The third time was a charm for the Maplewood-Richmond Heights (MRH) Blue Devils. Last Saturday, the Blue Devils were victorious in this year’s Class 2 semifinals. MRH won 33-19 over Lamar. Next Saturday, the Blue Devils will be playing in the Jones Dome (where the Rams play) for the championship. This was the third time in four years that Maplewood has appeared in the semifinals, but it is the first time that they have won.
The Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead with a touchdown. They followed this up with another touchdown late in the second quarter, but missed the extra point. Lamar got on the scoreboard just before the end of the half, leaving the game’s halftime score at 13-7. In the third quarter Lamar tied it up (13-13), but then late in the third quarter MRH pulled ahead once again (20-13). Early in the fourth quarter Lamar threatened one last time, but a missed extra point left the Blue Devils still in the lead (20-19). After that it was all Maplewood and the Blue Devils scored two more touchdowns, while missing one more extra point for the final score of 33-19. It was a hard-fought game, making victory all that sweeter.
I have not been to a high school football game for quite sometime, so it took a bit of recalibration to adjust to the tone and play of this one. MRH played the game with their second string quarterback, because their first string quarterback had come down with appendicitis. The game’s announcer was a partisan for MRH, but also a bit inexperienced too. He generated unintentional laughs from the crowd on an incomplete pass play, where the Blue Devils’ receiver dropped the pass. The announcer excitedly exclaimed, “He totally dropped it!”
Like Maplewood, Lamar is a small high school, about four-hundred students, but unlike MRH, almost half their student body was on the field last Saturday. Lamar fielded a seventy man team, easily twice the size of the Blue Devils. Their football team was dwarfed in turn by the size of their marching band and cheerleading squad. Lamar is a small town in southwestern Missouri. Its one claim to fame is that of being former president, Harry Truman’s birthplace. I don’t think that the partisan announcer bothered them much, because will all of their cheering, they probably never even heard him at all.
Dan and Dave are both MRH Blue Devils alumni and Anne still teaches in the MRH school district. Dave is applying to Duke for next year, so if he goes there he will become a double Blue Devil. Anne wore her white Blue Devils sweatshirt to the game. Many other people were also wearing Blue Devils’ garb too. What she knew though was that her sweatshirt was actually a Soo Blue Devils’ sweatshirt. Her mom went to Sault Ste. Marie High School and was a Blue Devil in her day too. Go Blue Devils!!