Close call champs

Coming off of their loss against Francis Howell last week, the Spartans played a very close game against the Jackson Indians, but bounced back with a successful night with a successful score. With a final score of 38-34, the Spartans concluded their remaining season before their district match with a satisfying win.

The first quarter of the game started out well for the Spartans, with both senior wide receiver Kyle McCormack and senior running back Kendall Morris both scoring touchdowns nine minutes into the game.

The game then took a turn for the worse however, with the the Indians following up with a touchdown at the end of the first quarter, and then another two touchdowns within the second quarter.

Head Coach Todd Berck described what he saw happen on the field and shared his thoughts about the Indians rise in performance near the end of the first quarter.

“I felt like we gave them momentum early in the game by having some turnovers and some big plays. That kind of gave them momentum and allowed them to think they could play with us.,” said Coach Berck. “I think if we had come out and took care of some stuff early, there might have been a different story.”

After an unsuccessful third quarter that allowed the Indians to gain the lead with a score of 34-23, the Spartans then put forth a powerful effort on both offense and defense. Their strategy and tactics allowed for another touchdown to be scored by senior wide receiver Justin Andrews, which was then followed up by a two-point conversion from senior wide receiver Justin Hayden, which brought the score to a close 34-31.

Still pushing for the win, the Spartans continued to push down the field, then several minutes later made room for senior quarterback Brody Allen to run the ball into the end zone and score, bringing the score to 38-34. The team continued to battle the Indians throughout the remaining part of the quarter, and managed to hold them off for the game to end with a final score of 38-34 in the Spartans favor.

Morris described the intensity and motivation amongst the team going into the fourth quarter.

“Everybody put everything they had on the line to make sure we had our victory,” said Morris. “We had a few mental mistakes here and there in the first quarter that put us in a bad situation, but other than that everybody wanted to win.”

Coach Berck described his satisfaction with the team as well, content with the team’s performance in the final quarter.

“I’m really proud of our kids. Once again [though], not a clean game at all. We made a lot of mistakes and put ourselves in a really tough situation,” said Coach Berck. “[But] our kids really battled at the end I thought, [and] they battled very, very, hard. They created a turnover when we needed it, and I was very proud of the way they came back and fought.”

Morris described how the game affected him and the mentality of the team, and how it would have an impact on them going into their district match.

“The game was really a wake up call. Realistically, you’re going to have to play twice as hard every single time because there are no more games that are given to you after this, because we could go out there and lose, and then football’s over for a lot of us that may never play again. So that’s the mentality you have to have,” said Morris. “ Play the game like it’s your last, because realistically it could be your last. Everybody has to play balls to the wall, a hundred percent, every time.”

The Spartans have had done just that so far this season, reaching the playoffs and finishing 2nd in their district. Next Friday they move on to their district match against the Hickman Kewpies (currently 4-4), held at 7:00 p.m. at Francis Howell Central.


Live tweets over the game against Howell from activities director Scott Harris can be found here at: