CHESTERFIELD • The Kirkwood football team showed off its high-scoring offense in the first half and its stingy defense in the second half of Friday night’s Suburban South Conference game at Parkway Central.
The top-ranked Pioneers scored on their first three series and on four of their five first-half possessions en route to a dominating 28-2 victory in a showdown of Top 10 undefeated squads.
“We came out with some fire, because we knew they were undefeated, and we were undefeated also, so we were coming out with a lot more fire than we usually do,” Kirkwood linebacker Jarrod Bishop said. “We came here to play and send a statement that we’re both undefeated, but we’re ranked No. 1 for a reason.”
The Pioneers (7-0 overall, 5-0 in league play) are the No. 1 team in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings and ranked second in Class 5 and have now won 19 of their last 20 games.
Friday’s win showed why.
“The defense played great in the second half,” Kirkwood coach Matt Irvin said. “Offense had a really good first half. We have to learn how to finish games a little better, but our offense really came out really well. Our kids played exceptionally well and made some big plays in that first half.”
The offense racked up 375 yards of total offense, with 218 passing and 157 on the ground. Quarterback Jordan Bishop completed nine of 16 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns, to Clyde Benson and J.J. Jones. Backup quarterback Blake Goddard and reserve running back James Willis each had touchdown runs.
The defense limited Parkway Central (7-1, 5-1), which is ranked eighth among area large schools and sixth in Class 5, to a season-low 158 yards rushing. The Colts entered the night scoring 36.3 points per contest while allowing 10.3 and were averaging 272.9 yards rushing per game through the first seven weeks.
Jarrod Bishop led the defense with 13 tackles, a sack and an interception at the 1-yard line that thwarted a Colts scoring opportunity. Andrew Wilson also had an interception that prevented another scoring chance.
The Colts’ only points came in the second quarter when an errant punt snap by the Pioneers rolled out of the back of the end zone.
Parkway Central coach Mark Goldenberg said it was frustrating to move the ball between the 25-yard lines and not be able to turn those possessions into points because of mistakes.
“It was a frustrating offensive game,” Goldenberg said. “We moved the ball, and then we made too many mistakes. We made way too many mistakes. Against a defense that is that good, you cannot give them five yards with a penalty or a bad pitch or a fumbled pitch, and we did that several times. To be honest, they forced that stuff with their pressure and coming downhill.”
Kirkwood led 7-0 after just 36 seconds following a 12-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Bishop to Benson, led 14-0 after one quarter and held a 28-2 advantage at halftime.
“They can make big plays and score from anywhere at any time,” Goldenberg said. “I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case. Our defense has played so so well, but we’ve given up some big plays, and they’ve got some playmakers.”