Unstoppable

Brian Davidson/The Examiner

By Matt Gerstner PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: November 29, 2015 - 1:31 AM



It was all Fort Osage quarterback Skyler Thompson could do to keep from tearing up Saturday night in the Edward Jones Dome.

It had nothing to do with monstrous performance he had in the biggest game of his young career, breaking the record for individual total offense in the Show-Me Bowl. It was all about being able to bring home that first state championship after being so close three years ago.

Thompson accounted for 455 yards and seven touchdowns as the Indians earned their first title in program history, defeating Chaminade 63-28.

“I wanted to devote all my time in this football team and community,” Thompson said. “This is what I wanted. I wanted to win a state championship. I really didn’t care about anything else. I could’ve scored zero touchdowns; if we would’ve won I’d be just as happy as I am right now. It’s a feeling I can’t describe. I’m just thankful to have the team, the coaches and the community behind me. They deserve it.”

Thompson threw for four touchdowns and ran for three and 202 yards, but as he said, he would’ve traded it all for the ultimate goal.

“One thing I really got tired of was the media saying that [head coach Ryan Schartz] is the best coach without a state title,” he said. “I’ve been around this guy ever since I moved here in third grade. Seeing all the time and effort I spent with him, I just wanted to give him a state championship. He’s really a father figure to me. I just want to give a lot of credit to all these coaches. They do an awesome job of preparation for us. They put us in a position to be successful.”

And Schartz couldn’t have been happier for his players.

“It feels great. I was talking to the kids before the game about the amount of time and effort we put into the game,” he said. “Everybody put so much time in, it was great to finally get that ultimate goal.”

Chaminade scored quickly and often starting with their first possession as quarterback Michael McGovern found Reggie Crawford over the middle for the 43-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Fort Osage just happened to score quicker and more often on the night, starting with a huge throw from Thompson to Matt Smith for 59 yards to set up Thompson’s 15-yard scramble into the end zone to tie it. Thompson continued his big opening quarter with a 33-yard strike to Bailey Williamson to give the Indians the lead.

“They continued to execute over and over again, and we preach that,” Schartz said. “We felt like we were a really good offensive team. We had a trigger man (Thompson) that could run it and throw it. We knew that was going to be tough to defend, and he was on his game tonight.

“But it was a group effort. I don’t know how many guys scored tonight, but obviously our execution on offense was at a high level.”

The Red Devils tied it back up on McGovern’s second touchdown pass to Crawford, this one a 33-yard toss capping a 52-yard drive. Fort Osage punched back as Williamson took a bubble screen 44 yards to regain the seven-point lead midway through the second quarter. The Indians doubled it when Isiah Iloilo capitalized with a touchdown run of his own after Thompson’s 44-yard bulrush down to the five.

And just to make sure all the momentum was on his team’s side, Thompson ran in another from four yards out to make it 35-14 going into half.

“We have to credit the offensive line. We had huge holes to run through, they were giving me time to throw the ball. It all starts up front. If you don’t protect, you can’t do anything behind it. So they deserve all the credit,” Thompson said.

Thompson and Fort Osage didn’t take their foot off the gas in the third quarter. After the defense stopped the Red Devils on fourth and one, Thompson ripped off a 27-yard run before tossing one to Donte Dodson for the seven-yard touchdown.

“[Brennan Garrett] and [Zach Ingram] stood up majorly,” defensive lineman Sima Thomas, who ended up with a sack and forced fumble, said. “They came in and were a force to be reckoned with out there. That took some of the pressure off me, and I was able to make plays off of them, and they were able to make some plays off of me.”

Both teams were far from done finding the end zone. Chaminade would get one back on three-yard touchdown run by Jakobi Buchanon, but the Indians took any momentum the Devils gained away as Jonah Tuimsave took the onside kick down to the seven before Thompson ran it in from the one for his third touchdown on the ground to make it 49-21.

McGovern would throw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Damon Bonds, but that was as close as Chaminade would get. Thompson threw his fourth touchdown pass with a 18-yard one to Kevin Rush to start the fourth quarter. Elijah Penamon came up with a pick to kill the ensuing Red Devil drive, and Isiah Iloilo added a 49-yard touchdown run for good measure.

“It’s just unbelievable. I’ve spent 12 years with most of these guys, and we’ve been on this journey ever since we were little,” Garrett said of his fellow seniors. “Words just can’t describe how happy I am that we got to the goal and it’s finally here.”

It’s difficult to say how much the first state championship means to a team that has been so close to the precipice as Fort Osage has. Then again, now that it’s been done, maybe it doesn’t need to be said.