Cadets utilize strong offense, defense to secure first ever State Title
Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
February 26, 2015
After coming up just short on two separate occurrences, Christian Brothers College High School finally achieved arguably their most sought after athletic goal – a football State Championship.
Despite having won multiple championships in nearly every other sport at the school, the Cadets had come up just shy of winning the Missouri Class 6 State Title in both 2006 and 2011.
In 2014 however, CBC returned to the season’s final game, except this time, they returned from the Edward Jones Dome with a championship trophy. The Cadets defeated perennial Missouri power Rockhurst, 31-24 to cap a perfect season in the perfect way and finish 14-0.
During the entire season for Christian Brothers, the Cadets seemed virtually unstoppable, winning their first 13 games by a combined margin of 563 points, or an average margin of victory of just over 43 points per contest.
In their first game of the season, CBC hosted Hickman, and easily handled the Kewpies, 63-14. Running backs Tre Bryant and Kaleb Allen each rushed for two touchdowns and quarterback Blake Charlton threw for 130 yards and two scores on just eight completions.
The Cadets offense shared the ball very effectively against Hickman as 14 different CBC players touched the ball on offense during their first outing.
Defensive leader Kevin Williams recorded 2.0 sacks against Hickman, as he finished the season leading the team in total tackles and tackles for loss.
Week two put CBC on the road for the first time, taking on Jefferson City. After a sluggish start for the Cadets, a 35-point third quarter put the game away before an eventual 47-0 victory over the Jays. Bryant again ran for two scores in the game against Jefferson City while defensive back Sean Boyd also scored on an interception return that pushed the Cadets lead to 26-0.
After defeating Fort Zumwalt West, 52-21 in week three, Christian Brothers pitched two consecutive shutouts in the face of their annual rivalry game against De Smet Jesuit. Leading up to the game against Spartans, CBC shut out St. John Vianney, 56-0 before blanking Chaminade College Prep, 51-0.
In 2014, it was CBC’s turn to travel to De Smet, all 10 minutes of the distance that separates the two. A year removed from the narrow 14-11 Christian Brothers victory, the 2014 version of the rivalry game would be anything but similar to their previous game.
The Cadets jumped all over the Spartans early, taking a 37-0 lead to halftime before ultimately dismantling their rival, 60-0. CBC held De Smet to just 47 total yards of offense and running back Calen Taylor ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Spartan quarterbacks were held to just 5-of-16 passing for 33 yards while all De Smet rushers combined for just 14 yards on the ground.
Christian Brothers forced 10 Spartan punts in what would be their third consecutive shutout victory.
The Cadets finished their regular season with victories over St. Louis University (49-16), Tennessee’s Christian Brothers (49-7) and a 14-point victory over Rock Bridge (40-26). To date, the 14-point margin of victory stood as the slimmest of the season for CBC.
After finishing the regular season at a perfect 9-0, Christian Brothers faced off against an all too familiar foe in the fashion of their arch rivals – De Smet Jesuit – once again.
Despite allowing the Spartans to score in the second quarter, the first round matchup against De Smet looked eerily similar to the team’s first meeting for Spartans fans. While De Smet was able to gain nearly triple the amount of yards the second time around (123), the Spartans turned the ball over three times against the Cadets defense before ultimately dropping the game to CBC, 52-7.
Christian Brothers have five different players score touchdowns including two rushing scores from Allen and two receiving scores from wide receiver Mike Million.
After defeating their rival for the second time in as many games in 2014, the Cadets hosted Francis Howell North and then Hazelwood Central in consecutive playoff games, winning both games by the same score of 45-0.
Against Francis Howell North, both Taylor and Bryant each scored two rushing touchdowns in the 45-0 throttling of the Knights.
Against Hazelwood Central, CBC did the majority of their damage in the second and third quarters, scoring 17 and 21 points, respectively. The Cadets outgained the Hawks 332 to 174 in this 45-0 victory, only Hazelwood Central’s second loss of the season.
The victory over the Hawks exacted revenge for CBC as Hazelwood Central had ousted the Cadets from the playoffs a year prior, 26-24.
In the state semifinals, Christian Brothers were to take on an 11-1 Kirkwood team, who had looked equally as impressive in their playoff victories. The Pioneers had won their three games by margins of 53, 28 and 47 points, respectively.
Kirkwood’s challenge against CBC would ultimately be too big as Christian Brothers cruised into the State Championship game with a 55-10 victory.
After the Pioneers took an early 3-0 lead, CBC’s Bryant grabbed the lead with a 35-yard touchdown run. Damion Baker then intercepted a Will Hadler pass and returned it for a touchdown and a quick 14-point swing.
Kirkwood stood tall however, limiting the CBC offense through the majority of the first half and even pull back within striking range after a Robert Columbus 2-yard touchdown rush brought the score to 14-10.
However, just two plays later and after a Charlton 57-yard bomb to Lamar Anderson, Taylor punched in a touchdown rush to start the offensive onslaught.
CBC scored on their first three possessions of the third quarter, building a 42-10 lead. The Cadets pushed that lead even further when Rashon Davis intercepted a Reece Goddard pass and returned it for the second ‘pick-six’ of the game for Christian Brothers. After one more Taylor touchdown rush, CBC won the game by a score of 55-10 to advance to the finals.
Taylor finished with three rushing touchdowns and 102 yards on the ground for the Cadets.
Awaiting Christian Brothers in the state’s final game would be Rockhurst, perennial Missouri powerhouse who had won state titles as recent as 2010 and 2007.
The meeting between the two teams would go down as one of the better state title games across not only the state of Missouri, but the entire country.
Charlton connected on a pass to Million from 3-yards out on the very first possession for CBC. After forcing a three-and-out from the Hawklets offense, Calob Meinzer hit on a 24-yard field goal to give the Cadets an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
However, after a 19-play drive was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown rush by quarterback T.J. Green, the Hawklets inched back in to the game. Rockhurst forced a three-and-out of their own, forcing Charlton to punt the ball back to the Hawklets, after just 0:39 seconds off the game clock.
The CBC defense, who had just been on the field for 19 plays, again were subjected to a long drive by Rockhurst and Green. This time, after a 10-play drive, the Hawklets tied the game at 10 points apiece with a 39-yard Jackson Terry field goal.
Charlton however, put the Cadets back in the lead before halftime with his second scoring connection to Million, this one from 21 yards away to give CBC a 17-10 lead at the break.
Momentum swung in the early stages of the third quarter in Christian Brother’s favor as a 48-yard field goal attempt from Terry went wide. The Cadets took over, up by a touchdown with 7:38 left in the third quarter. Still, the CBC offense was stopped and after a sack of Charlton, the Cadets were forced to punt yet again.
Charlton’s punt subsequently was blocked and Rockhurst would take over at the CBC 19 yard line. Green connected with Taylor Soukup just three plays later from seven yards away to tie the game once again, this time at 17-17.
Rockhurst’s defense stepped up once again and force another Christian Brothers punt on the next possession before Green, the son of former NFL quarterback Trent Green, threw his second consecutive scoring pass, this time from 52-yards out and to Lance Boehm.
The Hawklets led for the first time in the game, 24-17.
Despite all the momentum shifts and the defensive stronghold Rockhurst had, CBC head coach Scott Pingel stuck with the game plan on the nexts drive, churning out a big five-yard rush on third and short by Bryant. After converting the third down, Charlton hit Million for 66 yards to set up a first and goal as the seconds were ticking off the third quarter.
Taylor once more tied the game for CBC just before the third quarter ended, punching the ball in from two yards away.
On the ensuing possession for the Hawklets, the first of the fourth quarter, Green would be pressured often by the Cadet defense, a common trend in the game. Clayton Stalling and Jordan Davis recorded sacks, the latter forcing Rockhurst to punt the ball away.
After the punt, the CBC offense marched down the field in a true championship-moment, trudging 58 yards in 10 plays before Charlton connected with Kameron Curtis from 10-yards away. Charlton’s third passing touchdown of the game pushed Christian Brothers back into the lead, 31-24.
Rockhurst’s ensuing possession looked promising as they took over with 5:43 left in the game. After converting on a third down and gaining 38 yards, the CBC defense forced a long 3rd and eight for Green and the Hawklets. The trend of defensive pressure prevailed once again for the Cadets as Stalling recorded his third sack of Green and force a 4th and 19 play that would arguably decide the game.
Green’s subsequent pass on fourth down fell incomplete and CBC took over with 2:51 remaining on the clock and in the season for both teams.
All did not seem lost for Rockhurst however as they dropped Taylor for -1 yard on first down and held the Charlton to Million connection to just four yards setting up a third and long for the Cadets.
However, a costly offsides from the Hawklets shrank a 3rd and 7 to a more manageable 3rd and 2 for CBC. Charlton converted the shortened third down and dashed any hopes of a Rockhurst comeback, giving Christian Brothers College High School their first ever football State Championship, 31-24.
CBC would finally bring home the coveted title of Missouri Class 6 State Championship back to the school after losing in the 2006 and 2011.
The Cadets won their first state championship with a stout defense, a high-powered offense and some senior leadership. Despite losing several players to graduation and to the next level, most notably Taylor who signed with Army and defensive end Quintin Wynne who signed with Northern Illinois, the 2015 fall camp will start with a familiar face under center – Blake Charlton.
The rising-senior quarterback will return in 2015, looking to defend the school’s first title. He’ll have a host of weapons returning with him and several returning members of their stalwart defense from the 2014 championship as the Cadets will undoubtedly be the team to beat in Missouri’s Class 6.
Offensive stat leaders
Rushing: Calen Taylor (116 yards)
Passing: Blake Charlton (1749 yards)
Receiving: Mike Million (752 yards)
All-Purpose: Calen Taylor (1625 yards)
Rush attempts: Calen Taylor (158 carries)
Receptions: Lamar Anderson (56 catches)
Defensive stat leaders
Total tackles: Kevin Williams (55.5)
Tackles for loss: Kevin Williams (16)
Sacks: Jordan Davis (9)
Interceptions: Eric Carrera (3)
Interception return: Damion Baker (110 yards)
Fumbles forced: Mike Jones (4)
Total scoring: 695 points
Opponent scoring: 125
Total offense: 5812 yards
Total rushing yards: 3367 yards
Total passing yards: 2445 yards
Opponent offense: 2920 yards
Opponent rushing yards: 1312 yards
Opponent passing yards: 1608 yards
Turnover differential: +24 (15 interceptions, 16 fumbles)