(ST. LOUIS, MO) The pinnacle of prep football takes place this weekend with the 2015 Show-Me Bowl at the Edward Jones Dome downtown.
The 48th 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 championship games are set for both Friday and Saturday.
A capsule preview of the six 11-man games, from largest class to smallest:
CLASS 6 – FRIDAY 7:30 PM
CBC (13-0) VS. BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH (13-0)
After netting an inaugural trophy last November, the Christian Brothers Cadets kept its undefeated streak intact this season and enters the weekend winners of 27 straight, which includes a 35-14 win over Kickapoo in the semifinals. Senior quarterback Blake Charlton (21 TDs passing, 9 Rushing TDs) steers the offense while Nebraska-bound senior running back Tre Bryant has collected 18 rushes into the end zone. Senior Derick Speltz and juniors Brandon Zmuda and Gavon Burke anchors a defense that held the opposition to one touchdown or less in over half its games played this season. Ranked #33 in the nation by maxprepssports.com, CBC is in prime position to win back-to-back titles.
However, undefeated Blue Spring South looks to claim its third Class 6 trophy in its fifth Show-Me Bowl appearance. After a sub-par 5-6 record last season, the Jaguars returned to championship form and was relentless in its 41-17 road dismantling of Kirkwood in the semifinals. Senior QB Noah Nigro (1,577 Yards, 26 TDs) helms the attack while senior RB Adam Cofield scampered for a baker’s dozen scores. Senior WR Briley Moore-McKinney bounced back from prior injuries and snagged 15 touchdown receptions while providing solid work defensively. Time of possession will be critical in this one as the Jags look to keep CBC’s stubborn defense off the field as much as possible.
CLASS 5 – SATURDAY 5:30 PM
CHAMINADE (12-1) VS. FORT OSAGE (12-1)
It’s been a long wait for the Chaminade since its last state championship game appearance. How long? When the Red Devils last competed for a title in 1972, they were classified as Class 3, “The Godfather” won an Oscar for Best Picture and a gallon of gas set one back 36 cents. Chaminade didn’t win back then, but with last Saturday’s 43-19 impressive thumping of Carthage in the Class 5 semifinals, they certainly have ample opportunity to erase its last chapter entry. Junior running back Damon Bonds rushed for two touchdowns in last weekend’s victory. A stingy defense has also been very instrumental in its upward trajectory this year. A win Saturday would be arguably the Cinder-fella story of the weekend.
Fort Osage, by comparison, has two recent trips to the trophy game. Appearances in 2009 and 2012 resulted in setbacks, thus, the Indians look for their inaugural state championship Saturday night. Dominance was displayed in its 49-12 victory over Columbia Battle in the semis. Senior QB Skylar Thompson is the true definition of a “double threat.” The Kansas State-bound gunslinger has thrown for 1,874 yards and 21 touchdowns this season while also barreling in 18 rushing TDs. Thompson’s main targets are senior wide receivers Matt Smith (8 TD catches) and Bailey Williamson (6 TDs). Senior Jesse Reser anchors a solid defensive unit. That will be key as the team from Independence looks to stop Chaminade’s Thompson early and often.
CLASS 4 – FRIDAY 1 PM
WEBB CITY (14-0) VS. KEARNEY (13-1)
To the surprise of absolutely no one that follows prep football, Webb City is back in the Class 4 trophy mix. Last year’s champ raised its fifth straight title, and ninth in this millennium, last November and a “six-peat” is desired Friday afternoon. The Cardinals popped Cape Central, 35-14, in last Saturday’s semifinal for its return trip to the Dome. Senior running back Keaton Burroughs (1,404 YDs, 25 TDs) and senior QB Tyson Roderique (8 TD passes, 5 TD runs) helm a powerful offense. Webb City has outscored its opponents during the five-game post-season, 181-53, and aside from a seven-point duke over Carl Junction in round two, none of their post-season games have been close.
That won’t be this case this weekend as scrappy Kearney looks to slay the perennial gridiron dragon. Coincidentally, the Bulldogs were the last team to hoist the Class 4 trophy prior to Webb City’s title streak of five. Saturday’s 35-16 semifinal win over Westminster Christian continued a consistent path of post-season dominance, 214 points scored compared to 46 points allowed. Senior QB Logan Hinck (1,675 YDs, 21 TD Passes, 13 TD Rushes) and senior RB Marcus Harris (1,508 YDs, 27 TDs) paces the offense while Navy-bound middle linebacker Cale Garrett (105 solo tackles) anchors the defense. The Bulldogs eye their fourth state championship and this game will be, projected by this writer, as the one selected as a “must-watch” this weekend due to the narratives.
CLASS 3 – SATURDAY 11 AM
JOHN BURROUGHS (13-1) VS. ODESSA (13-1)
John Burroughs, last year’s runner-up, seeks its first-ever Class 3 trophy Saturday morning and its propeller was last weekend’s 31-18 win over Blair Oaks in the semifinals. A pair of Bomber sophomores, quarterback Tyler Foote (35 TD passes) and running back Jake Bain (26 TDs), have posted eye-opening numbers by those who are barely old enough to drive a car. Standout senior linebackers Thomas Bolstad and Hunter Wilkins anchor the defense. After four prior misses in the Class 3 title tilt, this might be the year the Bombers snag a title.
Meanwhile, Odessa finds itself in Saturday’s clash after claiming a 14-7 semifinal squeaker over Aurora , where all its points were scored in the first half. Late-game, goal line defense was central in its win and that will be certainly put to the test here. Senior QB Tyler Wagner, RB Kobe Hardin and WR Josiah Bennett have paced the Bulldogs’ offense this season and the trio will be primary factors in the match-up. Odessa last won the Class 3 title in 1994. The challenge is certainly tough this weekend, but the Blulldogs are more than ready.
CLASS 2 – FRIDAY 4:15 PM
MALDEN (14-0) VS. LAMAR (14-0)
In the battle of Class 2 unbeatens Friday afternoon, Lamar seeks a “five-peat” and with its 45-0 win over Lafayette County in the semifinals, that mission could be accomplished easily. Junior RB Matt Whyman has been a key cog in the Tigers’ offense this season and punched a back-breaking, 67-yard touchdown run early in the semifinal game to set the tone of the inevitable thrashing. Defense is super strong, with only one score allowed against the opposition in the other games played this post-season
However, the Malden Green Wave, who topped Palmyra 24-21 in the semifinals, certainly possesses the firepower to stop the streak. Senior QB Chapen Riley and classmate receiver Kylus Thompson connected for three touchdowns in its Dome ticket-punch victory. Malden seeks its first-ever championship this weekend. Redemption is on the mind of the Green Wave, as Lamar topped them in the semifinals last season.
CLASS 1 – SATURDAY 2:15 PM
VALLE CATHOLIC (14-0) VS. PENNEY (11-3)
Valle Catholic, the defending champ, almost saw its 44-game winning streak snapped last weekend and survived a 16-13 field-drenched, semifinal grinder against Marceline with a field goal connected with :45 left. In fact, the Warriors’ path to the Dome was also thwarted the week prior against Thayer (17-10) in the quarterfinals. If anything, the two tight contests proved to be character builders for the St. Genevieve-based squad. Senior quarterback Connor Basler stood tall against Marceline by going 16-of-30 for 244 yards and a pair of touchdowns while also rushing 24 times for 111 yards in absence of injured running back Tristan Huck. Basler will be the focus again as the Warriors seeks its 14th Class 1 title.
Hamilton’s Penney High School enters the weekend winners of five straight, punctuated by a 29-12 victory over Skyline in the semifinals. Offensively, junior QB Jaran Richman (2,467 YDs, 27 TDs) and junior fullback T.C. East (1,293 YDs, 13 TDs) leads the charge but sophomore receiver Latroy Harper (1,326 YDs, 16 TDs) might be the P-factor for a streak-stopper this weekend. If there ever was a squad that loves to spoil Valle Catholic’s title dreams, it would be the Hornets, who topped the Warriors in 2009 and 2012 in the Class 1 finale.
Additionally this weekend, the MSHSAA presents the 28th Annual 8-Man Football Championship, featuring a re-match between perennial powerhouses North Andrew (12-0) 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.
Video of the Show-Me Bowl weekend will be carried exclusively online via www.MSHSAA.tv for a day pass of $9.95. Live audio can be heard at either KCLC (89.1 FM) locally or Prepcast.com via the internet.
To go to the Show-Me Bowl Central website, go to THIS LINK.