Maryville finishes perfect season
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Senior Writer
ST. LOUIS - John Burroughs was making its third consecutive trip to the Class 3 Show-Me Bowl, and on Friday afternoon inside the Edward Jones Dome, Maryville made sure that three times wasn't a charm.
The Spoofhounds kept their record unblemished with a 35-22 victory and it's first-ever Class 3 championship; however, Maryville did win a title as a Class 2 team in 2009.
But this one might feel a bit sweeter with a new coach in Matt Webb.
"I'm extremely proud of my players and my assistant coaches," Webb said. "It's been fun to watch them coach, and work with these guys. This season and this victory is a true testament to the players and community and school, that said we could have distractions in the offseason, have a head coach leave, have a new guy come in from Louisiana, that talks a little different, and we could go another direction or come together as a team and have each other's back. Together, you can always do more."
To start, this game had the appearance of a track meet.
Maryville (15-0) struck first when Derek Stiens capped a 12-play, 87-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run to put the Spoofhouds up 7-0.
The lead didn't last long. Bombers all-everything tailback Ezekiel Elliott went 79 yards on the first play from scrimmage to knot it up at seven. Maryville came right back on the following series when Brody McMahon bolted 65 yards for a score.
It stayed that way until late in the first half. Rushil Sheth of John Burroughs (13-1) hit a 26-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-10 with 28 seconds to play, and that's how it looked the score would be going into halftime.
Maryville got the ball back in relatively good field position on the ensuing kickoff, and instead of killing the clock, the handoff went to McMahon. He found a seam and 59-yards later, the Spoofhounds led 21-10 heading into the break.
"That was a backbreaker," Bombers head coach Gus Frerotte said of that touchdown right before halftime. "We kickoff, they get a great run back. There's 20 seconds left in the half, and they run the same play they've been running all day. We miss two tackles, and the guy goes in for a touchdown. I don't know if guys thought they could take 20 second off or rely on someone else to make the play. If that's your gap or that's your area, you have to come up and make the tackle."
In the second half, the Bombers did find a spark behind Elliot who finished the game with 218 yards rushing and 72 yards receiving. He also had and 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that, at the time, got his team back in the game.
The score was 28-22 going into the fourth quarter, and John Burroughs was driving. A series that began at its own 28-yard line ended at the Maryville 25 on what may have been the defensive play of the game turned in by Tyler Kenkel.
"When we got in the redzone, they held us," Elliot said of Maryville's defense. "They had a big front four. We game-planned them, and we tried to stretch it out, but when we needed to score, we didn't."
On fourth and 6, quarterback Nicholas Duncan dropped back to pass and found an open receiver inside the 10-yard line, but Kenkel closed in fast, jumped in front of the intended receiver and knocked the ball away at the last second.
It led to a 75-yard drive that saw Maryville's quarterback Jonathan Baker find a wide-open field on a 30-yard touchdown with 37 second to play in the game and seal the victory.
"Our offensive line was amazing, and that last play summed it up," Baker said.
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