Undefeated Flyers win district championship

By STEPHEN GLOVER

With a 23-14 lead at halftime, the undefeated Lindbergh High School football team held on to a 23-21 victory over St. Louis University High Friday night to win the Missouri Class 6, District 2 championship.

The game originally scheduled to be played at Lindbergh, but due to the heavy rainfall last week it was moved to SLUH to take advantage of the Junior Billikens’ artificial turf field.

“We knew that SLUH was a good team and we came out well in the first half,” Lindbergh head coach Tom Beauchamp said. “In the second half, they came back and played pretty well, and I think we just didn’t do as well as we could have.”

The win now puts Lindbergh (10-0, 6-0 Suburban West) into the playoffs for the first time since 2003 when the Flyers advanced to the Class 6 semifinals before falling to Hazelwood Central 59-21.

SLUH jumped out to a 7-0 lead when quarterback Trevor McDonagh hit wide receiver Mitch Klug on a 56-yard pass with 10:09 left in the first quarter. McDonagh completed 10 of 29 passes for 177 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

But Lindbergh responded when quarterback Kyle Portell grinded in a one-yard touchdown run with 5:47 left in the first quarter. Portell carried the ball 18 times for 154 yards in the win.

“Kyle had a great night,” Beauchamp said. “He’s a tough and physical kid that’s really taken on the leadership role of this team.”

McDonagh hit Klug again for a 39-yard touchdown pass with 43 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Junior Billikens a 14-7 lead. Klug finished the evening with four receptions for 118 yards.

The Flyers tied the game at 14-14 on a 56-yard run by Portell with 9:15 remaining in the second quarter.

Portell scored his third touchdown of the evening on a 5-yard run with 6:47 left in the second quarter to give the Flyers a 21-14 lead. The touchdown run by Portell was his eighth of the season. Lindbergh went into halftime with a 23-14 lead after Eric Schwartz booted a 39-yard field goal with three seconds left on the clock.

“Eric had a good leg,” Beauchamp said. “You want to put him in a situation to win the game for you and we think that he can do it.”

Both Lindbergh and SLUH went scoreless in the third quarter, but the Junior Billikens trimmed the Flyers’ lead to 23-21 when McDonagh hit Brenden Graczak on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter. Graczak recorded two receptions for 18 yards.

The Flyers return to action at 7 p.m. Fri-day when they play host to Fox (8-2, 6-0 Mississippi Area Conference), which is coming off a 19-13 loss at home to Oak-ville last Friday. However, the Warriors advanced to the Class 6 semifinal game last season and won their conference with a perfect record in league play.