Spartans come on late in season, win first ever State Title

 
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
February 25, 2015

 

 

In 2014, many firsts happened all across the country. Some teams made it to the playoffs for the first time, while others advanced to the season’s culminating championship games for the first time.

 

In Columbia, Missouri the Spartans from Battle High School captured their school’s first ever State Championship in football, beating Nixa, 24-22.

 

The fight to get to the State Championship for Battle, however, was just that – quite the challenge.

 

The Spartans started their season off on the wrong foot, dropping a high-scoring matchup to Jackson, 62-34. Despite 265 rushing yards by Nash Sutherlin, the Spartans were outdone in the second half, surrendering 27 points over the final two quarters.

 

Despite the loss to open the season, Battle put forth a gutsy performance against Wentzville Holt in their second game of the season. Leading 42-28 at halftime, the Spartans allowed the Indians back in to the game in the second half after a quick 70-yard touchdown heave cut the Battle advantage to 49-42.

 

Sutherlin however would put the game away with a 50-yard touchdown rush, his second of the game, with just 3:47 left to play, giving the Spartans a 56-42 advantage. Even with a late touchdown surrendered to the Indians, Battle pulled off the victory, 56-49, in what would be the highest scoring game of the season in terms of total points for both teams.

 

After their exciting victory over Holt, Battle took to their home field for the first time in 2014, against Class 6 Rock Bridge.

 

After starting the game with two unconventional scores, a safety and a field goal, that gave the Spartans a 5-0 lead, the Bruins would launch a 25-point scoring onslaught over the next 25 minutes. Rock Bridge would hold on to defeat Battle, 25-11, pushing the Spartans record to just 1-2 on the season.

 

The Spartans brought their record back to even with a 36-0 shutout victory over Excelsior Springs in week four, only to be right back on the losing side of things a week later. Against Helias Catholic, Battle turned the ball over three times and committed nine penalties for 75 yards in a 29-14 defeat.

 

The playoffs seemed a long ways away for the Spartans after week five, but nevertheless, the Battle defense stood tall in their next two games, holding both Hickman and Lee’s Summit North to just seven points apiece and just 116 and 96 total yards of offense, respectively. Battle defeated the Kewpies, 14-7 before defeating the Broncos, 37-7.

 

Any momentum built from their two consecutive wins before, was lost the next week when Battle hosted Jefferson City in the final regular season home game of the year. The Jays built a 31-7 lead at halftime and didn’t look back, defeating the Spartans, 38-20.

 

In the final game of the regular season however, Battle once again got back to their winning ways, defeating Hannibal, 28-14 to push their record to 5-4 before heading to the playoffs as an unlikely contender.

 

The start to the playoffs pitted the Spartans against a one-win team in Washington, whom Battle defeated easily, 56-8 to advance.

 

Carrying what would become a common trend into their next game, Battle would face off against one of their regions top teams, and one of the teams that had been qualified for an automatic pass from the first round of the playoffs. Waynesville, the Spartans opponent in the second round, was coming off a week of rest, having been granted a bye in the first round.

 

Their rest seemingly paid off as late in the fourth quarter, Waynesville running back Jalen Thomas scored from 1-yard out to give the Tigers their first lead of the game, 17-14. That lead needed to last just 0:18 seconds longer however, as Sutherlin capped a quick drive with a 3-yard touchdown rush for the game-winning score.

 

The Spartans advanced to the third round after defeating Waynesville, 21-17.

 

Battle would take on Camdenton in their next postseason game, another team that had been granted a pass through the first round of the playoffs.

 

The Spartans scored first on a Brevinn Tyler connection to Chyrome Thorpe in the first quarter before Camdenton would tie the score before halftime at 7-7. Battle however would score two quick times in the third quarter to steal momentum and hold on to beat the Lakers, 22-14 and advance to the state quarterfinals.

 

Fort Zumwalt North would await the Spartans in the quarterfinals, having won their two playoffs games with ease, 29-0 over Parkway North and 42-7 over Fort Zumwalt East. The Panthers were also granted a bye in the first round of the playoffs and would meet the Spartans holding  a 10-1 record.

 

Similar to their previous game, Battle and Fort Zumwalt North went to the halftime break tied, this time at 13 points apiece.

 

Tyler would throw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Javeon McQuitty in the opening moments of the third quarter before both defenses would stand tall. The Tyler-McQuitty connection would be the final points of the game, and be enough to advance the Spartans to the state semifinals with a 20-13 victory.

 

Taking on their lone opponent who wasn’t granted that first round bye, the Spartans seemingly looked the part of the dominant team, dismantling Ladue Horton Watkins, 34-6 to advance to the school’s first ever state championship game appearance.

 

The State Championship game featured two teams just as unlikely as the other to have made it to the season’s culminating game. Both Nixa and Battle would bring with them a 10-4 record.

 

The Spartans got the scoring started with a Marshall Willingham 17-yard score with just under four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

 

The Eagles answered back however, with two quick Alec Murphy scores that gave Nixa a 14-7 lead that they would take to halftime. A scoreless third quarter was broken in rapid fashion as Battle kicker Kaleb Adams connected on a 43-yard field goal with 4:01 left.

 

Nixe quarterback Logan Tyler would be intercepted on the Eagles ensuing possession as Darrion Hall would secure the takeaway and return it for a touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion, the Spartans lead 18-14 in just a matter of 1:10 seconds.

 

Riding their momentum, Brevinn Tyler would rush from 18-yards out to give Battle a 24-14 lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

 

Adams field goal in the third quarter would prove to be the difference in the game after Dawson Mills connected with Dustin Clifton for 17-yards and a score that brought the Eagles within two points, 24-22.

 

The Spartans would need to bleed the remaining 4:18 off of the clock to hold on to the victory. They got help by means of a big 33-yard completion from Tyler to Thorpe on a 3rd and 8 play. After the pass, Tyler would seemingly put the game away with a 50-yard touchdown rush, only to be called back by an illegal procedure penalty.

 

Nevertheless, the Spartans would be able to run out the final moments of the clock and secure the school’s first ever football State Championship, holding on to defeat Nixa, 24-22.

 

 

After an up and down season ended with the ultimate goal, the 2015 season for the Spartans will have to have some exciting moments to compete with this past season. Battle will return Tyler (a rising junior), Thorpe, McQuitty and a host of other offensive stars looking to defend their title.

 

One thing is for sure, if teams didn’t know who the Battle Spartans were before 2014, they know now.

 

Offensive stat leaders

Rushing: Nash Sutherlin (2090 yards)

Passing: Brevinn Tyler (1379 yards)

Receiving: Chyrome Thorpe (554 yards)

All-Purpose: Nash Sutherlin (1290 yards)

Touchdowns: Nash Sutherlin (19)

Rush attempts: Nash Sutherlin (280 carries)

Receptions: Chyrome Thorpe (43 catches)

 

Defensive stat leaders

Interceptions: Kole Hinton (4)

Interception return: Marshall Willingham (111 yards)

Fumbles recovered: Chandler Anderson (4)

 

Team statistics

Total scoring: 427 points

Opponent scoring: 311

Total offense: 5186 yards

Total rushing yards: 1669 yards

Total passing yards: 3517 yards

Opponent offense: 3153 yards

Opponent rushing yards: 1475 yards

Opponent passing yards: 1678 yards

Turnover differential: +9 (18 interceptions, 11 fumbles)

Cardinals make history, win fifth consecutive State Title

 
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
February 24, 2015

 

 

Winning a State Championship is one thing in high school football. Winning consecutive titles is another.

 

Matching a feat that had been done only once before by winning five in a row is in another stratosphere.

 

That’s exactly what Webb City High School did this past season, winning their fifth consecutive State Championship in Missouri’s Class 4. Their 5th straight title matched Valle Catholic as the only team’s in Missouri’s history to win five state titles in a row.

 

The Cardinals have now won 28 consecutive games dating back to last year and head coach John Roderique now has a combined 222-19 record in 18 years at the helm of Webb City. His 92% winning percentage ranks him as winningest coach in Missouri high school football history by percentage.

 

Webb City has now qualified for the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons and under Roderique, the Cardinals have won 10 of the school’s 13 state titles. They have won 18 straight MHSAA playoff games to date.

 

In 2014, the Cardinals seemed to be a team on a mission to capture the school’s 13th championship, shutting out Missouri Class 5’s Carthage in the season opener, 21-0.

 

The 21-point victory over the Tigers would remain as the slimmest margin of victory through the entire season as the Cardinals would continually perform well on offense, defense and special teams.

 

Looking even more impressive in their week two matchup, Webb City traveled to face Class 6 opponent – Rockhurst. Led by quarterback and Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, T.J. Green, the Hawklets would advance to the Class 6 State Championship game in 2014, despite being handed a loss at the hands of the Cardinals, 40-14, for Rockhurst’s lone blemish of the regular season. The Hawklets would lose the Class 6 State Championship to Christian Brothers College, 31-24, for only their second loss of the season.

 

The state of Arkansas’ highest classified division sent perennial contender Har-Ber to take on Webb City in a week three matchup. The Cardinals were unfazed by the Arkansas power, dismantling the Wildcats, 42-13.

 

After defeating Class 5’s Republic, 49-14, Webb City took on its fourth team from a higher class when they hosted Missouri Class 5 Nixa. The Cardinals impressed not only offensively, but defensively, holding the Eagles to just 140 yards and holding them off the scoreboard until the waning stages of the fourth quarter in their 47-7 victory.  

 

Like Rockhurst, Nixa would advance to their respective State Championship game, but fall short, 25-22 to Battle High School.

 

Webb City would finish the regular season with victories over Willard (46-15), Neosho (48-0), Ozark (38-7) and Branson (42-5) before entering the MHSAA Playoffs at 9-0.

 

The Cardinals opened up the postseason with a bang, scoring the most points of the season, a total of 71 in their 71-0 shutout victory over McDonald County. Maquel Harbin and Trent Parra each returned an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Mustangs as defensive points would be a continued trait in the playoffs.

 

In the second round matchup against Bolivar for Webb City, Harbin would also record a ‘pick-six’, this time in the second quarter of the 56-7 blowout over the Liberators.

 

Webb City would jump out to a 35-0 lead over Carl Junction before trouncing the Bulldogs, 42-12 to advance to the quarterfinals. Against Harrisonville in the state quarters, Drake Humphrey secured a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Cardinals 35-0 victory.

 

In the state semifinals, the Cardinals faced off against the high-powered offense of Kearney. The Wildcats averaged 33.6 points per game in 2014 but were held to a mere seven points in their 38-7 ousting at the hands of Webb City.

 

With their victory over Kearney in the semifinals, the Cardinals advanced to their 15th state championship game appearance in school history, hunting for their fifth consecutive title.

 

 

Equally impressive as that feat, the Cardinals defense had single-handedly outscored their first five opponents of the postseason, 30-26, recording five defensive touchdowns in the five games, including three against McDonald County.

 

In the Missouri Class 4 State Championship ‘Show Me Bowl,’ Webb City would square off against Central High School from Cape Girardeau. The Tigers would be playing in the school’s first ever state championship appearance.

 

It however, wouldn’t look like their first ever appearance on the big stage in the first quarter as Central jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Quarterback Peyton Montgomery rushed for two quick scores as Webb City couldn’t muster a sustained drive in the opening 12 minutes.

 

That all would change however as the Cardinals, led by their own quarterback Tyson Roderique, would score four quick times in the second quarter en route to a 27-14 halftime lead.


Roderique punched in two short touchdown rushes of his own before running back Keaton Burroughs scored from 1-yard out with 0:35 seconds remaining, to give Webb City a 21-14 lead.

 

With just 0:18 seconds remaining Central's Montgomery would be intercepted by Harbin as he tried to force a pass. Roderique would hit all-around athlete Kiante Hardin for 30 yards on the very next play to seemingly steal the remaining momentum and take a two-possession lead into the break.

 

The Tigers would get no closer than that in the second half, allowing Hardin to rush for a score from 15 yards out. Central would score one last time on a 38-yard pass from Montgomery to Jalen Reddin before Webb City would add two insurance touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

 

The 48-21 final would cap a perfect season for the Cardinals and their fifth consecutive state title.

 

 

The Cardinals, despite losing several seniors from 2014, including Hardin who will attend Minnesota next fall to play for former Webb City head coach Jerry Kill, will return their quarterback in Roderique. With a returning signal-caller and the state's all time winningest head coach in terms of percentage, there is no doubt the Cardinals will be ready when the fall season starts. 

 

Webb City will look to become the first ever team in Missouri high school football history to win six consecutive state titles as they will enter the 2015 fall season as arguably the state’s No. 1 team.

 

Offensive stat leaders

Rushing: Tyler Davison (1247 yards)

Passing: Tyson Roderique (1110 yards)

Receiving: Kiante Hardin (678 yards)

All-Purpose: Kiante Hardin (1290 yards)

Touchdowns: Keaton Burroughs (20)

Rush attempts: Tyler Davison (150 carries)

Receptions: Kiante Hardin (33 catches)

 

Defensive stat leaders

Total tackles: Kolesen Crane (54)

Tackles for loss: Kolesen Crane (12.5)

Sacks: Austin Carter (5)

Interceptions: Maquel Harbin (6)

Pass break ups: Kiante Hardin (13)

Fumbles forced: Drake Humphrey (3)

Fumbles recovered: Tyson Roderique (4)

 

Team statistics

Total scoring: 663 points

Opponent scoring: 122

Total offense: 5868 yards

Total rushing yards: 4663 yards

Total passing yards: 1205 yards

Opponent offense: 2559 yards

Opponent rushing yards: 1443 yards

Opponent passing yards: 1116 yards

Third down conversions: 49.7% (71/143)

Opponent third down conversions: 24.9% (45/181)

Turnover differential: +19 (19 interceptions, 18 fumbles)

Congratulations to HSGC users across the state of Texas

 

By: Cameron Mellor
January 22, 2014

 

As National Signing Day nears, signifying the culmination of a number of high school careers, we see no better time than the present to reflect on a terrific football season and continue to unveil the first-annual, All-HSGC Award Lists for the 2013 football season.

 

Working now on a state-by-state basis, the same extensive parameters and essential criteria were considered for the coveted list. The All-HSGC Awards signify excellence on the field of key offensive positions and defensive players as a whole.

 

The quintessential component of the list was basic and to-the-point – your team must utilize the HSGameCenter program being delivered by Digital Scout. From there, the grading criterion included, but was not limited to, yards and touchdowns, team winning percentage, percentage of team total offense and much more.

  

After careful deliberation and hours of scouring over statistics from programs across Texas, the list of the first ever All-Texas HSGC Awards are here.

 

All-Texas Player of the Year:

Desmon White, Desoto High School (14-1)

Quarterback No. 12

5640 total yards, 59 total touchdowns

 

All-Texas First Team

Quarterback:

Blake Bogenschutz, Carthage High School (15-1), No. 4

4197 total yards, 59 total touchdowns

 

Running Back:

Jarek Black, Shallowater High School (13-1), No. 35

3061 total yards, 36 total touchdowns

 

Dillon Gonzalez, Graham High School (14-1), No. 10

2571 total yards, 35 total touchdowns

 

Wide Receiver:

Tee Goree, Carthage, No. 5

1799 total yards, 28 total touchdowns

 

Phillip Baptiste, Copperas Cove High School (6-5), No. 1

1835 total yards, 17 total touchdowns

 

All-Texas Second Team

Quarterback:

Ben Davis, Graham, No. 14

4226 total yards, 54 total touchdowns

 

Running Back:

Tevin Pipkin, Carthage, No. 15

2364 total yards, 22 total touchdowns

 

Cedric Battle, Hirschi High School (7-4), No. 3

2012 total yards, 27 total touchdowns

 

Wide Receiver:

Chris Lacy, Desoto, No. 15

1317 total yards, 16 total touchdowns

 

McCade Rice, Regents High School of Austin (9-3), No. 3

1448 total yards, 15 total touchdowns

 

All-Texas Third Team

Quarterback:

Colton Kent, Cisco High School (16-0), No. 7

4076 total yards, 60 total touchdowns

 

Running Back:

Mason Reed, Cisco, No. 10

1909 total yards, 27 total touchdowns

 

Landon Boaz, Valley View High School (4-7), No. 25

2251 total yards, 23 total touchdowns

 

Wide Receiver:

Bryce Reeves, Graham, No. 7

1455 total yards,  14 total touchdowns

 

Pearce Loth, Rockdale High School (9-5), No. 6

1183 total yards, 14 total touchdowns

 

All-Texas Honorable Mention

Quarterback:

Manny Harris, Copperas Cove, No. 10

4351 total yards, 44 total touchdowns

 

Grant Brown, Regents School, No. 15

3802 total yards, 45 total touchdowns

 

Clayton Gibbs, Rockdale, No. 7

3688 total yards, 44 total touchdowns

 

Running Back:

Vincent Johnson, Lubbock Monterey High School (3-8), No. 35

2238 total yards, 23 total touchdowns

 

Caleb Masters, Albany High School (13-1), No. 22

1957 total yards, 24 total touchdowns

 

Elijah Brooks, Rockdale, No. 32

1802 total yards, 23 total touchdowns

 

Joseph Paddock, Goldthwaite High School (8-5), No. 23

2027 total yards, 20 total touchdowns

 

Wide Receiver:

Tyler Taylor, Waco High School (8-4), No. 6

1468 total yards, 20 total touchdowns

 

Beau Blankenship, Gruver High School (10-1), No. 11

1145 total yards, 12 total touchdowns

 

Cole Waterscheid, Muenster High School (12-1), No. 82

983 total yards, 13 total touchdowns

 

 

All-Texas Defensive Player of the Year

Deshawn Harley, Hirschi, No. 15

65 total tackle, 55 solo, 19 tackle for loss, 6 sack, 1 interception

 

All-Texas Defensive Honorable Mention

Elijah Hull, Hirschi, No. 10

100.5 total tackle, 82 solo, 9 tackle for loss, 5 sack

 

Dillon Kirkland, Farwell High School (7-5), No. 8

99 total tackle, 77 solo, 11 tackle for loss, 0.5 sack, 1 interception

 

Dakota Allen, Summer Creek High School (11-1), No. 40

97.5 total tackle, 90 solo, 11 tackle for loss, 2 sack, 2 interception

 

Douglas Canada, Waco, No. 98

43 total tackle, 25 solo, 11.5 tackle for loss, 7.5 sack

 

Kai Rice, Regents School, No. 2

82 total tackle, 60 solo, 19 tackle for loss, 4.5 sack