The Chaminde Red Devils overcame injury and a Cape Girardeau comeback Friday night to defeat the visiting Cape Girardeau Central Tigers 21-14 in what was Chaminade Head Coach Doug Taylor's last home game on Senior Night.
Taylor, who has been Red Devil-In Chief on the Chaminade sidelines for 16 seasons, announced earlier this season he would step down after a total of 40 seasons coaching football.
Senior Justin Smith, playing his last game at home, found the endzone for the second time on the night with a 19 yard run in the second overtime to give the Red Devils the win.
Smith, who said his head been throbbing earlier in the game when he landed on it late in the third quarter, said was really only tring to set up Chaminade placekicker Tom Martin in the middle of the field.
"I just ran through the hole, they didn't hit me as hard as I thought they would so I just kept going," Smth said.
"Justin's just that hard nosed kid between the tackles at 140 pounds or whatever he weighs. but he just kept making himself small," Taylor said.
Taylor credits his unit's improved defense and his defensive assistants over the last few weeks after tough losses to CBC and SLUH for giving the team a boost. Defensive Back Grant Byrne intercepted a Dennis Vinson pass on Cape's opening drive and returned it for a touchdown, and a swarm of Red Devils blocked a Tiger Field Goal attempt that could have won the game in the first overtime session before a Roderick Campbell interception in the second extra stanza set up Smith's late heroics.
The win gives Chaminade (3-5) a two game streak heading into the regular season finale at Poplar Bluff before the state playoff system kicks off. An emotional Taylor said it was a very special night.
"All I ever said when I took this job to Father Ralph I said I just want to make Coach Olms proud. I think I've done that."