Truman moves past Chrisman into district final
By Bill Althaus The Examiner
Dean Clemons wasn’t the biggest, strongest or fastest player on the Norman James Field Friday night as Truman defeated Noland Road rival William Chrisman 33-8 in a Class 5 District 7 semifinal.
But the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Truman quarterback might have been the toughest as he returned to action following a dislocated elbow suffered against Park Hill in the Patriots’ final regular-season game.
He carried the ball 22 times for 97 yards, rushed for a 25-yard touchdown, threw a 24-yard scoring strike and was nearly flawless in directing a Truman offense that dominated the Bears’ defense on a cold and rainy night at Independence All-School Stadium.
“Dean is so important to our team,” Truman coach Gregg Webb said after the No. 2-seeded Patriots improved to 8-2 and now travel to face top-seeded Fort Osage, a 40-21 winner over Raytown, in next Friday’s district championship for a berth in the state quarterfinals.
“When people think of our offense, they think of Jordan (Salima, who carried the ball 28 times for 145 yards and three scores) – and for good reason. But a lot of the things we run with Dean are by scheme – we set something up by faking the ball to Jordan, they follow him, and Dean makes a big run.
“He’s been doing it for us all season.”
The loss puts an end to a 4-7 Bears season that saw them come within a point (28-27) of stopping the Patriots in the Wagon Wheel Game during the regular season. Chrisman went for a late two-point conversion and Salima came up with a big stop to help his team claim the win.
“They were talking about getting two more inches tonight, because that’s how close they came to getting that 2-point conversion,” Clemons said. “That’s what makes this rivalry so special, so much fun. Both teams really wanted to win this game tonight and we were able to put together a complete game and come away with the win.”
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