For three quarters, Fort Osage High School was able to keep things close in its Class 5 Show-Me Bowl state championship Saturday game against Webster Groves in the Edward Jones Dome.
Ryan Schartz wanted to apologize.
For three quarters, his Fort Osage High School football team was able to keep things close against top-ranked Webster Groves in its Class 5 Show-Me Bowl state championship Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome.
But the fourth quarter was a different matter as the Statesmen exploded for two touchdowns to claim a 31-14 victory and put an end to the Indians’ dream season.
“We’re sorry Eastern Jack didn’t do better at state,” Fort Osage coach Ryan Schartz said after his 13-1 Indians followed a Blue Springs loss to Hazelwood Central in Friday night’s Class 6 championship game. “We ran into a very good team tonight, and a couple of mistakes and our return game just killed us.”
Senior linebacker Steven Snyder said the way it ended was disheartening.
“The game came down to mistakes, and we made too many,” Snyder said. “It’s hard right now to think about anything good, but it was a good season – just not a good way to end it.”
Schartz said his team will be happy with itself in time. It was just difficult to feel that way on Saturday night.
“In a couple of weeks, these guys are going to realize they had a pretty good season,” Schartz said, “but right now, that’s hard. This is a tough way to end the season.”
Twice the undefeated Statesmen scored following long punt returns, and they answered each of Fort Osage’s touchdowns with scores on their next possession.
“That was very big for us,” Webster Groves coach Clifford Ice said. “We typically shot ourselves in the foot in the first half and then came out played pretty well in the second half. That was a quality Fort Osage team, and we did everything we could to stop (E.J.) Gaines. He got in a couple of big runs, but we were able to shut them down and make some big plays of our own.”
Conor Barker opened the game with a 28-yard field goal to give the Statesmen a 3-0 lead with 2:25 left in the first quarter.
Fort Osage answered with a long drive that resulted in a 1-yard quarterback sneak touchdown by Edward Pearl.
On their next possession, Webster Groves quarterback Derrick Dilworth hit David Scanlon for a 53-yard scoring strike to make it 10-7.
The Indians proved they had plenty of firepower left as Pearl connected with Garry Frisk on a 79-yard touchdown that gave the Indians a short-lived 14-10 lead.
“That was the biggest catch of my life,” said Frisk, who had one reception for a touchdown during the regular season. “But right now, it doesn’t mean that much to me. I thought we were as good as they were, but they found a way to beat us. We’re all very disappointed.”
The Statesmen scored the next three touchdowns – Desmond Brown scored on a 1-yard run to make it 17-14 late in the third quarter to put the Statesmen ahead for good. Scanlon caught his second touchdown pass from Dilworth, a 21-yard slant play, to make it 24-14 early in the fourth period.
Michael Cole’s 60-yard return of a punt set up the Statesmen’s final score, a 19-yard pass from Marquis Clemons to Ryan Mack.
Gaines, who rushed for 81 yards on 19 carries, stretched out for an incomplete pass before halftime and was tended to on the field. Schartz said he was not injured, but added, “He might have bruised his ribs a little bit.”
Gaines was not much of a factor in the second half, although the Statesmen built a three-score lead and Pearl had to go to the air.
Pearl, the senior quarterback, completed 8 of 26 passes for 236 yards and one score.
CLASS 5 SHOW-ME BOWL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
WEBSTER GROVES 31, FORT OSAGE 14
At Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
Fort Osage Webster Groves
11 First downs 15
31-92 Attempts-Yards Rushing 34-99
236 Yards Passing 257
26 Passes Attempted 23
8 Passes Completed 15
1 Passes Intercepted 0
7-36.3 Punts-Average 7-33.9
1-1 Fumbles-Lost 0-0
4-37 Penalties-Yards 7-55
FORT OSAGE 0 7 7 0 — 14
WEBSTER GROVES 3 7 7 14 — 31
WG — Conor Barker 28 field goal, 2:55.
FO — Edward Pearl 1 run (Tucker Hickey kick), 4:22.
WG — David Scanlon 53 pass from Derrick Dilworth (Barker kick), 3:59.
FO — Garry Frisk 79 pass from Pearl (Hickey kick), 8:54.
WG — Desmond Brown 1 run (Barker kick), 5:11.
WG — Scanlon 21 pass from Dilworth (Barker kick), 10:12.
WG — Ryan Mack 19 pass from Marquis Clemons (Barker kick), 7:30.