The Kirkwood Pioneers are no strangers when it comes to claiming a state championship on the prep football gridiron.
However this Friday, they seek to achieve a newfound benchmark in the highest class of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA).
Kirkwood (11-1) meets Blue Springs (11-2) in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl football finale at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri at 7 pm.
The Pioneers claimed the Class 5 title in 2012 and, in this journey within the top tier, find themselves facing a five-time champion that last hoisted Class 6 hardware in 2013.
This year, the MSHSAA altered the complexion of championship game scheduling. Friday’s Kirkwood/Blue Springs match-up will be the solo 11-man title contest held this weekend while the remaining five classes, categorized by school enrollment, will compete in respective tussles held in Springfield, Missouri Thanksgiving weekend.
Kirkwood reached the Class 6 playoff payoff with Friday’s 24-17 semifinal road win over Rockhurst in Kansas City. In the seven-point duke, the Pioneers utilized a nine-play, 83-yard drive in the third quarter that resulted in a scoreboard flip while a stubborn defense sealed the deal down the stretch.
Against Rockhurst, Kirkwood senior quarterback Reese Goddard hit 15-of-29 passes for 190 yards and rushed the ball 15 times for 88 yards and a pair of end zone scampers. The 6-2, 220-pound gunslinger, who verbally commitment to SIU-Carbondale during the summer, also set a new school record during the game by tipping over 4,500 career passing yards achieved.
The Pioneers’ backfield is paced by juniors Daron Clay (8 TDs) and Tyriek Lewis (4 TDs) while senior receivers Joseph Jordan (10 TDs) and Tahj Telfair (7 TDs) provide a lethal one-two punch in the aerial assault.
Senior quarterback Dylan Cowling had a touchdown pass and an end zone rumble in the 14-point win. Running backs Jaylen Ivy and Michael Warmack are primed to collect yards on the ground while Tyree King and Tre Wheaton attempt to effectively snag passes.
Friday’s Class 6 tussle is projected to be the proverbial slobber-knocker. When the dust settles at Farout, the squad that claims the Class 6 duke will have certainly deserved it.
Tickets for the game in Columbia are $10. The contest will be streamed online live at THIS LINK for a fee of $9.95. The match-up can also be heard locally on KTRS (550 AM) and KCLC (89.1 FM).
Turn up your sound… They’re chanting STATE, STATE, STATE! Kirkwood win 24-17 to play next Friday for the State Championship! #mopreps https://t.co/VHFzaNjpm4