Ladue’s football coach Mike Tarpey got a double dose of good news Friday night. For one, his gritty Rams outlasted Clayton in a slugfest, winning 28-21 on Centenne Field on Gay Avenue.
More importantly, he got a good medical report on injured Jaron Jones from the hospital before he left the field.
Injury silenced a large crowd
Midway through the game, Jones came dead aim across the field to tackle a loose Greyhound runner. The G-force of the collision reverberated across the Clayton sideline.
Jones sat up momentarily, then lapsed unconscious. Clayton EMS arrived very quickly and took the motionless senior to an area hospital. The news from the hospital was all good. He probably woke up with a very sore neck on Sunday.
The Rams had to overcome the brilliance of senior Tyler Walker. Walker recovered a fumble on the opening series and ran 7 yards for the go-ahead TD. Then he caught a 6 yard pass from sophomore Jake Brown and ran a third from 37 yards out. He accounting for 18 of the Hounds 21 points.
The Rams defense never rested
But Ladue made defense stand up when it counted. Often, Clayton was playing from well behind the line of scrimmage, being signaled often for holding, clipping, jumping too soon and the rest.
Marcellis Wade was Ladue’s hero. He had TD runs of 2 and 30. A third was called back because of a penalty. Speedy Sam Glancy broke alone in the end zone and latched on to Matthew Hoopers 25 yard pass. Hooper also scored on a 2-yard keeper.
What players and coaches had to say
Junior quarterback Hooper agreed the game was well contested by his Rams. “Yes, we played well from quarter to quarter. It looks we will win the conference championship now.”
The Rams chased Brown from sideline to sideline, often hurrying into rushed throws. “We really got after him," claimed Hooper.
Rusher Shawn Whitley was proud of his teammates. They got after the Clayton QB early and often.
“He’s got a good arm, but there was just a lot of confusion. We worked very hard in the off season conditioning to get better and better. Winning this year is just an excitement,” said Whitley.
Tarpey had several things on his mind, particularly the well being of Jaron Jones. “He’s doing alright. He’’s got feeling everywhere. They will do some tests to know for sure, but on the sidelines, he was aware of where he was and everything looked OK,” said Tarpey.
“There’s a lot of game balls in a game like this, and I’m just proud of the entire team,” said the coach. This game means a lot to the coaching staff and a lot to our kids. It was a great win and a great effort.”
About game balls--obviously one goes to Jaron Jones to help speed up his recovery.