ST. LOUIS—The final game of the Great American Football Classic at the Edward Jones Dome might be remembered most for the all-time, standout second-half performance that CBC gave on its way to a 52-22 win over rival De Smet.
“We found something that kind of worked, and we just kind of went with it,” CBC head coach Scott Pingel said. “We just kind of up-tempo’ed it a little more and those big guys they’ve got up front were getting a little tired. That was kind of our plan, and it worked.”
Boy did it ever, as CBC totaled 569 yards of offense against a De Smet defense that had stifled the Hazelwood Central and Hazelwood East offenses it had seen earlier this season.
Things didn’t start out that way as CBC actually trailed De Smet, 14-3, until late in the first half when the Cadets made a huge play that turned around the whole game.
It came with just under two minutes left in the first half, when De Smet back Taylor O’Brien fumbled a handoff from quarterback Conner Harrison, which was subsequently recovered by CBC’s Johnathon Owens.
That gave the Cadets possession deep in De Smet territory, and after two brilliant runs by senior tailback Antonio Brown, including an 11-yard burst around left end for a score, CBC was back to within 14-10, and clearly had been given new life by the sudden turn of events.
“It was disappointing that things fell apart so quick,” De Smet coach Pat Mahoney said. “But that’s what happens when you turn the ball over, throw interceptions, and don’t tackle.”
In the second half, things only got worse for the Spartans, which saw the rival Cadets score on six straight possessions (seven counting the final one in the first half), that turned a close game into a virtual blowout.
CBC’s Brown and backfield mate Jonathan Parker played key roles, rushing for a combined 197 yards (Brown 94, Parker 103) and scoring a combined three touchdowns.
But the clear star of the night was CBC quarterback Dalton Demos, who completed 13-of-25 passes for 280 yards and three TDs.
Demos also caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from 240-pound reserve fullback Darius Carey on the third play of the third quarter that gave CBC its first lead at 17-14.
“I think No. 2 (Demos) showed his stuff tonight,” Pingel said. “He had to make some guys miss (that were) unaccounted for. I thought this was by far the best game of his high school career just overall running the show. He deserves most of the credit.”
CBC is now 3-0 on the season after posting its third straight 50-plus point game of the year. The Cadets will be looking to stay undefeated this Friday night when it plays another fierce rival, St. Louis University High.
The Jr. Billikens are 1-2 this season after suffering a 49-28 loss to Webster Groves on Friday night.
De Smet, which fell to 2-1 on the year, will also be on the road this week. The Spartans travel to Kirkwood to take on Vianney.
Kickoff for both of those important Metro Catholic Conference contests is 7 p.m.
Score by Quarters
D: Darian Harris 18 pass from Conner Harrison (Thomas Kalish kick), 2:57
C: John Moldthan 29 FG, 1:06
D: Taylor O'Brien 8 run (Thomas Kalish kick), 11:55
C: Antonio Brown 13 run (John Moldthan kick), 1:27
C: Dalton Demos 56 pass from Darius Carey (John Moldthan kick), 11:18
C: Lakel Bass 8 pass from Dalton Demos (John Moldthan kick), 3:20
C: Antonio Brown 25 run (John Moldthan kick), 2:20
C: Aarion Penton 24 pass from Dalton Demos (John Moldthan kick), 1:14
D: Durron Neal 4 run (Lucas Nikolaisen pass from Conner Harrison), 10:40
C: Aarion Penton 67 pass from Dalton Demos (John Moldthan kick), 9:03
C: Jonathan Parker 43 run (John Moldthan kick), 5:18