William Chrisman gets another crack at Fort Osage.
With their 33-14 win Friday night over visiting Park Hill South, the Bears (7-3) advanced to face their U.S. 24 and Suburban Middle Six rivals next Friday at Fort Osage for the Class 5 District 7 football title. Chrisman lost to Fort Osage 23-0 on Oct. 6.
“I’m excited. After we lost to them, I’ve been really wanting to get back at them,” said Bears senior running back Uriah Aleshire, who rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries Friday. “It’s going to be fun – hopefully, beating them. I’ve got a lot of pride and confidence.”
To Bears coach Matt Perry, the rematch is a reminder that it’s that time of the season when the best teams meet. And the Indians (8-2) are “a really great team,” Perry said.
“They’ve had our number for a long time,” he said. “So it’s time for us to do something about it, hopefully.”
The Bears had to overcome a third-quarter deficit to get the chance to avenge their recent defeat. Trailing 14-13, they scored 20 unanswered points.
“Our running game really started to go, and we just all started to click again,” said quarterback Dawson Herl, who threw two TD passes during the scoring tear. “We just fell apart there for a minute – and then we just bounced back after we started getting some big runs.”
Before the momentary lapse, the Bears built a 13-0 lead. Aleshire ripped off an 80-yard TD run on the first quarter’s final play to help give Chrisman a 7-0 lead.
“I’m a little guy on the field,” said Aleshire, who’s 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds. “I’ve got big bodies out there blocking, so I just sneaked in the hole, stayed behind my men and then peeked out.”
Perry saw the play develop that way, too.
“They (the offensive linemen) opened a little crack and he’s small enough that he could get through it,” he said. “And then, he used his speed and his agility to make the rest happen.”
Set up by Kelvyn Mason’s interception return, Siaosi Nauer added a 5-yard TD run with 5:23 left in the second quarter. The Panthers (4-6) recovered fumbles to score on back-to-back possessions early in the third quarter to take a one-point lead.
Herl and Mason provided the first six of Chrisman’s 20 unanswered points by connecting for a 14-yard TD pass with 1:23 left in third quarter. A 58-yard run by Aleshire set up Nauer’s 4-yard TD run and two-point conversion run with 9:08 left in the fourth quarter. Herl connected with Tre’Vaughn Sisco for a 12-yard TD pass with 3:26 left to help the Bears finish off the Panthers.