• Kirkwood too much for the Indians

  • The Fort Osage High School football team was all business as it walked out of the locker room Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome.

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  • The Fort Osage High School football team was all business as it walked out of the locker room Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome.
    Safety Joseph Tuimaseve was carrying his sledge hammer, symbolic of his "Hammer of the Week" award he claimed following last week's 16-7 victory over Ozark.
    But the 12-2 Indians ran into a buzz saw as 13-0 Kirkwood used a strong passing game and a rock-solid defense to claim a 31-7 victory in the Class 5 state championship contest.
    "They're good, man are they good," Fort Osage quarterback Steven McBee said after he spent much of the game trying to avoid a swarming Pioneer defense. "They are a lot better than what they appeared to be on film.
    "To win this game, we'd have had to play a perfect game, and we didn't come close to that. Way too many mistakes, and I made a lot of them myself."
    The Indians got off to a rough start as the undefeated Pioneers scored 14 points in the first quarter.
    On a third-and-13 from the 29, Jordan Bishop hooked up with Clyde Benson for a 73-yard touchdown at 6:18.
    The Indians then tried a trick play on a fourth-and-6, but McBee was tackled short of the first-down marker on a fake punt attempt.
    That gave the Pioneers the ball on their own 46 yard line, and seven plays later Bishop hooked up with twin brother Jarrod Bishop for a 56-yard touchdown reception and a 14-0 lead.
    The Pioneers totaled 132 yards of total offense and 14 first downs in the first quarter to 37 yards and just one first down for Fort Osage.
    Darby Raines gave the Indian faithful something to cheer about minutes into the second quarter when he picked off a Bishop pass at the Indian 41.
    But the Fort Osage offense couldn't get going, McBee fumbled the ball and again the Indians had to punt the ball away.
    After an unsuccessful Pioneers offensive series, Fort's offense came to life and drove to the Kirkwood 30-yard line. Hayden Baumgartner attempted a 47-yard field goal that fell short and the score remained 14-0.
    But the Pioneers quickly padded their lead to 17-0 when they drove to the Fort Osage 7-yard line.
    One third-and-goal, Koida Ejire batted a Bishop pass away at the goal line and Kirkwood had to settle for a 23-yard Andrew Phillips field goal and the Pioneers went into the locker room with a 17-0 lead and a world of confidence.
    It might have been 17-7 had D'Vante Mosby been able to hold onto a 45-yard pass from McBee as he appeared to cradle the ball in the end zone. But lost it when he hit the ground and was tackled by a Pioneer defender with 24 seconds left in the half.
    Page 2 of 2 - It was the second time McBee and Mosby nearly teamed up for a score as the 6-foot-6 wide receiver had a 40-yard bomb skip off his fingertips on the Indians’ second offensive series in the first quarter.
    "That's as athletic a team I've coached against," Fort Osage coach Ryan Shartz said. "We battled, we battled hard. And we just couldn't get much done. We had some missed opportunities, but Kirkwood was the reason for a lot of those missed opportunities.
    "I am just so proud of what this team accomplished this season. And our coaches were amazing, from top to bottom – from offense, to defense, to special teams – they just coached their rear ends off all year."
    The Pioneers dominated all phases of the game in the first half totaling 224 offensive yards to just 77 for the Indians.
    The Indians offense came to life in the third period as Ezra Vaoifi capped an eight-play, 34-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run at 2:45 of the third period.
    "When it was 17-7, I'm think we have a chance to get back in this thing," Schartz said, "but it just didn't happen."
    The Pioneers put the game away with two touchdowns in the fourth period. Bishop hooked up with Edward Richey on 1-yard touchdown pass and Eric Phillips iced the win with a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown with six minutes left in the game.

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