For most of the high school football season, Kearney looked like a team primed to roll to another state championship.
Then the Bulldogs ran into a grind-it-out Harrisonville team.
In the first meeting of Kansas City-area teams in a state title game since 1969, Kearney ran out of time to respond to Harrisonville’s time-consuming offense and lost 21-14 in the Missouri Class 4 state final last Friday at Plaster Stadium in Springfield.
After falling behind 21-0 in the first half, Kearney clawed back to within 21-14 with two second half touchdowns by quarterback Anthony Pritzel, the second one coming with 3:49 left in the game.
But the Bulldogs never got another chance; Harrisonville ran out the clock and claimed its fifth state championship and first since 2007.
And Kearney, 13-2, fell just short of a second straight state title and the fifth in the Bulldogs’ history.