Fort Osage quarterback dominates Chaminade in state finals

Sid Hastings

Fort Osage High School quarterback Skylar Thompson’s fleet feet and accurate arm proved to be too much for Chaminade College Preparatory in a Class 5 state playoff game Nov. 28 at the Edward Jones Dome in Downtown St. Louis.

Thompson ran for 205 yards and completed 13 of 15 passes for 253 yards. He scored three touchdowns on the ground and threw for four others.

Chaminade’s head coach, Antoine Torrey, said his team knew Thompson was a special talent and tried to slow him down. But “he made a lot of great plays,” Torrey said.

The coach told his players after the game to keep their heads held high because this season they accomplished something the football program hadn’t done in four decades — make the state finals. “I’m very proud of our seniors especially, very proud of our players this season, the way they competed all year through adversity," Torrey said.

Two of the seniors, wide receivers Paul Novelly and Rod Campbell, said they felt they needed to finish the year with a win. “It was an honor playing for these guys and these coaches, and I wish them the best,” Novelly said.

He feels the team’s rise from 7-4 last year to 12-2 this year is a move in the right direction. “As seniors, obviously a state championship would have been nice, to leave behind a legacy," Novelly said. "Hopefully these guys will get it done next year. I think we’re headed in that direction.”

Chaminade scored on its first possession thanks to a 43-yard pass from Michael McGovern to Reggie Crawford. Fort Osage's Thompson scampered on a 15-yard run to even the score after a 64-yard pass to Matthew Smith. After gaining ground on several runs, he hooked up with Bailey Williamson on a 33-yard pass to pull Fort Osage ahead.

After a roughing the kicker penalty on Fort Osage, McGovern again connected with Crawford for a touchdown, this one for 33 yards, again evening the score. Williamson scored again on a 44-yard pass play to give Fort Osage a lead they wouldn't surrender. Chaminade came within inches of first downs on their next two possessions and was forced to punt. Thompson continued to give Chaminade fits with his speed, making a 46-yard run to the 5 and setting up a touchdown by Isaiah Iloilo.

A relentless rush by Fort Osage forced Chaminade to punt deep in its territory. Fort Osage blocked the pubt and took over at the 20. A 14-yard pass to Kevin Rush set up a rushing touchdown by Thompson and a 35-14 halftime lead for Fort Osage.

Chaminade again came within inches of a first down before turning the ball over to Fort Osage at the start of the second half. Thompson took his team took his team into the end zone with a 6-yard pass to Donte Dodson for a 42-14 lead. A 34-yard pass play to Cameron Campbell put Chaminade in Fort Osage territory and led to a 3-yard touchdown run by Jakobi Buchanan to cut the lead in half. An onside kick that resulted in a 42-yard return by Fort Osage and then a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Thompson. Showing they weren’t giving up, McGovern broke off a run that set up a 50-yard pass to Damon Bonds for a touchdown for Chaminade.

Thompson went back to work on the ground, then threw an 18-yard pass to Rush for a score, and later Iloilo scored on a 49-yard run for Fort Osage.

Torrey praised his opponent: “They played a great game, that’s why they won tonight. Our hats are off to Fort Osage.”

He called the season “something to build on. … We have some great seniors that we hate to see go. But we are a fairly young team.”

Ryan Schartz, head coach of Fort Osage, said Chaminade had an outstanding season, an extremely talented but young group. Thompson said he was honored to play on an NFL field and credited his offensive line for his success along with his coaches, who put in long hours and hard work. “I could have scored zero touchdowns and if we won I’d have been just as happy,” he said of his seven touchdowns.

Chaminade won its semifinal game 43-19 over Carthage. Other playoff wins were over Hazelwood East 42-6, Pattonville 20-18, and Rockwood Summit 14-7.

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