Craig's Corner: New Playoff System Works - The Missourian: Sports

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Craig's Corner: New Playoff System Works

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 10:00 am

Intense, spirited, dramatic, hard-hitting and highly competitive.

Those are just a few ways to describe Monday night’s Class 4 District 3 championship football game between St. Clair and Sullivan.

The big rivals from the Four Rivers Conference knew each other extremely well. There were no secrets.

It was clearly the two best teams in the district playing for the right to advance to the Class 4 quarterfinals.

That’s the way it should be.

It was a great game to watch.

Sullivan 32, St. Clair 17.

The Eagles proved to be the best team on the block. They handed the Bulldogs both of their losses this season. They earned the right to advance.

“We’re just a hungry team,” said Sullivan quarterback Adam Tiefenbrunn. “No matter what we do, we know we have to keep going.”

St. Clair had a great season. There’s teams still alive in Class 4 that the Bulldogs probably would beat.

But it wasn’t meant to be this season. The Bulldogs lose a great group of seniors, but they have some younger talent on that team. They’ll be back.

“We had a pretty good run. We just came up a little short,” said St. Clair Head Coach Cody McDowell. “These kids worked hard. When you get to this point of the year, you have to play well. And we didn’t play well.”

Sullivan expected a fight, and it got one. The Eagles prevailed on their home field.

“We knew it was going to be a tough one. St. Clair is a big rival,” said Sullivan running back Justin Biermann. “We just kept our heads in, stayed focused, didn’t worry about anything else and stuck with it.”

With the new playoff format this season, it was nice to finally experience a district championship game with so much on the line.

Last year, it was possible to lose your last district game and still go to the playoffs.

Not this year.

Instead of four-team districts, there were eight teams in each district.  

It will be more difficult to win a district title under the new form at, and that’s OK.

Sullivan actually was awarded its district championship trophy following the game.

In past seasons, the district champion always was awarded its trophy prior to the sectional game. That’s no good. It took away the emotion.

District games in the past didn’t have anywhere near the emotion and suspense that Monday night had.

Now, part of that was due to the fact that Sullivan and St. Clair are big rivals.

Both teams really wanted to win. Both teams were confident. Both teams thought they were the better team.

I’m sure district games throughout the state were the same way.

High School football should be an emotional game. Both teams played with plenty of emotion Monday night.

“We talked all week about playing within our emotions. I think we did a really good job of that,” said Sullivan Head Coach Pat Burke.

“It’s basically everything a senior can ask for. It’s very emotional when everything comes together,” Tiefenbrunn said. “You work all summer and it leads up to this. When you’ve been growing up with these guys and can achieve something like this, it’s a big step. We’re going to relish this, but we have to move on to the next one.”

And the next one is a giant.

Sullivan pays a visit to two-time defending Class 4 champion Webb City, winners of 42 straight games overall and 90 straight regular season games.

The Cardinals’ last loss was in the 2009 state semifinals against Kearney. Their last regular season loss was against Hickman in 2003.

“All teams are different, but we do a lot of the same things we’ve done here for years,” Webb City Head Coach John Roderique told me Tuesday morning. “We were old school Webb City football last night against Hillcrest. We ran a lot of option right at them. We’ve run a shotgun pistol formation at times this year, but didn’t do it at all last night. We just ran right at them and rushed for over 400 yards.”

Roderique said he knows very little about Sullivan, but respects what the Eagles have done this season.

“If you’re still playing at this point of the season, you have a well-coached team with good players,” Roderique said. “We expect a big challenge from Sullivan.”

The quarterfinal contest takes place in Webb City Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The Eagles will leave Friday, get adjusted to the surroundings and then face the biggest challenge of their high school football careers.

The Cardinals (12-0) slapped around a very good Hillcrest team to win their district title Monday night, 55-10. The game basically was over in the second quarter.

Sullivan has never faced a challenge quite like the one it will have Saturday.

No one outside of the Sullivan city limits will give the Eagles a chance.

A win over mighty Webb City would send shock waves throughout the state.

Yes, the Eagles are major underdogs, but I wouldn’t totally count them out. They’ve been an impressive team this season.

Sullivan’s line isn’t big, but it’s very good. The skill players are very talented.

Team health is a concern. The Eagles need to be healthy and firing on all cylinders to have a chance.

“To be able to go there and experience what high school football is all about is something I’m really looking forward to,” Burke said. “The kids are also looking forward to it. Whatever happens, happens. We have a great group of kids. I’d put them up against anyone in the state.”

/

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL