McCluer North senior quarterback Galen Brown threw for three scores and ran for another on Saturday to lead the Stars to an easy 41-8 win over Hazelwood West in a Suburban North Conference contest at North.
The Stars (8-1 overall and 6-0 in league play) won their eighth successive game. They face Ritenour at 7 p.m. Friday in a league affair that will decide both the conference and district championships.
North scored twice in the first 4:19 to take a 14-0 lead against the Wildcats (1-8, 1-5). The Stars led 27-0 at the break and never looked back.
Brown hit on 12 of 16 passes for 168 yards. He got the ball rolling with a 20-yard scoring toss to Joshua Hulsey with more than two minutes into the contest. Brown then connected with Peter Jackson on a 52-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 14-0.
West broke the shutout on a T.J. Dominick touchdown run late in the game.
North has not lost since dropping a 39-7 decision to Jefferson City in the opening game of the season.
McCluer rolled to a 39-13 win over Normandy on Saturday afternoon. Berlin Hollomon passed for two scores and rushed for two more to lead the Comets (3-6, 2-4), who rolled out to an early 19-0 lead.
McCluer has won three of its last five games after an 0-4 start.
Hazelwood Central upset Ritenour 14-8 on Friday night. The Hawks (4-5, 4-2) took control on a 6-yard run by Dorian Williams early in the fourth quarter.
Ritenour (8-1, 5-1) came into the game unbeaten in conference play.
North softball team ends successful run
The McCluer North softball team was one out away from a landmark victory Oct. 12.
But the Stars couldn't get that final out.
St. Joseph's Academy scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to post a 3-2 win in a Class 4 Sectional contest at St. Joseph's.
North, which ends the season 20-5, carried a 2-1 lead into the seventh. The Angels tied the game with a two-out double by Emily Weible and won it on a single by Sarah Strothkamp.
Both hits came off the Stars’ ace senior Rachel Franck, who struck out five and did not allow an earned run.
"I wasn't hitting the outside corner as well as I was earlier in the game, and they got a hold of a couple of them," Franck said.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Stars left the field with their heads held high. They proved they could compete against some of the elite teams in the state.
"The end of that game was a little emotional, but I couldn't be more proud of them," North coach Patrick Dougherty said. "This was a fun season."
North caught fire late and carried a 14-game winning streak into regional play. Dougherty was hoping his team could win its first sectional game in his 10 years with the program.
But it wasn't meant to be.
"They tried their hardest, they played well, and you can't ask for more than that," Dougherty said.
Franck agreed. "I was kind of surprised because we lost a lot of good players from last year," she said. "But a lot of people stepped up."
Shortstop Tynai Burrow was one of them. She led the Suburban North Conference with 50 RBIs.
Franck finished the season with a 20-5 mark and a 2.21 ERA. She struck out 151 batters and walked 24 in 149 innings.
Wildcats beat Pirates in soccer clash
Hazelwood West continued to roll with an impressive 3-0 win over Pattonville on Friday.
Jeff Cameron, Ramon Perez and Luke Promaroli scored for the Wildcats (17-6, 5-0), who broke open a scoreless match with three second-half markers. Nick Ehlers and Matt Leinberger combined for the shutout.
The Wildcats won their second straight league title with the win.
Ryan Curran scored the game-winning goal in the second half to lead Hazelwood Central to a 2-1 win over McCluer in a league contest on Wednesday.
Jordan Pratte also scored for the Hawks (2-15, 1-4), who recorded their first conference win of the season.
Nabil Benchabane had the lone tally for the Comets (7-14, 0-5).
McCluer North bounced North County Technical 5-0 on Thursday. Noah Ligaudais had a goal and three assists for the Stars (7-13-2, 2-3).
Hazelwood West Unbeaten in volleyball
Hazelwood West continues to roll in the league play. The Wildcats (14-3, 6-0) are the lone unbeaten team remaining in the Suburban North.
The McCluer Comets (9-14, 2-3) bested Brentwood 25-17, 25-13 in a nonleague match Monday.
McCluer North (3-14, 2-3) dropped two-set matches to Barat Academy and Fort Zumwalt South last week.
Postseason play begins this week across the state. McCluer will host the Class 4 District 6 tournament. The championship game is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m.