Champs! Indians Win It All, 21-0
By CJ Layton
ST. LOUIS-Kyle Kline allowed himself a look at the scoreboard. A smile of total satisfaction crossed his face.
"Finally," he said.
Kline and his road-tested St. Vincent teammates celebrated moments later, as the Indians dominated the previously unbeaten East Buchanan Bulldogs 21-0 in the 37th MSHSAA Show-Me Bowl Saturday.
The Indians did it the way they did all season long. They tested the waters, scored early, gained momentum, adjusted on the fly, and relied on a crushing offensive line that, once again, would not disappoint. Kline, in the press conference after the contest, said that his team went after the big prize in an almost military-like fashion. "It was all about mission accomplishment this year," he said. We had three missions: win the conference championship, then the district, then state. Now, we can sit back and enjoy it."
St. Vincent served notice early, scoring in the first offensive drive of the contest in just 5 plays. Four were pitch plays to the outside, three to Dustin Winkler, one to Anthony Brown. Play five was a handoff to Waylon Richardet. He took it 51 yards for the gameís first touchdown. Kline nailed the XP, and the Indians were up 7-0 after just 2:23 had elapsed in the game. Even that early, coach Keith Winkler said later that he started feeling very good about things. "In our past trips here, the first quarter decided things. It was just awful for the first 12 minutes. When Waylon scored that early, it really gave all of us an extra confidence rush. We knew then that if we could stay focused, and win the turnover battle, we would be there at the end."
Two-time All-State quarterback Mark Burston found out that winning the turnover battle would be key. Simply put, he lost. Big time. To an Indian defense that was unrelenting for 48 minutes. First possession: interception, Danny Rellergert. Second possession: fumble, forced by Seth Amschler, recovered by Pat Siegmund. Third possession, fumbled but recovered, later forced to punt.
It went like that the entire ball game. Without fail.
Bulldog WR Andrew Mead said later that the Indians were "obviously well-coached. They knew every route we were going to run, and beat us there most of the time." RB Adam Barber rushed for almost 2,000 yards before Saturday. He had a similar take. "It was nearly impossible to get anything going. Just as soon as we could see a hole, there would be a linebacker coming in."
The Indians led at the half, 7-0, after Kline missed a field goal attempt. They didnít let that bother them. They just came after the ball the remaining 24 minutes. Danny Rellergert, in addition to catching the Indiansí second touchdown, a 10-yard beauty from Alex Armbruster, drew the defensive assignment against Mead, a 6-foot-5 receiver that came in with over 50 catches for just over a thousand yards. He said later that the Indians had picked up something on film. "He (Burston) would snap the ball, then we could read his eyes. Our defensive backs were getting off the ball very quick."
The Indians forced 6 interceptions and two lost fumbles in the contest. The 6 picks amounts to a new state record in all classes for the Show-Me Bowl.
The Rellergert touchdown came on another five play drive, this one in the middle of the third quarter. The exclamation point would come toward the end of the fourth, as the Indiansí Richardet scored again, this time from seven yards out.
Richardet carried the ball 17 times for 114 yards and two scores. Winkler set the table all day, running the ball 19 times for 105 yards. Anthony Brown got 10 touches for 32 yards. Armbruster threw for just 27 yards on four completions, but his scoring strike to Rellergert set the tone for the second half.
Defensively, the Indians just shut down the vaunted Bulldog offense. East Buchanan had only 188 TOTAL yards for the contest, and just 70 in the second half.
Both teams end their season with a 13-1 record. When asked how he felt after the contest, Kline just smiled.
"Satisfied," he said.
Following the game, the City Of Perryville Police Department, Fire Department, and EMS led the team bus in an impromptu parade around the city square.