Truman moves past Chrisman into district final

By Bill Althaus The Examiner
Posted: October 31, 2015 - 12:31 AM

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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