The St. James High School football team made sure its final game at home on natural grass was a special one.
The Tigers advanced to the Missouri Class 3 District 2 semifinals by knocking off Bishop DuBourg 34-21 Friday at the St. James High Field.
Fourth-seeded St. James, now 4-6, plays in semifinal action against top-seeded John Burroughs, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The game would have been held at John Burroughs' home field, but because that field does not have lights it has been moved to Parkway North High School in St. Louis.
John Burroughs is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the final Missouri Class 2 regular-season state poll.
The other Class 3 District 2 semifinal game Wednesday has Soldan International at Cardinal Ritter. The winner of the two semifinal games will play for the District 2 championship on Monday.
DuBourg ends is season with a 3-7 mark.
Once the Tigers' season ends this season, plans are for work to begin on installing a new synthetic turf on the St. James High Field, to be ready for play in 2014.
And St. James sent the natural grass of the home field out in style Friday, taking a 14-0 halftime lead and then holding off a fourth-quarter rally by the DuBourg Cavaliers.
"We came out and played pretty motivated," said St. James head coach Greg Harlan. "We cut down our mistakes. We had a much better defensive effort and it showed.
"The kids are excited. It's the first time since '93 we've had the opportunity to play an 11th game."
The Tigers began the scoring at the 5:11 mark of the first period, when sophomore quarterback Brett Karnes found senior wideout Jamal Sconiers with a 31-yard TD pass. Senior running back Jesse Hays ran in the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.
And the home team made it 14-0 late in the second quarter when Karnes hit another scoring toss, hooking up with senior wideout Addison Conway for a five-yard TD pass at the 4:34 mark. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
After a scoreless third period, the two teams exchanged touchdowns the entire fourth quarter.
Just six seconds into the final period speedy sophomore quarterback Thomas Kinney got the Cavaliers on the scoreboard on a one-yard TD run.
St. James countered 3:43 later when Karnes broke off a 29-yard TD run. The conversion failed.
DuBourg cut the St. James lead to 20-15 at the 4:58 mark of the fourth period when 220-pound senior running back William Kayser bulled over for a two-yard scoring run. Kinney they ran in the two-point conversion.
The Tigers immediately answered, when Hays caught a 17-yard scoring pass from Karnes. The conversion failed.
Page 2 of 2 - Again the Cavs roared back, as two big pass plays got the ball deep in Tiger territory, setting up Kinney's two-yard TD run. The conversion failed, leaving the St. James edge 26-21.
St. James finally put the game away when Karnes hit junior wideout Jake Money with a 43-yard TD pass with :32 left. Hays ran in the two-point conversion.
Karnes finished with 221 passing yards and four touchdowns while Hays rushed for 109 yards on 22 attempts. Money caught five passes for 89 yards to pace the balanced Tiger receiving core.
The Tigers had 355 yards of total offense.
Defensively sophomore lineman Cody Yamnitz have 15 total tackles - five solo - while junior linebacker Cameron Orlando and sophomore linebacker Devon Figueroa each had a fumble recovery.
The score by periods:
DuBourg 0 0 0 21-21
St. James 8 6 0 20-34
The scoring plays:
St. James: Sconiers 31-yard pass from Karnes, Hays runs in conversion (5:11).
St. James: Conway 5-yard pass from Karnes, conversion fails (4:34).
DuBourg: Kinney 1-yard run, Schwartz kick (11:54).
St. James: Karnes 29-yard run, conversion fails (8:11).
DuBourg: Kayser 2-yard run, Kinney runs in conversion (4:58).
St. James: Hays 17-yard pass from karnes, conversion fails (3:00).
DuBourg: Kinney 2-yard run, conversion fails (2:20).
St. James: Money 43-yard pass from Karnes, Hays runs in conversion (:32).
St. James Leaders
Rushing: Hays 22 for 109, Karnes 6 for 33, Sconiers 1 for minus-8, Money 1 for 0.
Passing: Karnes 15-24-221, Sconiers 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: Conway 2 for 55, Money 5 for 89, Sconiers 3 for 46, McCarthy 2 for 6, Hays 3 for 25.
Tackles: Orlando 3 (solo)-2 (assists), Money 3-8, Ubben 6-2, Hays 6-0, Yamnitz 5-10, Gibson 5-1, Davis 4-1, Figueroa 6-2.
Fumble Recoveries: Orlando 1, Figueroa 1.