By Christopher Tenpenny
Friday afternoon the streets of Drexel were alive as the citizenry celebrated the Bobcats’ football team which won the state 8-man championship the night before.
The title, which was the first in Drexel history, came as a result of the 48-42 win over Worth County on Faurot Field on the University of Missouri campus.
The Bobcats finished the season 13-0 and became the first team south of Kansas City to win the 8-man crown.
“I’m glad to bring this one home for Drexel, for the WEMO Conference, and for the southern Missouri 8-man football,” Drexel coach Philip Dean said.
The game was everything a fan could have wanted, with the two teams trading scores. Neither team ever held more than a one-score lead. With the score tied 42-42, Drexel junior Jacob Coffey scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the game to give the Bobcats a 48-42 lead with 8:10 remaining in the game. Coffey finished the game with 180 rushing yards, 156 passing yards and six total touchdowns.
Worth County took over its final possession with 5:30 remaining and 55 yards to go. The Tigers were in no rush, as they wanted to make this the final drive of the game. With just 28 seconds remaining, Worth County appeared poised to tie the game or worse, but Drexel senior Cory Cumpton came up with a big interception which iced the Drexel Championship.
It was just the third year Drexel had been competing in 8-man, but the Bobcats had quickly established themselves as they appeared in the final four all three seasons. It was just Drexel’s second time to play in a state championship game. Their only other appearance was in 11-man ball in 1973.
Drexel becomes the fourth school in Cass County to win a state championship in football: Midway has six crowns; Harrisonville has five and Ray-Pec has won four.