GAMEDAY PREVIEW -- CLASS 3 SHOW-ME BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
MARYVILLE SPOOFHOUNDS (14-0) vs. JOHN BURROUGHS BOMBERS (13-0)
EDWARD JONES DOME -- NOVEMBER 23, 2012 -- 1 p.m.
ST. LOUIS -- They have been waiting 363 days for the chance to fix something that happened in a heartbreaking instant that cost them a state title.
Their all-world, four-star rated running back, who's headed to Ohio State next season, was about to score a game-tying touchdown in the final seconds of the Class 3 Show-Me Bowl championship game last year.
But before he could, some unnamed defender swooped in and knocked the ball out of his hands, forcing a fumble that cost John Burroughs its second straight shot at winning state.
And since the moment that game ended, the Bombers have thought only about getting back to the Dome and making right the one thing that went so wrong in an otherwise magical season.
"We've got some unfinished business," Ezekiel Elliott, JBS' star rusher, whose lived with the pain of that fumble for nearly a whole year, said. "The whole team knows it. We've been talking about it all summer. It's our motto. We have some unfinished business to attend to. And we're not gonna stop until we take care of it."
The chance for redemption comes today, at 1 p.m., when Burroughs will be back at the Edward Jones Dome, and back at the MSHSAA Show-Me Bowl State Football Championships -- this time to take on the team from Maryville (MO), in a classic No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup for all the marbles.
"John Burroughs has been No. 1 in the state all season. Maryville has been No. 2," Maryville head coach Matt Webb told the Maryville Daily Forum this week. "It's awesome that we're meeting for the championship. These two teams have been on a collision course all season long."
And with both teams coming in with undefeated and unblemished records, Friday's showdown at the Dome is truly a clash of the Class 3 titans.
JBS is 13-0, with an offense that averages 40.8 points a game and a defense that gives up just 7.8 points every outing.
And Maryville comes in 14-0, and with a reputation for blowing away every opponent it faces, thanks to an explosive and balanced offense that's already set a school record for total yards in a season and averages 48.6 points a game.
Senior quarterback Jonathan Baker has an off the charts efficiency rating, with 33 touchdowns and only four interceptions this season.
In fact, in Maryville's five playoff games this year, Baker has 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
The Spoofhounds are also quite good when they run the ball, with seniors Derek Steins and Peyton Mizera carrying the load, and sophomore Brody McMahon chipping on a ground game that averages better than 275 yards a game.
Maryville has a beefier than most offensive line, and will likely look to pound on the more undersized Burroughs defensive front seven.
"In Maryville, we're confident in ourselves and we're confident in what we call the process," Webb said. "What we have is a senior-laden team (that is) very committed to the goal of winning one game at a time."
Burroughs will likely counter with a huge dose of Elliott, who enters Friday's state title game needing just 35 rushing yards to reach 2,000 for the season.
The Ohio State-bound Elliott is already the St. Louis area leader in all-purpose yards and with 47 touchdowns is just three away from joining only a handful of Missouri players that scored 50 times in one season.
"He's a tremendous kid and great ballplayer," Burroughs head coach Gus Frerotte said. "He deserves all that's coming to him. I told him that we were going to lean on him, and he's been there every time."
The Bombers can also throw the ball a bit, with junior quarterback Nick Duncan (1,074 yards, 13 TDs) looking to spread the ball to a slew a receivers, including Foye Oluokun (24 catches, 377 yards, 5 TDs), Peter Schnuck (17 catches, 330 yards, 6 TDs), and Jake Wood (21 catches, 138 yards, 1 TD).
"They're a very, very good and talented team," Webb said. "(Elliott) is one of the best (tailbacks) I've seen and that includes all my years coaching college football.
"They are explosive at receiver. They have a very good quarterback, very good linemen. I don't see any flaws at all. I think the team that gets into the game the quickest and just plays the game on the field will come off the field as winners."
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. from the Dome, and will also be televised statewide on FS Midwest. And for those that can't make it downtown, or be near a television during the game, the Class 3 Show-Me Bowl championship game will also be broadcast online at MSHSAA.tv.