The Missouri Class 6 state playoffs have reached the semifinals stage with three familiar names in high school football along with one newcomer who has crashed the party.
Perennial state powers CBC, Blue Springs and Kansas City Rockhurst have strong winning traditions that have continued well into recent years.
The newcomer to the scene is Joplin, who will host defending state champion CBC on Saturday at 3 p.m. Joplin Parkwood was a force in the early 1980’s as they won state titles in 1981 and 1984. That first state title team was led by star quarterback Alan Cockrell, who played college football at Tennessee and Major League Baseball for the Colorado Rockies.
Joplin earned their semifinal bid with an impressive 49-14 victory over Kirkwood in the District 2 championship game last weekend. CBC continued its dominance with a 63-28 victory over Metro Catholic Conference rival DeSmet in the District 1 championship game. Senior running back Bryan Bradford of CBC rushed for 200 yards and scored five touchdowns to lead the Cadets’ attack. Bradford got things started early with a 71-yard touchdown romp in the first minute of the game.
Quarterback Brett Gabbert passed for 297 yards and two touchdowns and wide receiver Julian Williams caught five passes for 103 yards and an electrifying 63-yard catch and run for a score near the end of the first half. Senior linebacker Elijah Robinson registered three quarterback sacks for the Cadets.
Here is a look at the pairings for this weekend’s state playoffs:
Class 6 (Semifinals)
CBC at Joplin, Saturday, 3 p.m.
Blue Springs at Rockhurst, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Class 5 (Quarterfinals)
Jackson at Vianney, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Lebanon at Carthage, Friday, 7 p.m.
Fort Zumwalt North at Battle, Friday, 7 p.m.
Fort Osage at Staley, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Class 4 (Quarterfinals)
Ladue vs. West Plains at Kirkwood, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Camdenton at Webb City, Saturday, 1 p.m.
MICDS at Hannibal, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Warrensburg at Smithville, Friday, 7 p.m.
Class 3 (Quarterfinals)
Lutheran North at Caruthersville, Friday, 7 p.m.
Blair Oaks at Clark County, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Ava at Lamar, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Summit Christian at Lathrop, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Top Individual Performances from last weekend
*Senior Bryan Bradford of CBC rushed for 200 yards and five touchdowns in the Cadets victory over DeSmet.
*Senior Jameson Williams of Cardinal Ritter had four receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions’ victory over Lutheran South.
*Junior quarterback Mekhi Hagens of Cardinal Ritter threw four touchdown passes in the Lions’ victory over Lutheran South.
*Junior Terryion Cooper of Trinity had 133 yards on only three carries and two touchdowns in a victory over St. Charles West.
*Senior Graham Bundy of MICDS scored three touchdowns and kicked a field goal in the Rams’ victory over Hazelwood East.
*Sophomore Chris Childs of Lutheran North scored five rushing touchdowns in the Crusaders’ victory over Lift for Life.
Illinois seasons come to a close
The four remaining teams from the metro east were all defeated in last weekend’s Illinois state playoffs after advancing to the state quarterfinals. Edwardsville fell to Lincoln Way in the Class 8A, East St. Louis fell to Chicago Mt. Carmel in the Class 7A while Highland and Cahokia were defeated in the Class 5A state playoffs by Joliet Catholic and Hillcrest, respectively.