2 record.
Jays build huge lead early…. Elijah Pittman rushed for 301 yards on 21 carries for Jefferson City in their win over Ft Zumwalt West. The Jays built up a 42-7 lead but Ft Zumwalt West scored the last three TD’s of the game before falling 42-28 to the Jays. Jeff City will now travel to the #1 seed of Class 6, District 3- the Howell Vikings. Howell used a relentless defense that capitalized on two huge turnovers and a power run game led by Sutton Smith as they beat Blue Springs South 41-7. Watch the replay on
Wildest scoring game of the week….57-50 was the final as Bishop DuBourg outlasted Soldan in a Class 3 District 2 game. DuBourg was behind 42-21 at half but scored 36 points in the 2nd half to notch the win. Maxwell Buck broke the tie of 50-50 when he he Thomas Kinney on a 52 yard TD pass with 5:18 left in the game.
Ups & Downs in Single Game…Smithville raced out to a 31-10 lead early in the 2nd quarter. Platte County fought back to tie it at 31-31 in the 3rd quarter. Smithville grabbed lead again 38-31 only to see Pirates tie it again at 38. Finally with only 3:51 left, the Warriors started their final drive on their own 35 yard line. On the 6th play, Charlie Nihart raced across the goal line on a 15 yard run. Nihart was phenomenal all night. He scored on his first two touches of the night—15 & 71 yard TDs. With his final (3rd) TD, Nihart had racked up 312 yards in 35 carries as Smithville wins 44-38. Platte County finishes their season with a 9-2 mark. Smithville advances to the Class 4 District 8 title game against Kearney.
Look who’s up next!!….Carl Junction (#3 ranked, Class 4 team) upended a feisty West Plains Zizzers team 28-21. Some early stellar defense and a long drive gave Carl Junction a 14-0 lead that they would not relinquish. Now, Carl Junction faces the #1 ranked team of Class 4 – the seemingly invincible Webb City Cardinals.
End of an era….Waynesville’s Rick Vernon ended his 37 years of Football coaching on Friday when the Tigers fell to 21-17 to the Battle Spartans. The #3 seed, Battle scored with only 18.3 seconds remaining. Nash Sutherlin crossed the goal line on a 4 yard run to end the wonderful carerr of a highly successful coach (220-169). Battle now has the tall order of facing the top seed of Class 5, District 4- the Camdenton Lakers (9-2).