By Mike Phillips
For the first time in five years, the Sacred Heart Gremlins defeated the Cole Camp Bluebirds on the football field, winning 35-30 in the Class 1 District 4 semifinal game Oct. 31 on a cool, almost full-moon evening at Jennie Jaynes Stadium.
In a back-and forth game, Sacred Heart’s Michal Hohne scored on a 13-yard run, his third TD of the night with 2:06 left in the game and Caleb Tanguay kicked the extra point to put Sacred Heart up 28-24.
Sacred Heart got the great opportunity to score after Cole Camp’s Austin Weinberg kicked a 32-yard field goal to put Cole Camp up 24-21 with 4:01 left in the game.
For some reason, Cole Camp tried an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff and Sacred Heart recovered at Cole Camp’s 46. A five-yard run by quarterback Chase Lyles moved the ball to the Bluebird 41. Hohne scurried around the right end 22 yards to the Bluebird 19. Two plays later, Hohne score from 13 yards out and Tanguay kicked the extra point to put the Gremlins up 28-24.
Back came the Bluebirds as senior Brad Martin gathered in the Sacred Heart kickoff at his own two-yard line and ran through the Gremlin kickoff coverage for a 98 yards TD and Cole Camp was back on top 30-28. A bad snap on the extra point, set the Gremlins up on the Cole Camp 11-yard line.
Three plays later, Hohne found paydirt for the fourth time, running it in from six yards out with 1:04 to play. Tanguay added the PAT to give the Gremlins a 35-30 lead.
With senior running back Ramon Jamerson sidelined with a leg injury on the previous Cole Camp possession, the Bluebirds were pinned deep in their territory at their 10-yard line with 1:01 left but they were minus their main offensive threat in Jamerson. On fourth down and 10 from the 10, Cole Camp quarterback Zak Heimsoth was sacked for a four-yard loss back to the Bluebird six-yard line where the Gremlins took over on downs.
Cole Camp exhausted their timeouts, and then the Gremlins ran out the clock.
Cole Camp put together one of their time-eating drives right from the opening kickoff, marching 76 yards in 11 plays with Jamerson scoring on a five-yard run with 5:54 left in the first quarter. Weinberg licked the extra point and it was 7-0 Bluebirds.
Jamerson had eight carries on the drive Brendan Rusk carried the ball twice and Martin once.
Sacred Heart got right back in scoring position. Malik Hackett returned the kickoff all the way to the Cole Camp 20-yard line, a 75-yard zip up the left sideline. Six plays later, Hohne scored on a three-yard run, which was set up by a nine-yard completion from Lyles to Hohne to the Bluebird six. Tanguay booted the point after to knot it up at 7-7.
Hackett scored late in the half on a kick return to give Sacred Heart a 14-7 lead at the intermission.
Cole Camp turned a Gremlin fumble into a one-yard TD run by Jamerson with 6:51 left in the third quarter. Martin had a 27-yard run in the tying drive. Weinberg kicked the extra point to make it 14-14.
Lyles had a pass picked off and Cole Camp drove turned the miscue into another scoring run by Jamerson on a drive aided by several Gremlin personal fouls as Cole Camp retook the lead 21-14.
Hackett scored from five yards out on a pitchout from Lyles and Tanguay kicked the PAT to tie the game again at 21-21, setting up the wild back-and-forth fourth quarter.
Adrian Gonzales, David Lorandi and Ari Jacks had big defensive games for Sacred Heart.
Sacred Heart notched probably the biggest win in the five-year history of their program, improving to 8-3 on the season.
Cole Camp finished their season 7-4.
Sacred Heart will meet undefeated and top-seeded Tipton in the district championship game Monday night at Tipton. The Cardinals, 11-0, whipped Concordia 56-20 in the other district semifinal Oct. 31 at Tipton. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.