PARK HILLS, MO -- As he walked off the field toward the visitors locker room for the halftime break during Saturday's MSHSAA Class 3 state football quarterfinal game against host Park Hills Central, John Burroughs head coach Gus Frerotte did something many probably thought they'd never see from the coach.
He kicked the dirt and threw his headset, which smashed into three pieces.
Burroughs has won every game this season with ease.
But on Saturday, Park Hills Central employed a keep-away offense that kept Burroughs' high-powered unit off the field, and left Frerotte steaming over not having a chance to get his team going in the first 24 minutes.
"It was frustrating, just really frustrating," Frerotte said. "And it wasn't so much their offense. We knew they wanted to run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. Then, run the ball, run the ball, run the ball some more. I was upset that we had a chance to complete some passes and we didn't do it."
In the second half, Burroughs didn't throw a lot of passes either. But the Bombers did have better control of the ball, and took advantage, with three sensational touchdown runs by senior Ezekiel Elliott, that moved JBS to just one shy of another trip to the MSHSAA Show-Me Bowl, after a 24-0 win over Park Hills Central.
"That first half was crazy man, we barely had the ball," Elliott said. "Their offense just stayed on the field. And I'm not used to not having the ball, so I was just frustrated. We all were."
Following the game though, Frerotte's headset wasn't the only thing that took a beating, as Elliott, a Ohio State recruit who could play offense or defense for the Buckeyes, racked up 171 yards on 24 bruising carries, against a Park Hills Central defense that hadn't allowed one back that many yards in a whole game all season.
"Their O-line was tough, and we've got some undersized guys," Elliott said, "but they play big. They play tough, and they opened up some nice holes for me."
Elliott's touchdowns, which came on two 1-yard runs and an absolutely breathtaking 59-yarder up the right sideline, gave the state Player of the Year candidate 44 touchdowns this season.
Burroughs (12-0) is now just one more win away from a trip back to the Edward Jones Dome for the Show-Me Bowl state championship game on November 23.
The Bombers will play Monett (MO) in the state semifinals next Saturday. That game will be played at Monett's Burl Fowler Stadium, with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.
Score by Quarters ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final
John Burroughs ...... 3 ... 0 .. 14 .. 7 -- 24
Park Hills Central ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 -- 0
JBS - Rushil Sheth 34 yd field goal -- 29.8 .................................... 3-0
JBS - Ezekiel Elliott 1 yd run (Rushil Sheth kick) -- 7:14 ................ 10-0
JBS - Ezekiel Elliott 59 yd run (Rushil Sheth kick) -- 3:56 .............. 17-0
JBS - Ezekiel Elliott 1 yd run (Rushil Sheth kick) -- 1:45 ................ 24-0