13 state championships, 17-7, 95-yard run, Arkansas playoffs, Aurora Houn Dawgs, Batesville, blocked punt, Braydon Pender, Connor Basler, district finals, field goal, football, four and out, fumbles, high school football, Hoxie, interceptions, Lamar Tigers, Landon Tyler, Liberty Eagles, Marceline Tigers, Marionville Comets, Mark Twain Tigers, Matt Griffith, Missouri, Mountain Grove Panthers, MSHSAA, Orrick Bearcats, PAT, Pocahontas, punt, quarter finals, scoreless first half, semi-finals, South Shelby Cardinals, Ste. Genevieve NO, Thayer Bobcats, Thayer MO, Thayer’s treks to Dome, three and out, touchdown, Valle Catholic Warriors, Westran Hornets, Zach Viox, Zyman Langley
In the district finals Thayer defeated the Marionville Comets 53-21. The Warriors, from Ste. Genevieve, Mo., defeated the Mark Twain Tigers from Center, Mo., 44-0 for the district title.
So far this year the Warriors have achieved four shutouts, and only twice before has their opponent scored more than eight points. Their scores have ranged from 42 to 78 points.
Both Thayer and Valle Catholic were scoreless in the first half Saturday.
In the first quarter the Warriors received first, but Bobcat junior Zyman Langley intercepted a pass from senior Valle Catholic quarterback Connor Basler at the Warriors’ 19 yard line; then Thayer senior Braydon Pender fumbled the ball at the 3 yard line, and Valle Catholic intercepted it. Although Thayer recovered fumbles two more times in the quarter, that was as close as the Bobcats got to scoring. Meanwhile, Valle Catholic never go closer than Thayer’s 20 yard line.
At the start of the second quarter, Valle Catholic got as close as Thayer’s 7 yard line, but went 4 and out. With one more interception by Thayer, it was more of the same, with 3 and outs, four and outs and penalties to end the half with the score 0-0.
Valle Catholic had gained 216 total yards compared to Thayer’s 93 total yards, but none resulted in scoring.
At the start of the third quarter, Thayer went three and out, and Landon Tyler punted to Valle Catholic’s 39 yard line. A seven-play drive concluded with a short touchdown run by Basler and a good PAT to make the score 7-0 Valle Catholic with 7:30 left in the quarter.
After another three and out by Thayer, Tyler punted to the 47 yard line, and a series of runs by Warrior senior Zach Viox and Basler concluded with a 29-yard touchdown run by Viox with a good PAT to make the score 14-0 Valle Catholic with 4:07 left in the quarter.
A long Warriors drive that started near the end of the third quarter concluded with a successful 32-yard field goal attempt at the start of the final quarter to make the score 17-0.
Then, with Thayer at 2nd and 20, Bobcat Matt Griffith found an opening to run 95 yards for a touchdown, with a good PAT, to make the score 17-7 with 11:02 left in the game.
Then after unsuccessful drives by both sides, Thayer blocked a Valle Catholic punt and landed on the Warriors 25 yard line. Soon after that came a successful field goal attempt by Tyler to make the score 17-10 with 3:25 left in the game.
After that were interceptions by both teams, but the score remained the same to give Valle Catholic the quarter-finals win 17-7.
Valle Catholic next plays the Marceline Tigers in the semi-finals. The Tigers are 12-1 after defeating the South Shelby Cardinals of Shelina, now 6-7, 33-0.
The Warriors have won the MSHSAA state title in four of the last six years, defeating the Westran Hornets from Huntsville 49-25 last year and defeating Marceline 41-0 in 2013. Also in 2013, the Warriors defeated Thayer 34-12 to win the district title on Nov. 11.
In the two years Thayer trekked to the Dome for state championship games, Thayer defeated Valle Catholic 30-0 in the 2009 quarter finals and defeated Valle Catholic 42-7 to win the 2008 district title. Thayer lost to the Orrick Bearcats 20-8 in 2008 and 34-28 in 2009.
Founded in 1925, Valle Catholic has won a total of 13 state football championships over the years.
The other two SCA teams in the quarterfinals both lost Saturday. The Liberty Eagles, the only other team to beat the B Bobcats this year, lost 14-7 to the Lamar Tigers in Class 2 quarter finals. The Mountain Grove Panthers lost 14-12 to the Aurora Houn Dawgs in the Class 3 quarter finals.
In Arkansas, Pocahontas, Hoxie and Batesville were reported as having won games in the state playoffs.