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Flyers' win over Tigers decided in second half

With the district football championship on the line, the Lindbergh Flyers and Oakville Tigers got together last weekend at Oakville High School to determine who would advance to the Class 6 state quarterfinals.

The stakes were high, the bleachers were crowded and everyone knew exactly what was on the line. For Oakville, a win or a loss by less than 10 points would land it a spot in the quarterfinals. For Lindbergh, it had to win by 11 or more points to advance.

When the game started, the scoreboard may as well have read Oakville 11, Lindbergh 0. As it turned out, the game, the point spread and the district title were decided early in the second half as the 8-2 Flyers were brilliant on offense and stingy on defense, rolling over 6-4 Oakville, 36-0.

Lindbergh was led on the day by the outstanding play of senior quarterback Brock Bond, who completed 10 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. Bond threw touchdown passes to Shawn Theby (16 yards), Andrew Spitzfaden (55 yards) and Chris Luebbert (59 yards) and ran for a two-yard score. Charlie Schinsky added a two-yard touchdown run for Lindbergh and led the Flyers with 108 yards on the ground.

The Flyers started the game with a lot of running plays, but later in the game opened things up a bit. Lindbergh Coach Tom Beauchamp told the Call the Flyers believed they needed to make Oakville respect their running game before they went to the air.

"We wanted to set the tempo on the ground," Beauchamp said. "We wanted to make them use their defensive backs to help and stop the run, and when we did, Brock stepped up and played top-notch football."

The game was close for a while — especially if you consider that the Flyers needed at least an 11-point margin to advance — but the touchdown pass to Spitzfaden right before halftime was a huge play that put Lindbergh up 16-0.

Both Beauchamp and Tigers Coach Jerry Maulin recognized that play and the play of the Lindbergh receivers as crucial.

"Our receiving corps did a great job catching passes they are used to catching, and Brock had confidence in them all," Beauchamp said.

"That touchdown before halftime was big," Maulin noted. "But our kids kept trying and kept fighting. We came out in the second half planning to come back in that game, but Lindbergh did a great job. They just dominated on the line and we could not do anything."

Reggie Ward had only 44 yards rushing for Oakville, and that was tops on the team. Dan Graham added 30 more on the ground, but the Tigers only were able to muster 115 yards of offense in the game. Maulin clearly was impressed with the Flyers' attack.

"I thought Brock was awfully good — that's about all you can say about him," Maulin said of Bond, who completed passes to five different receivers on the night. They impressed me, and had no weaknesses from what I could see."

Curiously, the game between Oakville and Lindbergh would have been for nothing had Oakville not defeated Parkway South last weekend, giving the Flyers new life.

While that win gave Oakville a shot at the district title, Maulin believes that by defeating South, the Tigers gave Lindbergh a big, big boost.

"We definitely awoke a sleeping giant," he said. "Lindbergh is a big, fast team with a lot of weapons."

Lindbergh now advances to the Class 6 quarterfinals to take on Kirkwood — again.

Just a few weeks ago, the Pioneers rolled over Lindbergh, 26-7, but Beauchamp hopes the now healthier Flyers can change the outcome this time.

"Every game is different," he said. "The kids would like to redeem themselves, but we know we will have to come to play."

Kirkwood, meanwhile, is sitting at 7-2 and has won four games in a row since losing to Mehlville — which also has advanced to the Class 6 quarterfinals against Hazelwood Central.

The winner of Lindbergh and Kirkwood will take on the winner of the Mehlville versus Hazelwood Central game in the Class 6 semifinals.

Other teams advancing in Class 6 are 10-0 Blue Springs, 8-2 Rockhurst, 4-6 Zumwalt West and 7-3 Hickman.

Lindbergh and Kirkwood will play at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Kirkwood High School, 801 W. Essex.

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