By Bill Battle
Missourian Sports Editor
Ripping out to a 42-0 lead through the first three quarters, the Sullivan Eagles earned their spot in the Class 4 District 3 championship game Wednesday.
Sullivan (11-0) defeated Westminster (8-3), 42-14 in the contest.
“I was pleased with the way we played last night,” Sullivan Head Coach Pat Burke said. “I thought that our offense executed what we wanted to be able to do. Defensively we were able to get the stops that we needed.”
The Eagles will host St. Clair (10-1) in the championship game Monday at 7 p.m.
Sullivan did what it’s done all season long, execute the running game while playing exceptional defense.
The Eagles ran for 338 yards on 46 carries, an average of 7.3 yards per run. Sullivan also passed for 71 yards.
Westminster’s running game was halted for merely 39 yards on 16 carries. The Wildcats threw for 152 yards during the contest.
Sullivan’s Justin Biermann ran for the only two touchdowns of the first quarter on runs of 32 yards (with 9:18 left) and two yards (with 3:27 to play). Jake Lochner kicked both extra points to make it 14-0.
Sullivan’s multidimensional running attack received touchdowns from three different players in the second quarter.
Clayton Mayer scored on a 48-yard run with 11:49 to play in the half.
Quarterback Adam Tiefenbrunn scored from one yard out with 7:16 left in the half.
And Biermann added his third touchdown of the contest with 4:15 left in the half.
Lochner added three more extra points.
In the third quarter, Sullivan’s defense continued to shut down the Wildcats and the Eagles added the only touchdown, a six-yard run by Mayer with 2:56 to play in the third. Lochner’s kick made it 42-0.
That gave Burke the chance to rotate younger kids into the game, giving them important playoff experience.
“It is really good to get those younger kids in,” Burke said. “It’s something that we really haven’t been able to do much over the last few years so hopefully it’s something that we can build on for the future.”
Westminster struck back in the final quarter. Brett Bond found Kyle Kinner for a 14-yard touchdown with 11:07 to play. The extra-point kick failed.
Bond found Tyler Catlett for a 34-yard touchdown with 3:54 left to play. That pair connected again for the two-point conversion.
Biermann, who was injured again during the game, led the Eagles with 17 carries for 187 yards.
Mayer also rushed for over 100 yards with 16 carries for 114 yards.
Joey Rigdon, who was shaken up, picked up 17 yards on two carries.
Both Biermann and Rigdon are questionable for the St. Clair game.
Overall, Sullivan emerged with nothing else major in the injury department.
“Injury wise, we have a few people banged up right now,” Burke said. “But at this point in the season there are not many teams that are not dealing with bumps and bruises.”
Caden Weigl recorded 12 yards on four carries. Tiefenbrunn ran six times for seven yards and Zach Holtz ran once for one yard.
Tiefenbrunn completed six of 10 attempts for 71 yards.
Adam Weiland was the most successful receiver with three catches for 53 yards. Biermann and Seth Mesey each had one catch for nine yards. Mayer caught one pass for no yards.
Bond led Westminster with 12 completions among 20 attempts for 141 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Brendan Bognar completed two of three passes for 11 yards.
Kinner recorded six catches for 73 yards. Coby Nye caught four passes for 27 yards.
Catlett had two receptions for 39 yards. Jacob Hicks had one catch for four yards and Jesse Gruneisen had one catch for two yards.
Hicks ran three times for 16 yards.
Bond was next with five carries for 11 yards. Trey Merritt had five carries for seven yards while Nye ran once for four yards. Alex Rideout had one yard on one carry while Catlett ran once for no yards.