The first freshman class at Liberty North finished its freshman football season without a victory in nine tries.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Three years later, that same group has the Eagles one game away from the Missouri Class 4 state championship.
Liberty North rolled over previously unbeaten Bolivar 35-0 in the Class 4 quarterfinals Saturday afternoon, setting up another road trip — this one to Jefferson City Helias — at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with a spot in the state championship game on the line.
“Nobody deserves it more these these kids — this is a testament to how hard they’ve worked,” Eagles coach Ken Clemens said. “When you go from winless to (nine wins) in three years, that’s what I mean by working hard.”
A decided underdog Saturday, Liberty North, 9-4, won its fifth straight game, and Bolivar was held to fewer than 17 points for the first time this season. Bolivar quarterback Rafe Peavey, an Arkansas commit, completed only 11 of 26 passes and threw three interceptions — two to Austin Oard.
Liberty North tailback Marvin Shumate topped the 200-yard rushing mark and added a touchdown.
Class 5: Lee’s Summit West 51, Kickapoo 14
As wind gusts reached 40 miles per hour Saturday in Springfield, Lee’s Summit West coach Royce Boehm said he worried how effective his passing would be against undefeated Kickapoo.
Turns out, it was just fine.
Quarterback Thomas Ganaden threw four touchdowns in only 13 pass attempts, leading Lee’s Summit West into the Class 5 semifinals. The Titans, 11-1, will play host to Kearney at 7 p.m. Friday.
Brenner Clemons caught a pair of touchdowns from Ganaden, and he also took the reins on the rushing game. Playing quarterback in a Wildcat package, Clemons ran for 77 yards and two more scores.
“He brings a lot of variation to our offense,” Boehm said. “We have a lot of different packages teams have to prepare for.”
Lee’s Summit West led 23-7 at halftime and 44-7 after three.
Class 2: Lawson 27, Lafayette County 14
For the first time since its 2007 state-championship season, Lawson is headed back to the Missouri Class 2 semifinals. The Cardinals, 11-1, won their seventh consecutive game Saturday at Lafayette County.
After Lafayette County opened the scoring, Preston Smidt put Lawson on the board in the first quarter — the first of four consecutive touchdowns from the Cardinals, who will travel to face Blair Oaks at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday. Blair Oaks lost to Lamar in the Class 2 championship last season