Smithville's season ends at MICDS

By Greg Uptain Special to PrepsKC
Posted: November 24, 2018 - 11:42 AM

LADUE, MO. – Jason Ambroson barely had time to breathe, much less reflect, after an exciting conclusion to his team's game Saturday.

But he was able to show pride in something his program hadn't done in 47 years, as the Smithville football team fell just short of a Class 4 championship berth with a hard-fought 20-14 loss to host Ladue in a Class 4 semifinal game on Saturday afternoon in suburban St. Louis.

“We had a great run. The kids did a tremendous job. We just fell a little short,” Ambroson said. “They are great kids. Very committed in the offseason in what we needed to do.”

Smithville saw its deepest run in nearly a half-century end at 12-2.

“Nothing went right for us today,” Ambroson said. “Every spot went their way, every call went their way, every bounce of the ball went their way. Every break went their way. But, I'm very proud of my kids.”

MICDS (12-1) advances to take on neighbor Ladue (13-0) in an all-St. Louis Class 4 final at Faurot Field in Columbia.

“It's surreal,” said MICDS senior Graham Bundy Jr., who had two touchdown catches, including the game-winner late in the third quarter. “We're just a group of kids going out there, playing our game and doing what we've done all season.”

MICDS converted a fourth down and three third downs on the 10-play, 53-yard drive, including Bundy's 24-yard catch in the end zone on 3rd and 8 to make it 7-0 just past the halfway point of the first quarter.

Bundy then booted through matching 42-yard field goals to give the Rams a 13-0 lead at halftime. The first one came with 6:40 left in the second quarter and the second one came with all zeroes on the clock.

MICDS took over at the Smithville 47 with two seconds left. Quarterback Reagan Andrew was sacked, but the Warriors were hit with targeting and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties to give the Rams the ball at the 19 and a shot at the last-second field goal.

Smithville nearly got on the board midway through the second quarter, but Kellen Simoncic's pass across the middle was dropped by Garrett Thompson on what would have likely been a touchdown, as he had his defender beat.

Thompson atoned for the drop on the Warriors' first play of the second half when he hauled in a pass and went 88 yards for a TD to cut the Rams' lead to 13-7.

“Garrett got back into the ballgame,” Ambroson said. “You know, he dropped one. It doesn't happen to him very often. I know he takes that stuff personally, but at the same time we wouldn't be where we are without him.”

Smithville scored on its next possession as well, as Isaac Miller's 8-yard run capped a nine-play, 57-yard drive to give the Warriors their first lead of the game.

“We felt really good. We thought we got ourselves back in the ballgame,” Ambroson said. “But we didn't finish some drives when we needed to.”

That lead was short-lived as Bundy took a screen pass five plays later and turned it into an 83-yard score to restore the MICDS lead at 20-14 with 2:50 left in the third.

The Warriors got two big stops to give its offense a shot with under five minutes to go in the game.

But it was the Rams who got the biggest stop when senior Tyler Purdy got the only turnover of the game for either team when he intercepted a pass at the MICDS 5 with 1:52 to play and the Rams ran out the clock for the win.