(ST. LOUIS, MO) The pinnacle of Missouri prep football takes place this weekend with the 2014 Show-Me Bowl at the Edward Jones Dome.
The 47th edition of the two-day event features head-to-head trophy battles for the six primary football classes within the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA). Three separate “11-Man” championship games are set for both Friday and Saturday.
Storylines to be followed this weekend include three schools looking for repeats, a plethora of first-timers appearing, including one in its first year of playoff eligibility, and a Kansas City-based gunslinger who’s the offspring of a former Rams’ quarterback.
A capsule preview of the six primary Show-Me Bowl games, from largest class to smallest:
CLASS 6 – SATURDAY 5:30 PM
CBC (13-0) VS. ROCKHURST (12-1)
There’s little to nitpick about the undefeated Christian Brothers Cadets in 2014. Numerous lopsided wins, including a 55-10 semifinal rout of Kirkwood two weekends ago. Junior quarterback Blake Charlton (1,529 yards passing, 18 TDs) mans the offense while running backs Calen Taylor and Tre Bryant have each posted 21 rushing touchdown this season. The Cadets are aiming for its first football title in Saturday’s Show-Me Bowl finale.
Meanwhile, Rockhurst High quarterback T.J. Green historically returns to the Dome as a participant rather than an observer. T.J. is short for “Trent Junior” and it doesn’t take long for one to connect the dots.
He is the son of former Rams’ quarterback Trent Green, who had two tours of duty for St. Louis (1999-2000 and 2008) that bracketed a tenured NFL career at Kansas City (2001-2006.) And whereas T.J. sat near the field and watched him play during the “aughts,” the current CBS broadcaster, in an act of patriarchal role-reversal, now perches in the stands and observes the young man that sports a #10 on the jersey. Coincidentally, it’s the same number the elder Green wore during his peak years at KC.
But enough about “pop,” let’s continue with generation next. T.J. connected for three touchdown passes in the Hawklets’ 25-20 victory over Francis Howell on November 14. The senior has 2,469 passing yards with 31 touchdowns and only four picks this season alongside five rushing scores. Rockhurst, who last won the Class 6 title in 2010, is looking for its tenth trophy.
CLASS 5 – FRIDAY 7: 30 PM
NIXA (9-4) VS. BATTLE (10-4)
Friday’s marquee match-up finds a pair of newcomers to the Class 5 title mix. Nixa’s 22-10 semifinal win over previously-unbeaten Park Hill launches the Eagles into its first trophy tilt. Winners of eight straight, which is a complete turnaround for a team that started the season 1-4. Junior quarterback Logan Tyler had a hand in all Nixa points scored in the semis with a pair of rushing touchdowns and three field goals. A stubborn Eagles’ defense helped seal the victory.
As eye-opening as Nixa’s late-season ascension was, the narrative is arguably more impressive for Columbia-based Muriel Williams Battle High School, who reaches the title game in its first year of playoff eligibility. The Spartans upended Ladue, 34-6, in last Friday’s semifinal to advance. Senior running back Nash Sutherlin (2,072 yards, 19 TDs) and sophomore quarterback Brevinn Tyler (two TD rushes vs. Ladue) are the expected focal points. Like Nixa, the Spartans have utilized a stingy defense. There is a probable chance that this particular class’ final will be low in total points but, nonetheless, entertaining in action.
CLASS 4 – SATURDAY 11 AM
WEBB CITY (14-0) VS. CAPE GIRARDEAU CENTRAL (12-2)
Webb City’s appearance in the Class 4 title game sounds like a familiar tune. The undefeated Cardinals eye a fifth straight title (and ninth in this millennium) at Saturday’s session opener. The Cardinals posted a 38-7 win over Kearney at its hosted semifinal Saturday. Junior quarterback Tyson Roderique has posted impressive numbers in his first year of varsity play: 1,048 yards passing for 16 touchdowns and 725 yards rushing with eight trips into the end zone. Senior running back Tyler Davison (1,139 yards, 15 TDs) along with juniors Keaton Burroughs (856 yards, 16 TDs rushing) and Kaleb Potts (10 TDs rushing) propel Webb City’s solid ground game. A “five-peat” is not far-fetched.
Looking to snap the streak are the Cape Central Tigers, 42-21 semifinal winners over St. Charles West. Central outscored the Warriors, 28-14, in the second half to earn its first-time appearance in the Class 4 title game. Senior running back Braion Owens racked up three touchdowns and 193 yards rushing in last Saturday’s tilt while quarterback Peyton Montgomery threw and rushed for one touchdown apiece. Key for a Tigers’ trophy win would be its defense, which held the Warriors’ high-powered offense to 155 rushing yards in the semis.
CLASS 3 – FRIDAY 1 PM
JOHN BURROUGHS (13-1) VS. OAK GROVE (12-2)
Friday afternoon’s Class 3 match-up finds John Burroughs, the 2012 runner-up, sporting a nine-game winning streak. Last Saturday’s one-point squeaker over Monett, 24-23, punched the Bombers’ ticket to the Dome. In the semifinal win, running back John Moten, who committed to Northwestern in April, rushed for 203 yards and two TDs. The senior has rushed for 2,195 yards and 36 TDs this season. Yale-bound quarterback Tre Moore (2,262 yards, 37 TDs) is also a focal point in the Bombers’ offense while junior linebackers Thomas Bolstad (110 solo tackles) and Hunter Wilkins (94) anchors the defense.
Top-ranked Oak Grove bested California, 49-14, in last Saturday’s other Class 3 semifinal with its high-octane ground attack. Senior running back Aaron Graham rushed for 220 yards and three TDs in the contest, boosting his season totals to 2,888 yards and 40 TDs. Speedy junior Landon Cairer (1,504 yards, 14 TDs) supplements the back field. The Panthers look for its eighth straight duke and its first MSHSAA football title Friday.
CLASS 2 – SATURDAY 2:15 PM
LAMAR (13-1) VS. SOUTH CALLAWAY (14-0)
Looking for a “four-peat” this Saturday, Lamar topped Malden, 28-2, in the Class 2 semifinals. The Tigers’ lone setback thus far this season was an October solo-point loss to Class 4’s Carl Junction. Its defense against similar-sized schools is almost spotless: eight shutouts and four games with a lone touchdown allowed. Senior quarterback Tripp Tucker and senior running back Johnny Brooks pace the offense.
Meanwhile, undefeated South Callaway snagged its inaugural Class 2 title trip with a 27-2 win over Palmyra. In its first 11 games this season, the Bulldogs scored over 50 points in each contest, including a 82-14 shellacking of Van-Far in September. Senior quarterback Troy Hentges (1,346 yards, 27 TDs) and multi-faceted senior Mason Shoemaker (10 TD rushes, 3 TD receptions, 1,036 all purpose yards) paces the offense.
CLASS 1 – FRIDAY 4:15 PM
VALLE CATHOLIC (14-0) VS. WESTRAN (13-1)
St. Genevieve’s Valle Catholic cruised to the Class 1 finals with a 54-28 thumping over Skyline last Friday and early projections indicate a similar result for Friday’s title game as the undefeated Warriors dismantled Westran, 72-28, in September. This small-school powerhouse has 12 Class 1 titles in the trophy case and this weekend looks for back-to-back championships and its 30th straight win overall. Junior running Garrett Jaegers scored four TDs in the semifinal win for the Warriors, who have outscored their opponents this season, 729-129.
The task seems overwhelming for Huntsville-based Westran, who survived a 48-39 nail biter over Penney in the other Class 1 semifinal last Friday. To say that the Hornets’ scoring revolves around senior quarterback Zane Jacoby is a bit of an understatement, as the workhorse has thrown for 2,515 yards and 29 TDs while rushing for 2,390 yards and 40 TDs this season. Westran, who finished the Class 1 runner-up in 2010, looks to pick up its first MSHSAA title Friday.
The Show-Me Bowl will be carried live locally on Fox Sports Midwest.
An online stream will also be provided at www.MSHSAA.tv. For those within the FSM coverage area, the stream will be available on a delayed basis following the conclusion of the telecast on FSM. There is no fee to watch online, but one will need to register a username and password for access.
Additionally this weekend, the MSHSAA presents the 27th Annual 8-Man Football Championship, featuring a match-up between North Andrew (15-0) against Stanberry (12-0), Friday at 9:30 a.m.
Admission for the two-day event is $11 each day. Children 5 and under are free.
The MSHSAA has distributed a public statement regarding its continued planning for Show-Me Bowl 2014 and potential safety concerns at the event. The full press release can be seen at THIS OFFICIAL LINK from the MSHSAA.
(Statistical information was compiled by the column’s author utilizing numerous sources, including maxpreps.com, stlhighschoolsports.com and prepskc.com, as well as participating school’s official websites.)