Photograph by Betsy Conover
The Stanberry Bulldogs pose with their second place trophy following their Nov. 29 game against North Andrew in the Show-Me Bowl in St. Louis.
The Albany Ledger
Same teams, same place but what a different outcome.
Stanberry and North Andrew faced off for the second year in a row for the 8-man state title at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis but while last year’s Show-Me Bowl ended with a high-scoring 56-38 win for the Bulldogs this year’s Nov. 29 game ended in a 16-13 win for North Andrew.
The Cardinals defense let Stanberry know right away they were at the Dome to win. North Andrew brought Stanberry quarterback Ike Heddinger down on the first play of the game to score a safety.
Starting on the Bulldogs’ 18-yard line with just under 10 minutes left in the quarter, Nate Luke and Ike Heddinger took turns rushing for three first downs all the way to North Andrew’s 26-yard line. From there, Heddinger put the Bulldogs ahead with a touchdown capped by a kick from Shelby McMillen with just over six minutes left in the quarter.
A fumble forced by Daniel Hailey gave Stanberry the ball again but rush by Luke and a short one by Nic Shanks were followed by the Cardinals defense stopping Heddinger for a loss and an incomplete pass.
The Bulldogs had another opportunity with just over two minutes left in the quarter but Hailey punted on fourth and nine.
North Andrew controlled the ball for much of the second quarter. A Bulldog penalty gave the Cardinals five yards followed by a first down but Stanberry’s defense held strong, forcing North Andrew to punt at about the 9:30 mark.
Luke gained four yards on his first rush but was stopped on his second attempt. Stanberry head coach Dan Collins called a timeout. From there, Shanks gained five yards on a run but Hailey punted on the fourth from the Stanberry 20.
The Cardinals took over on their 19-yard line before advancing into Bulldog territory on two first downs. North Andrew continued the advance to score on pass from 16 yards out for an 8-7 lead with just over five minutes left in the half.
Stanberry was unable to gain ground on its next possession and punted from its own 15-yard line with just over a minute left. The Bulldog defense stopped the Cardinals, giving Stanberry one last chance to score with only 12 seconds in the half on its own 16-yard line. Heddinger rushed for 30 yards for a first down but a pass to Ryan Jensen was incomplete. Heddinger connected with Hailey for an 18-yard pass with a second left but North Andrew declined a Stanberry holding penalty to end the half.
North Andrew received the third quarter kickoff and gained four first downs to move within the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line. McMillen made two big stops against the Cardinals running back and a encroachment penalty against North Andrew gave Stanberry a bit more breathing room.
The Cardinals moved to the Stanberry 13 on a seven-yard pass the Bulldogs broke up the next pass attempt to take over with just over six minutes left in the quarter.
Luke was stopped short on his first carry but gained eight on the next followed by nine more for a first down at the 21. A false start set the Bulldogs back five but Heddinger rushed to gain back three before Luke took off from the Bulldog 28 for a 52-yard touchdown. Heddinger’s pass for the extra 2 was incomplete. The Bulldogs held a 13-8 lead with just over four minutes on the clock.
North Andrew moved from its own 34-yard line to Stanberry’s 31 on its possession but Matt Stoll sacked the Cardinals quarterback for a three yard loss. From the Bulldog 24, North Andrew punted.
Stanberry took over with 24 seconds left on its own 15-yard line. Luke had a 15-yard rush for a first down before the end of the quarter. In the fourth, Heddinger gained two yards, Luke followed with seven and Heddinger rushed again for two more for a first down on the Bulldogs 39.
Heddinger gained seven yards on the next play and Luke rushed for another yard. Stanberry called timeout on the Cardinals 31-yard line. Heddinger came back with a short gain but a penalty set the Bulldogs back five yards to the 36 to make it third and seven. Luke’s rush was stopped and the Bulldogs punted on fourth and seven.
With 8:31 on the clock North Andrew started a drive that would give it the lead and the win. The Cardinals drove from their own 15 to the Bulldogs 39 for a touchdown and 2-point conversion with 6:47 left in the game.
Stanberry took over on its 25-yard line. Luke gained a three-yard and a four-yard rush followed by a two-yard rush by Shanks to move to the 32-yard line. Luke was stopped for a four-yard loss and North Andrew took over on the Bulldog 30.
Stanberry was able to hold off the Cardinals in part when McMillen and Matt Stoll combined to give North Andrew a two-yard loss. The Cardinals eventually punted from Stanberry’s 31-yard line with about 2:40 left on the clock.
The Bulldogs took over on their own 15 and knowing they had just over two minutes left to score Luke rushed 18 yards for a first down on the 33. Shanks rushed for a short gain but a holding penalty pushed Stanberry back 10 to its 24-yard line.
On first and 19, Heddinger added to the excitement with a 21-yard rush for a first down on the Cardinals 35. Luke gained six yards on two rushes and Heddinger completed a five-yard pass to Shanks for a first down on the North Andrew 24 with less than a minute left in the game.
Collins called another timeout. The Bulldogs returned to play with a pass from Heddinger that fell incomplete. Officials called the throw an intentional grounding and the Bulldogs were set back to the North Andrew 36 on second and 22. Shanks rushed to the 32-yard line and again Collins called timeout. Heddinger came back with an incomplete pass to Jensen and another to Luke before North Andrew took over on its own 32-yard line with 30 seconds on the clock.
Stanberry gained 263 yards rushing to North Andrew’s 206. Luke had 154 yards on 24 rushes. Heddinger gained 96 yards on 14 carries. Shanks had five rushes for 13 yards.
Heddinger was 3-8 passing for 32 yards. Hailey had an 18-yard reception, Jensen had a nine-yard reception and Shanks had a five-yard reception.
Hailey had three punts for 105 yards. Heddinger had a 36-yadr punt. Shanks had 13 yards on three punt returns and 12 yards on two kickoff returns.
Luke finished with eight solo tackles and three assists. Mason Rosier had seven solos and two assists. Hailey had six solos and an assist. Shanks had five solos and three assists. McMillen had four solos and four assists. Stoll had two solos and five assists. Heddinger had three solos and two assists. Jensen had three solos and an assist. Quentin Nielson had two solos and an assist.
The Bulldogs end their season with a 12-record, second place at state and the 8-man District 2 title.