Things looked pretty good for the Smithville Warriors in Friday’s Class 4 semifinal game against MICDS, and then not so much.
It would take an epic 4th quarter comeback effort for the Warriors to advance to Friday’s Show-Me Bowl Championship Game.
Undefeated Smithville had been consistently ranked #1 in Class 4 competition all season long, and when they took the opening kickoff for a sustained drive and an early lead over the MICDS Rams, the Warriors’ trip to Mizzou seemed like a forgone conclusion.
Then the Rams took over.
More specifically, their quarterback Reagan Andrew Took over. Andrew ran for three touchdowns, threw for two more, recovered an onside kick, and pinned the Warriors on their own 10 yard-line with a strategically placed punt. Five touchdowns in five possessions.
“Isn’t he awesome?” MICDS coach Fred Bouchard told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “If that’s not the state’s best quarterback, I don’t know who is.”
Smithville was trailing 36-20 as the final stanza began. Their first visit to the championship game in over half a century looked unlikely when Warriors quarterback Andrew Hedgecorth rose to the challenge and made his case as the best quarterback in Class 4 competition.
A touchdown pass to Sam Calvert started the epic comeback.
A 90-yard drive, including a 51-yard pass to Rhett Foster and Caleb Donnell’s scoring run from the one-yard line, pulled the Warriors with striking distance.
Then with only a minute remaining in the game, on 4th down, with the game and the season on the line, Hedgecorth calmly and cooly connected with Calvert again on a 35-yard strike to reclaim the lead for the first time since the opening drive.
3 touchdowns in under 7 minutes.
The Warriors defense sealed the deal, stopping the Rams on their 3 final possessions, the last one ended with an interception by none other than Sam Calvert.
Smithville now heads to tomorrow’s Class 4 Championship Show-Me Bowl at Mizzou’s Faurot Field in Columbia against the 13-0 Hannibal Pirates.
This will be Smithville’s second visit to the championship game, but the first one since 1969.
If you’re getting ready to make the trip to Columbia to support the Warriors, swing by Gary Crossley Ford’s Quick Lane on your way east. We’ll check the oil, check your tires, and give everything a good once over. We want all the excitement happening on the field.