High School Sports

Missouri high school football predictions: Rockhurst and Oak Grove vie for state championships

The seven Show-Me Bowls slated for the next two days include only two teams from the Kansas City area.

Those two programs — Rockhurst and Oak Grove — feature entirely different histories.

Rockhurst is aiming for the 10th state championship in program history when it faces Christian Brothers College in the Class 6 championship Saturday. Oak Grove is trying to claim its first title when it plays John Burroughs in the Class 3 game Friday. Both games will take place inside the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

That offers us two final predictions for the Missouri high school football season.

Last week's record: 2-1

Season record: 94-26

As for the final week...

CLASS 6: Rockhurst (12-1) vs. Christian Brothers College (13-0), 5:30 p.m. Saturday

Rockhurst has certainly had to earn its spot in the championship. The Hawklets used a late fourth-quarter touchdown from A.J. Taylor to beat Blue Springs in the quarterfinals, and they required a fourth-down stop to preserve a win against Francis Howell in the semifinals.

CBC has forged a contrasting path to the title game. Its average margin of victory is 43.3 points this season. Rockhurst coach Tony Severino says what makes CBC particularly dangerous is its sheer quantity of offensive weapons, most of which share a common attribute: Speed.

For Rockhurst to force CBC to play a tightly-contested game for only the second time this season, its defense must eliminate big plays. And the offense will likely employ a clock-controlled mentality.

Prediction: Rockhurst 31, CBC 28

CLASS 3: Oak Grove (12-2) vs. John Burroughs (13-1), 1 p.m. Friday

It would be hard to find a team playing better football in the postseason than Oak Grove, which has faced a brutal path to the state championship. The Panthers defeated three previously-unbeaten teams in their march to the title game.

No team has shut down the Panthers' rushing attack this season, and there's little reason to believe John Burroughs will be the first — even if it is allowing only 6.3 points per game over the past nine weeks.

Oak Grove's offseason weight training program has indeed paid dividends. When the Panthers take the field, they certainly don't have the look of a Class 3 team. There's a reason the offensive line has overpowered opponents this season, paving the way for Aaron Graham's 2,668 yards.

Will that be enough Friday to give Oak Grove its first state title? I think the odds are with the Panthers.

Prediction: Oak Grove 38, John Burroughs 27

To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SamMcDowell11.