Focused John Burroughs blasts Monett, returns to Class 3 Championship game
By: Jonathan Duncan
Traveling to Monett, Mo. on Saturday, John Burroughs used a familiar blueprint to keep its 2012 state title hopes going for a final week.
John Burroughs, led by its stingy defense and the strong running of senior running back Ezekiel Elliott hammered out a gritty 28-6 win in a Class 3 semifinal.
The victory catapults Burroughs (13-0) back into the Class 3 championship against Maryville Friday (Nov. 23) at 1 p.m. at the Edward Jones Dome as the Bombers make their third straight trip to state.
“We played a big and physical Monettt team,” Burroughs coach Gus Frerotte said. “It was a great game.”
Monett opened the game with a long drive that took up most of the first quarter but Burroughs defensive back Peter
Schnuck’s interception inside the Burroughs 10 killed the Cubs scoring chance.
Four more times, the Cubs had drives down near the Bombers 20 only to have them stopped by a sack or turnover.
“Our defense again was outstanding today,” Frerotte said. “We were missing some passes and struggled to run early and the defense just kept bending but not breaking.”
Xavier and Christian Bledsoe led the Bombers defense and kept Monett in check through the day. Christian Bledsoe recorded eight tackles. Xavier Bledsoe, who had six tackles, also was a force in the Bombers pass rush with two quarterback sacks.
“Xavier and Christian really played well for us and made a bunch of plays, “Frerotte said.
Elliott reeled of a 32-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to give Burroughs a 7-0 lead at the half as both teams struggled to score points.
Burroughs finally got a little breathing room in the fourth quarter, as Elliott scored on a 23-yard run making it 14-0 with 8:17 to go.
Then on Monett’s next series the bottom fell out for the Cubs. A fumble on the first play from scrimmage was recovered by Sam Held of the Bombers. A few plays later, Elliott scored on a nine-yard dash for a 21-0 lead. Burroughs added a 10-yard scoring pass from Nick Duncan to Foye Oluokun to round out the scoring.
Elliott had another monster day on the ground, rushing 26 carries for 220 yards.
While Burroughs did enjoy the win over Monett, the Bombers do have a little unfinished business next week in downtown St. Louis as they face Maryville for the Class 3 championship next weekend.
Burroughs will try to break through and win the title after finishing second in the title game the past two seasons.
“I was with Coach (Todd) Small when we went two years ago and then we went last year and it was such a surprise and now this year here we are again,” Frerotte said.
“These guys have a done a terrific job and now they understand the most important thing is to be prepared, focused, and ready for the next play and they are prepared.”