(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) An offensive explosion in the first half of the 8-man State Championship game is what the Stanberry Bulldogs needed on the way to a 56-38 win over North Andrew in the Edward Jones Dome.
"I couldn't be more proud of them," Stanberry head coach Dan Collins said after the game. "There have been a lot of years that we've been awful close. It was just a great year to make it happen. I'm glad these guys were part of it."
Down 8-6 in the first quarter, Stanberry scored the next 24 points to take a 30-8 lead. From there, they were able to keep enough distance from North Andrew to carry a 56-38 lead into halftime.
Then the defenses took over.
Neither team scored in the second half, allowing the Bulldogs to be crowned as state champs for the first time.
"We realized we have to pick it up on defense. Our offense was doing great," senior Jesse Oldham said. "It came down to our front three guys and they did exactly what they were told to do."
Stanberry running back Nathan Luke racked up 327 all-purpose yards and scored 5 touchdowns.
Bulldog quarterback Reid Osborn threw for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns on 8-11 passing, he also rushed for 2 more scores.
The loss is North Andrew's only one after an undefeated regular season.
The Cardinals found themselves in a 44-16 hole at one point in the second quarter. They were able to cut into the Bulldog lead, but it wasn't enough.
"That's been one of our goals this year, is to overcome adversity, and we hit the ultimate adversity today, and they did a good job of responding," North Andrew's first year head coach Jonathan Schoonover said. "If we would've come out and played a little better first half I guarantee it would've been a little different."