Coming off a disappointing loss at Fort Zumwalt North last week, the Ladue High football team bounced back in a big way Saturday afternoon against league rival Jennings High.
The Rams looked re-energized and re-focused in 49-6 Senior Day romp over the visiting Warriors in the final regular season game of the year at Ladue’s Ramming Athletic Center.
Junior quarterback Matthew Hooper, who completed just seven-of-20 passes against Zumwalt North, was as sharp as he’d been all season against Jennings, connecting on 18-of-23 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns.
Hooper threw three of those scores in the first half, as the Rams built a 28-0 halftime lead.
Senior running backs Shawn Whitley and Marcellis Wade each had a short touchdown run to spark the Rams ground game; junior linebacker Cody Kniptash returned a fumble 20 yards for another score to lead the defense; and placekicker Eric Stuber made all seven of his PATs to help Ladue build its biggest lead of the season at 49-0.
Jennings got its only score with less than a minute left in the game, when senior Darrell Green broke loose for a 50-yard score to prevent Ladue from completing the shutout.
The victory lifted Ladue’s overall record to 6-3, and allowed the Suburban East Conference champion Rams to go undefeated in league play.
Perhaps equally as important, the win allowed Ladue to grab the No. 4 seed in the MSHSAA Class 4 District 3 tournament, which begins Friday, October 26, when the Rams will host No. 5 seed Westminster Christian Academy.
Westminster is 7-2, with its only losses coming to top 10 teams John Burroughs and Priory.
But Ladue’s strong finish to the second half of the season proved to be enough to sway MSHSAA voters into giving the Rams the higher seeding and home-field advantage against the Wildcats.
Jennings fell to 2-6 on the year, and will be the No. 7 seed in Class 4 District 5, where it will play No. 2 seed Clayton High in the first round on Thursday, October 25, at Gay Field.
Score by Quarters ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final
Jennings ................. 0 ... 0 ... 0 ... 6 -- 6
Ladue ..................... 14 . 14 .. 7 . 14 -- 49
Ladue - Adehkeem Brown 35 yd pass from Matthew Hooper (Eric Stuber kick) -- 10:50 .. 0-7
Ladue - Sam Clancy 15 yd pass from Matthew Hooper (Eric Stuber kick) -- 5:05 ......... 0-14
Ladue - Shawn Whitley 1 yd run (Eric Stuber kick) -- 9:21 ............ 0-21
Ladue - Sam Clancy 10 yd pass from Matthew Hooper (Eric Stuber kick) -- 6:53 ......... 0-28
Ladue - Marcellis Wade 5 yd run (Eric Stuber kick) -- 7:55 .......... 0-35
Ladue - Chase Lambie 5 yd pass from Matthew Hooper (Eric Stuber kick) -- 11:06 ......... 0-42
Ladue - Cody Kniptash 20 yd fumble recovery (Eric Stuber kick) -- 6:32 ................. 0-49
Jennings - Darrell Green 50 yd run (run failed) -- :55 .............. 6-49