Blue Springs’ football fans lined the track at De Smet High School on Friday night as they greeted and high-fived the Blue Springs players after a dominating performance in the Missouri Class 6 semifinals.
The Wildcats defeated the Spartans 42-7 to advance to next Saturday’s Class 6 championship game at 5:30 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Blue Springs will face Francis Howell, which defeated Lafayette 17-6 in the other Class 6 semifinal on Friday night.
“That was a special moment for a special group of kids,” Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohue said of the impromptu post-game celebration. “I have been coaching here 13 years and I have never had such a large group come for a road trip. These guys are never going to forget this.”
Indeed, the Wildcats put on quite a show for the fans who made the trip east as Blue Springs dominated from start to finish Friday night.
“This is amazing,” said Wildcat quarterback Wylson Lamb, who threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first half. “I went with the team who made it to the championship game in 2009, but now I get to play in the game.
“It was just a blast tonight. Playing the championship game and winning it has been my dream since I came to Blue Springs from Utah in the sixth grade.”
Blue Springs punted on its first possession but would never punt again. Lamb hit Darrius Shepherd for a 48-yard touchdown pass on the Wildcats’ second possession.
There was more to come. Blue Springs put the game away with a 21-point second quarter.
Dalvin Warmack had touchdown runs of five and 55 yards, and Lamb hit DeShaughn Terry for an 8-yard score in the final minute of the half. That touchdown was set up by an interception by the Wildcats’ Elijah Lee.
“I felt that the interception right before the half was the play of the game,” Donohue said. “De Smet had come back in wins against Hazelwood Central and (Christian Brothers College), and we knew that they were getting the ball to start the second half.”
But the Spartans would do nothing with that initial second-half possession, going three and out and losing 5 yards.
Blue Springs, though, scored on its first possession of the second half as Warmack scored his third touchdown of the game, and 38th of the season, on a 10-yard run.
The rest of the game was played with a running clock. Donald Garcia scored on a short run in the fourth quarter for the Wildcats.
De Smet, which had averaged 55 points per game over their last five games, all victories, averted a shutout when Conner Harrison hit Alec Bausch with a 9-yard touchdown pass with less than 2 minutes to play.
“Our goal tonight defensively was to be physical and stop the run,” Blue Springs linebacker Rasheed Hobbs said. “When we are physical, we can be great. We need to come out next week and stay focused and play hard. This team has clicked since the summer. We have crazy chemistry.”
The Wildcats, who improved to 12-1, just hope for a happy ending as they had with state titles in 1992, 2001 and 2003.
“We have been on a mission all season,” Wildcats offensive lineman Tank Thompson said. “We just have to go hard every play next week and finish it up.”
Francis Howell will also bring a 12-1 record into the championship game.