The 2022 football season wrapped over the weekend with the St. Louis metro area teams bringing home three more state championships to cap off one of the most successful football campaigns in recent history.
Things started off with a bang Friday morning as St. Mary’s exploded for three touchdowns in the second quarter en route to a 42-0 victory over St. Dominic to claim their second straight state title. The Dragons brought home the Class 3 last season before moving up to Class 4 this season.
Chase Hendricks opened the scoring for St. Mary’s on their first possession of the game as he grabbed a 32-yard pass from David Leonard and raced down the right sideline to put the Dragons ahead 7-0. Hendricks scored his second touchdown of the morning with 11:37 left in the second period as he returned a punt 67-yards to the house to extend the Dragons’ lead to 14-0. St. Mary’s used another big play as Jamal Roberts scored on a 54-yard run midway through the quarter to push the lead to 21-0. Roberts then capped off the offensive explosion three minutes later with a 12-yard scoring run to give St. Mary’s a 28-0 lead at the half.
On the first possession of the third quarter, Hendricks caught his second touchdown pass of the day from Leonard, this time from 45 yards out to give the Dragons a 35-0 lead. Leonard finished the scoring with 4:45 left in the game as he scored on a 41-yard run to clinch the championship for the Dragons.
Leonard paced the St. Mary’s offense with 85 yards on the ground while he also completed eight passes for 118 yards. Roberts added 89 yards rushing while Hendricks grabbed four passes for 101 yards and two scores. The St. Mary’s defense was outstanding as they limited St. Dominic to just 97 yards of total offense. Sam Cross paced the Crusaders’ ground attack with a team-high 53 yards rushing on 14 carries.
In the Class 5 title game Friday evening, Francis Howell showed why they were considered a championship contender as the Vikings raced out to a 35-7 lead at the half and did not look back as Howell defeated Fort Osage 49-21 to claim their first football state title in school history.
Adam Shipley got things going in the right direction with 6:46 remaining in the first quarter as he raced into the endzone from 33 yards out to put the Vikings ahead 7-0. Fort Osage answered on their first play of the following drive with an 80-yard run to even the game at 7-7. Howell then regained the lead 90 seconds later as Brady Hultman broke free for a 57-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-7. The offensive fireworks continued for the Vikings in the second quarter as Brett Norfleet caught an 11-yard pass from Shipley to extend the lead to 21-7 with 8:52 remaining in the half. Shipley then ripped off another big touchdown run, this time from 58 yards out to push the advantage to 28-7 with 4:34 remaining and then he connected with Norfleet again on a 10-yard strike with three seconds left in the half to give Howell a 35-7 cushion.
The Indians responded to open the third quarter as they scored on their first possession of the half from 5 yards out to cut the deficit to 35-14. Hultman then scored his second touchdown of the evening on a 12-yard scamper to push the Viking advantage to 42-14 with 6:26 remaining in the third quarter. Fort Osage countered with a 5-yard scoring run with 3:07 left in the period to make the score 42-21. Shipley put the game away at the 7:46 mark of the final period with a three-yard blast up the middle to give Howell a 49-21 lead and the state title.
Shipley finished the evening with 245 yards rushing and three touchdowns while throwing for another 89 yards on nine completions with two more touchdowns to pace the Howell offense in the victory. Hultman added 125 yards rushing with two scores while Norfleet grabbed five passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
In the Class 3 championship game Saturday morning, Cardinal Ritter erupted for 26 unanswered points in the second half to claim their first state football crown as the Lions defeated Reeds Spring 46-7.
Marvin Burks jump-started Cardinal Ritter on their first possession of the game as he scored on a one-yard run to put the Lions out front 6-0. Burks then scored again on a nine-yard scamper with three minutes remaining in the quarter to give the Lions a 12-0 advantage. The Cardinal Ritter offense continued to click in the second quarter as Carson Boyd found Ryan Boyd on a 16-yard touchdown strike to extend the lead to 20-0. Reeds Springs answered with 1:24 left in the half on a 30-yard pass play to cut the deficit to 20-7 as the teams went into the locker room at the half.
Burks scored two more times in the third quarter as he raced into the endzone from two yards and six yards out to push the lead to 32-7 before Antwon Moore found Fredrick Moore on a 48-yard touchdown pass to give the Lions a 40-7 advantage. Carson Boyd sealed the deal for Cardinal Ritter as he found Moore on a 38-yard strike to give the Lions a 46-7 lead and their first football crown.
Burks finished the day with 118 yards on the ground on 21 carries with four scored to pace the Lions’ offense while Carson Boyd and McKay combined for 226 yards through the air and three more touchdowns to help Cardinal Ritter in the victory. Moore was outstanding in the contest with eight catches for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
After the game, Burks announced via Twitter that he has switched his verbal commitment to Ole Miss and will now attend Missouri in the fall to continue his football and academic career.
Now that football season is completed, we will focus on winter sports as basketball, wrestling, and girls swimming are in full swing.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan