After giving up two touchdowns in the first five plays of Saturday's Class 1 state semifinal at Chester Ray Stadium, the Marceline Tigers dominated the visiting Penney Hornets, scoring 42 of the game's final 49 points in a 42-22 victory that sends Marceline into the Class 1 state championship game in St. Louis.
Marceline scored touchdowns on all four of its second-half drives, completing a run to St. Louis that included payback victories over conference rivals Salisbury and Westran, a win over previously unbeaten Milan, and now a victory against a Hornet team with three state titles over the past five years.
Blake Belzer led the Marceline offense with 167 yards rushing on a cold and blustery day, while senior Dakota Lewis had 73 yards in the contest. Hamilton's record-breaking running back, Kellen Overstreet, had a big day with 211 yards rushing, but the Tiger defense made him work for those yards, coming on 37 carries. Overstreet had two touchdowns, including a 61 yard burst on the Hornets first play from scrimmage. T.C. East had a 60 yard touchdown catch in the first-quarter surge for Hamilton.
Marceline, at 11-3 on the season, will play #1 ranked Valle Catholic in the Class 1 state championship game at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Saturday afternoon at 2:15. Valle Catholic walloped Osceola 35-11 in the other Class 1 state semifinal.
In Class 2, Lawson traveled to Jefferson City and upset the Blair Oaks Falcons by a final score of 28-12, sending the Cardinals into the Class 2 state title game, and a Friday afternoon contest against the top-ranked powerhouse program from Lamar High School. Lamar overwhelmed Lutheran North in Saturday's semifinal round, 70-7. The Class 2 state title game will be Friday at 4:15 PM in downtown St. Louis.
The Maryville Spoofhounds have returned to the Class 3 state title game, in their quest for back-to-back championships. The Spoofhounds survived a tough road challenge from the California Pintos on Saturday afternoon, winning 22-13. The teams played a scoreless first quarter, but MHS broke things open in the second quarter with back-to-back touchdowns, and never relinquished the lead. Maryville will take on Seneca High School in the Class 3 state title game on Saturday morning at 11 o'clock. Seneca beat John Burroughs 31-7.
In Class 4, the state final will be Helias Catholic (Jefferson City) against state power Webb City. Helias beat Liberty North 26-14, while Webb City shutout Cape Girardeau Central 46-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Class 4 state championship game will be Friday afternoon at 1:00.
The Class 5 state championship game will be Parkway Central against Lee's Summit West on Saturday night at 5:30. Columbia Rock Bridge will play Blue Springs in the Class 6 championship game on Friday night at 7:30. The eight-man title game between Stanberry and North Andrew will kick at 9:30 on Friday morning. Stanberry advanced last Friday night with a 44-22 semifinal win at Southwest Livingston. North Andrew won at Worth County on Friday night by a score of 60-18.