• Indians finally topple Staley in emotionally-charged quarterfinal

  • As Fort Osage quarterback Steven McBee walked off the field at Staley High School Saturday afternoon, a large group of family and friends stood and cheered.

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  • As Fort Osage quarterback Steven McBee walked off the field at Staley High School Saturday afternoon, a large group of family and friends stood and cheered.
    Somehow, McBee managed the strength to give them a smile and a victory salute after his gritty fourth-quarter performance led the Indians to a 20-3 Class 5 state quarterfinal win over the defending state champions.
    Fourth-ranked Fort Osage held No. 3 Staley to just 197 total yards – with 88 coming in the first quarter – and McBee engineered two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including one in which his younger brother Jesse caught his first-ever TD pass from his brother.
    A Hollywood script writer couldn't have come up with a more emotion-charged theme as the McBee brothers dedicated the game to their grandfather, Jim Bedsworth, who passed away last Tuesday following a heart attack.
    “It's almost like 'It's too good to be true,'” Steven McBee said, after he rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown and completed 11 of 18 passes for 152 yards and another score, “because Jesse and I dedicated this game to Grandpa. Then, we hook up on our first touchdown and we beat Staley for the first time. It's the only good thing that has happened to my family this week.
    “I know that Grandpa was watching. He told me and Jesse that we were going to beat Staley. Grandpa, this one's for you.”
    For the first time, McBee's eyes became misty but he quickly regained his composure for more postgame interviews.
    While McBee met the media, Fort coach Ryan Schartz and his staff waited for the players to emerge from the noisy visitor's locker room. Schartz and defensive coordinator Jon Oyler came up with a game plan that held the potent Falcons offense to a first-quarter field goal.
    “Jon has a sickness, and I hope he never finds a cure,” Schartz said. “By the end of the week, he looked like he was ready to pass out. He spent so much time getting the defense ready to play. It was like he was sick. I can't believe we're lucky enough to have a guy who the game means that much to.”
    Cornerback Darby Raines spearheaded a secondary that made life miserable for Falcons quarterback and Wendy’s High School Heisman Award finalist Trent Hosick. Twice he tackled Falcons players who were on the verge of scoring game-breaking touchdowns.
    One drive ended with a field goal and the second was stopped on an unsuccessful fourth-and-1 run by Hosick.
    “The plays seemed bigger at the time when it was 3-3,” Raines said, “but I just couldn't let them score. We have too much pride, and this game meant too much to us and to Steven and Jesse. We all felt like we were going to win this game, and the way Steven played in the fourth quarter, we knew we were going to win.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Hosick completed only 5 of 19 passes for 54 yards.
    The Indians (11-1) had a 45 mile per hour wind at their back in the fourth period and McBee picked apart the Falcons defense (7 of 11 for 118 yards) with a deft short game that set up a 27-yard pass to D'Vante Mosby. Four plays later, Hayden Baumgartner kicked a 21-yard field goal to give the Indians a 6-3 lead with 9:36 left in the game.
    McBee and the Fort Osage offense were just warming up. After a three-and-out Staley series, McBee hit Jesse McBee for a back-breaking 43-yard touchdown that gave the overflow, standing-room-only Fort Osage crowd plenty to cheer about.
    “Steven is the toughest player I know,” said Jesse, who had four receptions for 68 yards. “We talked all year about getting a touchdown and it finally happened. I'm glad it happened today so we could do it for our grandpa.”
    Steven McBee hammered the final nail in the Falcons’ coffin with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 4:12 mark and all that was left was the celebration.
    “We're a band of brothers on defense, and as a team,” safety Joseph Tuimaseve said. “We knew we had to play the best defensive game of our lives, and we did it today.”
    Staley finished 9-3.
    The Indians will face seventh-ranked Ozark (11-1) in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday at Fort Osage High School. Ozark beat No. 1-ranked Lee's Summit West (11-1) 26-23 Saturday afternoon at West.

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