District championship football

For two Central Missouri teams, Monday night was the next step in their Drive Back to the Dome.

For four others, they've also punched their tickets to the quarterfinals from district championship bouts.

But for another, another grand season came to another disappointing end, as they lost in the Round of 16 for the fifth straight year.

We'll start with the two teams who are gunning for their second straight trip to the Dome and a shot at a state championship, Helias and Blair Oaks.

They've been there, done that.


The Hannibal Pirates were probably hoping for a second chance at the Crusaders, who won 36-10 in Hannibal just 17 days ago. Be careful what you wish for.

The Crusaders (10-2) led 20-7 at the half and made it a running-clock game in the third quarter against the Pirates (8-4) in the 35-point win at Adkins Stadium.

Helias struck on its first possession, a 12-play, 84-yard drive capped on a two-yard run by Garrett Buschjost. Buschjost finished with 182 yards rushing and three touchdowns, as he also had scoring runs of 24 and 40 yards.

Wyatt Porter completed 12-of-17 passes for 229 yards and Hale Hentges caught two touchdown passes for the Crusaders, who held a gaudy 471-125 bulge in total yards.

Helias will play at St. Charles West (10-2) in the quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Warriors advanced with a 62-28 rout of they-probably-shouldn't-haven't-been-there-in-the-first-place University City (3-9).


WARDSVILLE --- This was the one clash Monday night featuring two state-ranked, Mid-Missouri teams. Unfortunately, it had to be a season-ending loss for one.

A 42-yard field goal by Chris Cooper with 7:09 left in the third quarter gave the Falcons (11-1) --- seemingly under-ranked at No. 8 in Class 2 --- the lead for good at 10-7 on the cold, blustery, miserable night.

Of course, it was cold, blustery and miserable for every game in the area.

Haydn Lock scored on an 11-yard run in the first half, and had a 13-yard TD reception from Mikel Drehle in the third. Corey Hanger scored South Cal's points on a 21-yard run in the first quarter, which gave the No. 6 Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead.

While the Falcons move on to play at Palmyra (12-0) in Saturday's quarterfinals, what a year it was for the Bulldogs.

Prior to Monday night, their lone loss was a five-point setback to Class 4 Columbia-Battle. Their 10 wins? They outscored their opponents by a whopping 422-33, an average score of 42-3.

Still, it's the fifth straight year the Bulldogs have fallen in the Round of 16 --- the last three years have been losses to the Falcons, the previous two were setbacks to Mark Twain.


CALIFORNIA --- We just talked about South Cal's one loss and what they did in their other 10 games prior to Monday night. Well, how about this ...

The Pintos' one loss this season was to Blair Oaks --- by one point in a 29-28 classic. Their other 10 games? The Pintos outscored their opponents by a staggering 515-61, an average score of 51-6.

This wasn't 51-6, but 39-0 will work just fine, thanks. The Pintos (11-1) built a 16-0 halftime lead on their way to a mercy-rule win over over the Tigers (9-3).

Jaden Barr threw for a touchdown and ran for one in the first half, while Jerry Lutz had scoring runs of 3 and 6 yards in the second half.

Next up for California is a trip to McCluer South on Saturday for the Class 3 quarterfinals. McCluer South (10-1) advanced with a 40-13 win over Duchesne.


CAMDENTON --- It was one month to the day the last time Camdenton played Waynesville. Not much changed.

After winning 30-6 in Waynesville on Oct. 11, the Lakers (10-1) stuffed the Tigers (5-7) by five touchdowns Monday night, thanks in large part to a stifling defense.

The ninth-ranked Lakers (11-1) will play at Parkway Central (11-1) on Saturday in the Class 5 quarterfinals. Central advanced with a 46-8 thumping of previously unbeaten Ft. Zumwalt East.

ELDON 19, AVA 14

ELDON --- The Mustangs scored in the opening minute on a 54-yard touchdown run by Wyatt Greenwalt on their way to winning their second straight championship.

The Mustangs (9-3) were never headed against Ava (7-5), as they led 13-7 at the half and added a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Eldon will host Seneca (9-3), a 45-15 winner over Aurora, in Saturday's quarterfinals.


HUNTSVILLE --- Zane Jacoby seven touchdowns, South Shelby one.

The 6-4, 200-pound Westran junior quarterback ran for five touchdowns and passed for two scores as the Hornets (12-0) rolled over the Cardinals (7-5).

The Hornets built a 42-7 halftime lead, thanks in part to Marceline turning it over on downs --- at their own 23 --- in the second quarter on a 4th-and-1, when the score was still somewhat manageable at 21-7.

Jacoby eventually scored on the ensuing drive on a 3-yard run and rushed for four touchdowns in the first half --- he now has 30 for the season --- as well as tossing a touchdown pass.

Westran, ranked No. 2 in Class 1, will visit Marceline (9-3) in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Marceline upset previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked Milan (10-1) on Monday night, 26-0.