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Missouri Recaps

By 810 Varsity, 11/18/23, 12:50AM CST


Rockhurst, Liberty North roll; Grain Valley falls at Webb City

Liberty North 38, Oak Park 7 

For the fourth year in a row, Liberty North is headed back to the state semifinal.  

The Eagles made quick work of previously unbeaten Oak Park and rolled to a 38-7 victory.  

Liberty North (11-1) will face Rockhurst for a chance to go to the championship game for only the second time in school history. In 2021, the Eagles were the runners-up, losing to CBC. 

“I’m extremely proud of our kids, we came out and performed well against a great Oak Park team that had a great season this year and played well,” Liberty North coach Andy Lierman said. “We knew they would provide some unorthodox offense for us a little. We don’t see the option much. We know they played good defense and tried to keep the ball in front of them.” 

MicahJo Barnett racked up a pair of touchdown runs, while quarterback Tillman Martin tossed a pair of touchdowns in the first half. 

The Eagles led 35-0 at intermission, and cruised from there in the first meeting between the two schools since 2016. 

Liberty North went up 21-0 in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Barnett and touchdown passes from Martin to Nebraska pledge Keelan Smith and Jayshawn Ross. Barnett added a 52-yard run early in the second quarter.  

“We started off pretty good, we trusted the coaches and trusted the play calls and executed the plays,” Martin said.  

Derrick Davis had a block punt, scoop and score to bring it to 35-0. 

Travon Pankey’s touchdown on a 71-yard run late in the fourth to break the shutout. That was the lone points for the Northmen, who finished 11-1. 

Next week’s game for Liberty North will be at Vincent P. Dasta Memorial Stadium at Rockhurst.  

Webb City 49, Grain Valley 35 

Grain Valley went toe-to-toe with Webb City, but in the end, the Cards had too much. 

The rushing attack of Webb City overwhelmed GV in a 49-35 victory on Friday night in a Class 5 quarterfinal game at Cardinal Stadium in Webb City. 

The loss snapped an 8-game winning streak for the Eagles, who finished the year 10-2. 

The Eagles trailed 21-14 at the break, but a big run by Ty Williams set up Grain Valley in Webb City territory. Quarterback Sal Caldarella threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to help tie the game. 

Webb City (10-2) answered with an 8-yard touchdown run by Slade Hurd. After forcing a three-and-out on defense, the Cardinals extended the lead to 35-21 on a 78-yard touchdown run by quarterback Gabe Johnson. 

The Eagles kept battling and pulled within a score twice. 

Peyton Woodrome had an 18-yard touchdown pass from Caldarella to make it 35-28 at the end of the third.  

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Grain Valley attempted an onside kick but the Cardinals recovered. Five plays later, Omari Jackson had a 1-yard score to push the Cardinals’ advantage back to 14 points with less than 10 minutes to play.  

The Caldarella to Woodrome connection turned into a 23-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. Grain Valley again pulled with a score, down 42-35. 

Webb City ate away the clock after getting the kickoff but got a 1-yard run by Hurd with 57 seconds left to account for the final score. Williams had a 46-yard run touchdown run in the first, while Noah Olah caught a touchdown pass from Caldarella. 

Rockhurst 38, Nixa 14 

Rockhurst let Nixa have a glimpse of hope – then slammed the door to advance to the state semifinals. 

Nixa (11-1) struck first on a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Uber to Keivon Flint less than 2 minutes into the game.  

Rockhurst (11-1) scored the next 28 points and pulled away from the Eagles, ending their deepest postseason run since 1995. Meanwhile, the Hawklets advanced to the semis for the first time since 2018. 

The Hawklets mixed in passing the ball and a defense that slowed down Nixa’s rushing attack — and an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game. 

After the opening drive for Nixa, the Hawklets gave up 31 yards and intercepted Uber twice, who had only one interception all season.  

Ethan Hansen converted a fourth down on an 11-yard run on the next possession and then hit Maeson Tunley for an 8-yard score with 5:05 left. Logan Kuechler’s PAT tied the game up. 

The first interception -- grabbed by Sean Jacoby — turned into points after he gave the Hawklets the ball at the Nixa 18-yard line. A pass interference call in the end zone set up a first-and-goal situation and Aidan Ryan punched in a 5-yard touchdown run. 

Rockhurst never trailed from there. 

Kuechler had an interception and that turned into more points for Rockhurst on a Maeson Tunley touchdown reception. Thomas Coppinger’s 1-yard run made it 19-7 with 3:05 left in the second quarter. Ryan caught a pass from Hansen on the 2-point conversion to make it 21-7. 

With 50 seconds left in the first half, Hansen hit Ryan for a touchdown to make it 28-7 at the break. 

Rockhurst had a chance to extend the advantage in the third quarter but fumbled the ball at the Nixa 8-yard line. Nixa took advantage of it and got a 50-yard touchdown pass from Uber to Wyatt Vincent to pull to 28-14. 

Rockhurst wrapped up the victory with two scores in the fourth quarter.  

Kuechler booted a 45-yard field goal 52 seconds into the quarter. Coppinger intercepted Uber near midfield and the Hawklets turned that into more points. 

Ryan’s 8-yard touchdown run with 4:47 left capped the scoring.  

The Hawklets will host Liberty North (11-1) next week for the right to play in the Class 6 championship game.

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