Much of the St. Louis high school football community will be convening at the University of Missouri in Columbia for this weekend’s Show-Me Bowl activities.
The STL will be represented well as there will be five teams playing for state championships this weekend in what has been a tremendous postseason for area schools. The CBC Cadets got the ball rolling last weekend by defeating Rockhurst 45-21 to win the Class 6 state championship for the second consecutive year.
The St. Louis area is guaranteed at least two more state championships as two title games will feature area teams going head-to-head. Trinity will face Cardinal Ritter for the Class 3 state championship while Ladue will take on MICDS for the Class 4 state championship in a battle of Warson Road rivals.
Vianney is the fifth team from the area who will play for a state championship. The Golden Griffins will take on Fort Osage for the Class 5 state title. Vianney is looking to win their second state title in three years.
Here is a look at the upcoming state championship games:
Class 3: Trinity (12-2) vs. Cardinal Ritter (14-0), Saturday, 11 a.m. – These two Archdiocesan Athletic Association teams were in the same Class 2 district last season. Now, they are meeting for the Class 3 state championship this weekend. The field will be littered with big-time Division I prospects on both teams. The numbers that these players have put up are of video-game quality.
For Cardinal Ritter, quarterback Mekhi Hagens has passed for 4,274 yards and 52 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Ohio State-bound receiver Jameson Williams has 1,486 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. Freshman Luther Burden has 1,178 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns while Shamel Morrow has rushed for 1,275 yards and 18 touchdowns. Ritter’s defense is led by defensive lineman Jeremiah Hayes, who has 109 tackles and six sacks.
Trinity is led by senior quarterback Isaiah Williams, an Illinois commit, who has passed for 2,223 yards and rushed for 1,012 yards while scoring a combined 38 touchdowns. The Titans have plenty of offensive weapons with junior Teriyon Cooper (17 TDs), Texas-bound receiver Marcus Washington (10 TDs), senior running back Alphonzo Andrews (12 TDs) and running back James Frenchie (14 TDs). Senior linebacker Shammond Cooper leads the defense with 128 tackles and five sacks.
Class 4: Ladue (14-0) vs. MICDS (13-1), Friday, 7 p.m. – These two teams have played each other for a district championship the past two seasons. Now, the Battle of Warson Road moves further West to Mizzou for the biggest prize of them all; a state championship. Both teams feature stout defensive units that have not given up more than 21 points in a single game during the season.
Ladue has a strong defensive front, led by Illinois commit Moses Okpala, Jelani Davis and Brian Faulkner. They are excellent in the back as well with Lincoln Grench, Brandon West, Jason Garland and two-way standouts Andrew Hunt and Dale Chesson. Hunt has rushed for 1,333 yards and 24 touchdowns while Chesson has scored 13 TDs as a big-play receiver. Quarterback Henry McIntosh has thrown 24 touchdown passes.
MICDS has ridden its strong defense throughout the year with middle linebacker Henry Carpenter leading the way. The Rams also feature a couple of excellent two-way standouts in seniors Graham Bundy Jr. and Tyler Purdy. Bundy has 24 touchdowns on offense and seven interceptions on defense. Purdy has rushed for more than 700 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had the game-clinching interception in the final minute of the Rams’ 20-14 victory over Smithville in the semifinals.
Class 5: Vianney (10-3) vs. Fort Osage, Saturday, 7 p.m. - The Golden Griffins are back in the state championship game after winning it all two years ago. Vianney is led by the spectacular Kyren Williams, a senior do-it-all performer who is headed to Notre Dame. Williams has 1,746 yards rushing, 660 yards receiving with an area-leading 39 touchdowns. Running back Percy Mitchell has rushed for 1,759 yards and 20 touchdowns. The defense is led by linebacker Lane Allison, who has 110 tackles and six sacks.
The CBC Cadets cemented the reputation as the dominant program in the state with a 45-24 victory over Kansas City Rockhurst to win its second consecutive Class 6 state championship and third title in four years. All of the stars showed up and showed out for the Cadets last Saturday night.
Quarterback Brett Gabbert completed 18 of 26 for 311 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Bryan Bradford rushed for 230 yards and scored a touchdown. Wide receiver Julian Williams caught nine passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns while tight end Nikolas Hea caught five passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. On defense, standout defensive end MJ Anderson registered two quarterback sacks.