Blue Springs Rolls Past Columbia Rock Bridge to win the Class 6 State Title
Photo by Brian Davidson
BY BILL HESTER Special to The Star
ST. LOUIS — The Blue Springs football team began the season as the top-ranked team in Missouri Class 6 by virtue of their 2012 championship.
On Friday at the Edward Jones Dome, the Wildcats ended the season in the same spot, capping an unbeaten season with a 35-14 victory over Rock Bridge in the 2013 championship contest.
“We always want to be the hunted and not the hunters,” Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe said. “It was 14 weeks of fending people off, challenge after challenge after challenge.”
It was the fourth state championship for Donohoe in five tries and the school’s fifth title overall.
“I am probably more relieved after this one,” Donohoe said. “Every championship is different and special, but I really wanted this one for the seniors. It is not a big class numberswise, but it is a special class.”
It was the ideal ending for seniors such as linebacker Gunner Strickland.
“It is really surreal,” Strickland said. “I remember going to the championship game in 2003, and I just idolized the Wildcats. It is so special to win back to back.”
The back-to-back titles are the first in Blue Springs’ history.
Things started slowly for both teams until one of the Wildcats’ seniors, Darrius Shepherd, took a punt 49-yards for the first score of the game.
“Shep has a knack for the big play,” said Strickland, who made a crunching block on the return. “He had the return for a touchdown last year against Rockhurst.”
Shepherd felt the team needed a big play after struggling early.
“Our plays weren’t working early,” Shepherd said. “I just wanted to make a big play and spark the offense.”
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