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)

Touchdowns: Tre Bryant & Calen Taylor (22)

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)

 

Team statistics

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)

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)