JEFFERSON, CITY, Mo. — When Jared Beshore took over as Lamar High School’s newest head football coach, he started the season by taking out a stack of notecards. There were three goals this year’s team wanted to accomplish: win the Big 8 East conference, win districts and win state. Lamar was able to cross the last one off the list as the Tigers handed St. Pius X (Kansas City) its first loss of the season, 6-3, and lifted up the program’s eighth state title. The fewest points scored by an outright state winner in the state of Missouri since 1973.
The biggest box to check came on Friday evening at Blair Oaks High School as the Tigers returned to state for the time since 2017 — the final year where Lamar made its historic seven consecutive run of state titles. Jared Beshore was a sophomore in 2011 when Lamar won the first of seven, and would go on to add two more of his own before moving on to play college football at Missouri State.
Lamar carried a near perfect record into the final week of the high school football season in Beshore’s first year in charge. The only loss came in week three to McDonald County, which resulted in a one-point decision, 42-41. It was then Beshore said he realized there was something special about this team as the Tigers rattled off nine straight wins thereafter.
On the other end, St. Pius X finished 3-7 just a year ago but flipped to a flawless record under first-year head coach Anthony Simone. Simone also happened to have won two state titles while as a Warrior — the last title coming in 2002.
For two teams that have boasted two of the best offenses in Missouri this season this game proved that it was going to have to rely on the defense. The Tigers averaged 42.3 points per game coming into this matchup while the Warriors averaged 30.7 points.
Beshore mentioned after the game that the warriors shut down everything the Tigers tried to do. But the defense came prepared to give the Tigers its best chance. Lamar held St. Pius X to just 91 total yards of offense, in addition to limiting Warrior quarterback Jack Mosh to 95 yards passing.
Both teams combined for 12 punts, but a kick would make all the difference. A scoreless first half was broken late in the third quarter as Joseph Wilson stepped up for the Warriors and drilled a 40-yard field goal. St. Pius X took the lead with 1:55 left in the third, but not for long.
On the very next drive, Lamar dialed up the perfect response.
A trick play that had Joel Beshore deliver what would be the game-winning touchdown 74 yards into the hands of Mason Gastel. A play that quarterback Case Tucker called.
“It wasn’t tied anymore, we were down,” Tucker said. “And we knew we had to come back some way, some how, so coach dialed up a good play on the reverse.”
Beshore interrupted Tucker during his answer and said, “Don’t let him lie to you. Case came over and came up with the play, that long touchdown pass — he said, ‘This might work.’ I trust my players, I trust my seniors, and we dialed it up, and it went the distance.”
In the final five minutes of the game, the Warriors looked for a response. On second down, Mosh overthrew his intended target and Lamar’s Austin Wilkerson read it from the jump. Wilkerson carried the interception near the St. Pius X 32-yard line. All Tucker and the Tiger offense had to do was run out the clock.
Tucker had his way on the ground with a total of 101 yards rushed. He kept the chains moving as time continued to wind down, and Lamar went on to become state champs once again.
“It didn’t really hit me until I saw all the guys grab the trophy and hold it up,” Beshore said. “All I could do was stand there and clap, and obviously I started to get emotional because you think about that feeling, and I’ve had that feeling before. It’s a great feeling and I wanted it so much for these guys to have that feeling.”
“It was sloppy, it was ugly, but it doesn’t matter because we came out with the ‘W,'” Beshore added.
Joel Beshore is a sophomore and the younger brother of head coach Jared Beshore … This marks Joel’s first state title win — the same age Jared was when he won his first title at Lamar. You can check out the story behind the Beshores by clicking here.
Other highlights from the game can be viewed here.
Full coverage from the Class 2 Show-Me Bowl can be seen here.