Two words come to mind when describing the Lamar football program.
Lamar coach Scott Bailey uses two other words: “fortunate and blessed.”
Lamar (14-0) beat Trinity Catholic 26-18 Friday at Plaster Stadium in Springfield to win a sixth consecutive Class 2 football state champion. By winning the 2016 Show-Me Bowl, Lamar becomes the first Missouri team to ever win six state titles in a row.
“It feels like we’ve had a long run of really good football players at our school,” Bailey said.
Bailey held up six fingers as a packed Lamar cheering section erupted in cheers at the game’s conclusion.
Senior quarterback Matt Whyman was overcome by the number of fans Lamar had in attendance on the Missouri State campus.
“The support is just crazy. It’s unreal to have the support we have and the love that our community has for us,” Whyman said.
Lamar’s defense generated five turnovers, all interceptions. Luke Hardman, Michael Danner, Tanner Phipps, Anthony Wilkerson and Trey Mooney each picked off passes.
Trinity Catholic put up 416 yards of offense, but the Tigers limited the Titans to three touchdowns.
“Our defense a lot of times gets overshadowed, and I think (Friday) you saw what probably is the backbone of our program is being able to play good defense, play defense that can keep teams out of the end zone,” Bailey said.
Trinity Catholic coach Cory Patterson described playing Lamar as “totally one of the most physical games.”
Lamar, with its two-quarterback, double wing offense, rushed 57 times for 418 yards. Running back Cooper Lucas led the Tigers with 110 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Quarterback Stuart McKarus rushed 22 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
Marcus Washington led Trinity Catholic’s offense with six receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown that came on a 65-yard reception.
Mooney, a senior quarterback, had the unfortunate task of trying to cover Washington through much of the game, but can take solace in winning a fourth state championship ring. Lamar’s senior class is 57-2 over the past four seasons.
“It’s going to be a good memory. I don’t know where God is going to take me, but I know that I give Him all the glory on the field, and I give Him all the glory after this. It’s going to be pretty cool looking and back and saying we went 57-2 and won four rings in four years,” Mooney said.
Senior tackle Larry Boyd, a 6-foot-6, 350-pounder, summed up Trinity Catholic’s loss.
“It just hurt to get all the way here and not finish. We preach finish, finish, but today we didn’t. I’m not going to hold my head down and cry because I know (we) started a legacy,” Boyd said.
Trinity Catholic, in contrast to Lamar, had never appeared in a Show-Me Bowl state title game.
2016 Class 2 MSHSAA Show-Me Bowl
Lamar 26, Trinity Catholic 18
Trinity Catholic 0-0-12-6—18
Lamar—Stuart McKarus 11-yard run (Eduardo Montayo kick)
Lamar—Montayo 22-yard field goal
Trinity Catholic—Isaiah Williams 37-yard run (kick failed)
Trinity Catholic—Marcus Washington 65-yard pass from Williams (kick failed)
Lamar—McKarus 1-yard run (Michael Danner pass from Tanner Phipps)
Lamar—Cooper Lucas 11-yard run (Phipps run)
Trinity Catholic—Williams 5-yard run (pass failed)