Cape Central football falls one win short of state title game appearance, notches first 10-win season since 2014

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Three wins in 2020, two wins in 2021, and a 2-3 to start the 2022 season, and after all that, the Cape Central football team was a win away from a berth in the state championship. 

Despite a 56-20 loss to Fort Osage on Saturday, Tigers head coach Kent Gibbs said his team showed an immense amount of heart and toughness to win 10 games for the first time since 2014. 

“I think the biggest thing is our kids just hung in there and kept going and listened to me preaching so much at them,” he said. “The other thing is we were fortunate in some games, but you kind of make your own luck when you work hard and I think that’s just part of the deal.” 

Of course, there are no moral victories in the game of football, but to go from two wins last year to hosting a state semifinal this year, that is an accomplishment Cape Central can be proud of. 

“The only thing I know for sure, whether anybody expected it or not, we were here, and we were in front of our home crowd, and we enjoyed every minute of it,” Gibbs said.

The Tigers took a 13-7 lead on a 25-yard touchdown toss from Morgan Diamond to Marquel Murray, but Fort Osage rattled off 49 unanswered points to put the game on ice. 

The Tigers will only graduate six seniors, and Gibbs said those who are returning can use this game and season as fuel for the years ahead. 

“If they use that right, it should be a motivational tool for them,” he said. “We came up short, but at the end of the day, we’ve got a couple more years to work on this thing. If they take that attitude, keep their grades where they need to be, and keep working like they’ve been working, then some good things could happen for us, no doubt.” 

Fort Osage moves on to face Francis Howell in the Class 5 state championship game next Friday, December 2. The game will be played at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo., at 7 p.m.

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