ST. LOUIS • For the third consecutive season, the John Burroughs football team took the field at the Edward Jones Dome to play for the Class 3 state championship. For the third consecutive season, the Bombers walked away with the runner-up trophy.
“It hurts a lot,” Burroughs running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “No one wants that silver.”
The Maryville Spoofhounds battered their way to their third state championship with a 35-22 win Friday. Maryville (15-0) rushed a record 69 times for 436 yards and five touchdowns. The Spoofhounds' 436 yards rushing was third most in state history, trailing only Priory’s 501 yards set in 1973.
Maryville used a senior-laden, enormous offensive line to control the line of scrimmage and pound away at the smaller, quicker Burroughs. The Spoofhounds ran 78 offensive plays, second most in state history, and converted nine of 14 third downs.
“They’re a heck of a team,” Burroughs coach Gus Frerotte said. “They’re big, fast and strong.”
Burroughs got a heroic effort out of Elliott, an Ohio State recruit. His 419 all-purpose yards shattered Raymore-Peculiar running back Derrick Washington’s record of 365 yards set in 2006. Elliott rushed for 218 yards on 18 carries for two touchdowns, caught five passes for 72 yards and returned four kicks for 129 yards including an 84-yard touchdown run. He finished the season with 50 total touchdowns.
For all his efforts Elliott couldn’t get the defense off the field as Maryville’s punishing running attack wore on the Bombers. Sophomore tailback Kevin McMahon rushed 27 times for 213 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Derek Steins rushed 22 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Jonathan Bake carried the ball 11 times for 93 yards and the game-sealing touchdown.
“It’s a testament to this team’s character and determination,” first-year coach and Maryville alum Matt Webb said. “We wanted to be the better team. And I believe that happened.”
John Burroughs is the first 11-man football team in Missouri history to lose three consecutive state title games. St. Joseph’s Christian lost three consecutive 8-man title games between 2008-2010. Numerous teams have lost back-to-back titles. Locally, McCluer North was the last team to do it in 2004 and 2005. Hazelwood Central lost the state title game seven times between 1977 and 1987, including back-to-back three different times.
After falling short in dramatic fashion in the fourth quarter of the previous two title games, Friday’s defeat was different. The Bombers never led against Maryville and never enforced their will on the game.
“Football is a cruel sport,” Burroughs linebacker Christian Bledsoe said.