La'James White scored one of his 5 TDs in St. James 56-34 win in the Class 4A title game. (Photo: Bays Creek Photo/Jason Burritt)
The trip to St. James first state football championship was a bit longer than planned, but well worth it.
The Thunder opened up the offense in blowing out Arkansas City, 56-34, in the Class 4A title game, which was relocated from originally Saturday in Topeka, to Friday in Hutchinson.
After stopping Bishop Miege's six-year title run last week, St. James looked to be the favorite against Ark City (6-6). But it was the Bulldogs who held a 14-13 lead in the second quarter, and just intercepted the Thunder with the ball at midfield.
But St. James (8-4) stopped the Ark City drive, then star running back La'James White broke off the second of his five touchdowns with a 67-yard TD run. St. James led, 21-14, after the two-point conversion.
On the ensuing possession, ACHS fumbled the ball to set up a short SJA drive, capped by quarterback Dakota Burritt's 1-yard TD scamper for a 28-14 lead with just 3:28 before half.
Lightning struck again for Ark City with another fumble to give the Thunder short field. White didn't hesitate, taking the next play to the house for a 22-yard score and suddenly St. James led, 35-14.
The Bulldogs countered before half on a Welch's TD run for a 35-21 deficit at intermission. But White scampered for touchdown runs of 83 and 1 yard, followed by Burritt's second TD pass, this time to Hayes Manning for 31 yards. The latter was St. James third unanswered score, and a 56-21 bulge.
For the game, White racked up 264 rushing yards and 5 TDs. Burritt threw for 170 passing yards and two touchdown passes, including one on the opening drive to Tyler Claiborne. The receiver concluded his season with 93 yards and a score.
Dakota Burritt connects with Tyler Claiborne for St. James first TD in the Class 4A title game (Video: Bays Creek Photo/Jason Burritt)
La'James White takes a lateral pass in the backfield, crosses the field, and eludes the entire Ark City team to give St. James the lead for good, 21-14, in the second quarter. (Video: Bays Creek Photo/Jason Burritt)
1Q: Claiborne 36 yard pass from Burritt (PAT blocked) SJA 6, AC 0
1Q: Bahm 2 yard run (Clark kick) AC 7, SJA 6
1Q White 6 yard run (Kirby kick) SJA 13, AC 7
2Q: Welch 3 yard run (Clark kick) AC 14, SJA 13
2Q: White 67 yard run (Kirby kick) SJA 21, AC 14
2Q: Burritt 1 yard run (Kirby kick) SJA 28, AC 14
2Q: White 22 yard run (Kirby kick) SJA 35, AC 14
2Q: Welch 1 yard run (Clark kick) SJA 35, AC 21
3Q: White 83 yard run (Kirby kick) SJA 42, AC 21
4Q: White 1 yard run (Kirby kick) SJA 49, AC 21
4Q: Manning 31 yard pass from Burritt (Kirby kick) SJA 56, AC 21
4Q: Barnes 53 yard pass from Welch (Clark kick) SJA 56, AC 28
4Q: Clark 49 yard pass from Welch (kick failed) SJA 56, AC 34