COLUMBIA — The De Smet Spartans scored 21 points in the fourth quarter Saturday to defeat the Joplin Eagles 35-20 in the Class 6 state championship game at Faurot Field.
Joplin led 6-0 after the first quarter and 20-14 at the half. After a scoreless third quarter, De Smet took its first lead of the game on the opening play of the fourth quarter on a 24-yard pass from Michael Wheeler to Ra'Shod Smith-Harvey. Luke Bauer booted the PAT and the Spartans led 21-20.
The Spartans extended their lead to 28-20 with 10:00 remaining in the game on an 8-yard run by Rico Barfield. De Smet added an insurance score with 1:46 left on a 1-yard run by Wheeler.
De Smet (14-0) finished with 544 total yards — 331 rushing and 213 passing. Barfield had 116 rushing yards on 15 carries, including an 8-yard run for a score in the second quarter, while Taj Butts finished with 99 on 11 attempts.
Wheeler was 17-of-25 passing for 206 yards. Smith-Harvey had six catches for 48 yards.
Zach Westmoreland had a pair of touchdown receptions for Joplin (13-1), totaling 66 and 16 yards from Blake Tash. Westmoreland finished with 12 catches for 194 yards.
Isaiah Davis scored the Eagles' other touchdown on a 1-yard run. Davis totaled 104 yards on 32 carries.
It's the second state title in program history for De Smet, which won the Class 6 crown in 2005.