Fort Osage senior Skylar Thompson emerged from an underpass leading onto the Edward Jones Dome turf. An hour before the Indians were set to face Chaminade in the Missouri Class 5 state championship game Saturday, Thompson walked to midfield, unstrapped his helmet and gazed around the NFL stadium.
Three days earlier, he said he planned to take a moment to absorb the atmosphere in his third trip to the state championship. The Indians had lost in his first two visits, though he didn’t play in either of them.
He was a factor this time. The factor.
Thompson accounted for seven touchdowns, and Fort Osage routed Chaminade 63-28 and won the first football state championship in school history.
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Thompson broke a Show-Me Bowl record with 455 total yards of offense.
“A lot of thoughts go through your mind at the beginning of the game,” he said. “We enjoyed the moment — and lived up to it.”
His record-setting performance concluded with four passing touchdowns and three more on the ground. Thompson, a Kansas State signee, ran for 202 yards in 22 carries. He completed 13 of 15 passes for 253 yards.
He operated within an offense that showcased a few new wrinkles Saturday — many of them designed to keep the ball in his hands.
“I had not turned him completely loose this season yet,” Fort Osage coach Ryan Schartz said. “It’s a long season, and I didn’t want to put him through that grinder.
“We turned him loose tonight.”
The bulk of the damage came within a 5-minute span in the second quarter — a stretch that would ultimately alter the course of the evening.
With the score tied 14-14, Thompson hit Bailey Williamson for a 44-yard touchdown. Isaiah Iloilo ran for a 5-yard score. After Fort Osage blocked a punt, a Thompson scramble for a TD stretched the advantage to 35-14.
By the end of the the 21-point spurt, only 13 seconds remained in the half, and Fort Osage had forced a run-heavy Chaminade team into a drop-back-and-heave-it offense.
Williamson caught five passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Iloilo ran for 89 yards and found the end zone twice.
After halftime, Chaminade never pulled closer than three scores. The Indians prevented the change in momentum. After trimming the lead to 42-21, Chaminade attempted an onside kick to try and crawl back into the game. That quickly went awry. Fort Osage defensive back Jonah Tuimaseve snatched the bouncing ball out of the air and streaked down the field to the 8-yard line.
Another Thompson touchdown followed.
It was his day. It was his season, really.
They both concluded Saturday with a state championship — the first for Fort Osage and Schartz after losses in 2009 and 2012.
“One thing I got really tired of (was) reading about coach Schartz being the best coach in Missouri to not win a state championship,” said Thompson, who became emotional while speaking in the postgame press conference. “I’ve been around this guy ever since I moved here in third grade. I really just wanted to give this to him.”