Malden's Dajuan Crigler makes a catch near the sideline. [Order this photo]
"I think Robert Bogan knew he had a lot to prove this game," Charleston coach Brett Blackman said. "I think he's a pretty good back. A lot of people don't, but I think he showed it tonight. The kid is a hard runner. He also plays defense and special teams too. He doesn't come off of the field and I'm really proud of the determination and effort he showed tonight."
Second-seeded Malden led third-seeded Charleston 12-6 with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter. Romello McCoy recorded a 44-yard touchdown run on the Green Wave's first offensive possession and Mitchell Coleman had a 20-yard touchdown run on the Green Wave's second offensive drive of the first quarter.
Charleston outscored Malden 24-6 in the second quarter to move back on top 30-18 at the end of the first half. The Bluejays never trailed in the second half.
"I don't know, I'm going to have to see it on film," Malden coach Joel Wyatt said, when asked what was the hardest part about containing Charleston. "But that one play just wore us out. The little flip where they faked the dive and tossed it out to the wing. We'd seen it all year and most of the time it happened it was on the far side of the field from me, but I don't know how they were getting the edge on us, but that play just killed us. Counters hurt us some, but that was the one that just really killed us all night."
Malden put together a 15-play touchdown drive to start the second half. The drive ended with Green Wave quarterback Chapen Riley connecting with Coleman for a nine-yard touchdown pass. The score cut Charleston's lead to 30-24 with 5:01 left in the third period.
Foster followed with a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to move Charleston's lead back to two possessions at 36-24.
"We stressed to the kids 'hey get your heads up,'" Wyatt said. "We had the ball first and got a drive going. We were right back in it. A seven-minute drive was just peed away because we cannot tackle No. 18. It was just like we wasted seven minutes of the clock. We busted our tail to get a great drive and punch it in. 10 seconds later it was all for not it seemed like."
Foster also calculated an 82-yard return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
"He ain't the fastest guy on our team, but he has that long stride," Blackman said of Foster. "He covers a lot of ground pretty quick. The kid had a tremendous game and you take those 12 points off the board it is big. That's real big."
Malden trimmed the deficit to one possession once more at 36-30 with 1:24 left in the third period when Nick Thompson recorded a four-yard touchdown run.
Malden got the ball back at its own 20-yard line with a chance to tie the game when Charleston fumbled the ball away in the Green Wave's own end zone. A 45-yard pass by Riley to Dajuan Criglar moved the sticks to the Charleston 36 with less than nine minutes remaining. Three plays later a 31-yard run by McCoy was wiped out when the Green Wave were called for holding.
Malden faced a 3rd and 17 situation from the Charleston 43 following the penalty and turned the ball over on downs two plays later.
"We had it to 36-30 and thought we had tied it up," Wyatt said. "We had one of our six holding penalties on one of our receivers. I thought it was going to be a tie ball game and then they stopped us going down. Then it just snowballed. It was a real disappointing ending to what you thought was going down to the wire. In a matter of minutes it was just taken away from us."
Charleston scored on its next two offensive possessions to stretch the lead to 20 at 50-30. Malden never scored after.
"I told them 'if they don't score, we don't lose,'" Blackman said. "They rose up and made some big plays."
Charleston moved the ball 383 yards on the ground. Malden rushed for a net total of 330 yards.
Bogan had a team-high 17 carries for 243 yards.
McCoy, a senior, had a team-high 33 carries for 211 yards.
"He's really special and we are not going to be able to replace him," a teary-eyed Wyatt said. "He's a great kid and you really got attached to him over the last three years. You just cannot replace a kid like that. He just shows up every day and goes to work."
Malden finishes its season with a record of 8-3.
"One thing I do want to say about these kids is 'they are fighters,'" Wyatt said. "After all the adversity we've went through with kids not coming out and kids getting kicked off these kids just hung in there and came to work every day. I just don't want this one, even though it was a bad loss, to wipe out what we have done with eight wins because I'm really proud of them. They are a good bunch of kids. "
Charleston (9-2) will play at top-seeded Caruthersville (8-2) for the Class 2, District 1, championship Monday at 7 p.m. Caruthersville beat Scott City 42-0 in its district semifinal contest Wednesday night. Caruthersville, which is the defending Class 2, District 1, champion, beat Charleston 34-12 in Week 3.
"Caruthersville is the best team in the area," Blackman said. "Coach Morgan does a good job with them. They have some talented kids and we are going to have to really step up and play a lot better than we did tonight. We've got to go down there in their environment where they've had three wins. They've got a lot of kids back that were injured so we are going to have to play better. We left a lot of unfinished business on the field I thought against them in Week 3 where we didn't play the second half at all. It was a pretty decent ball game going into halftime and then at halftime we were tired and just didn't play very well. We are going to have to adjust those things, watch the film and get better after watching the film. We've got to know what we are facing and meet the challenge."
Charleston 50, Malden 30
CHS 6 24 6 12 - 50
MHS 12 6 12 0 - 30
C - Robert Bogan 5 run (two-point conversion failed), 9:32
M - Romello McCoy 44 run (two-point conversion failed), 9:23
M - Mitchell Coleman 20 run (two-point conversion), 3:25
C - Clark 2 run (Summer Foster from Mike Hull), 11:55
M - McCoy 1 run (two-point conversion failed), 9:28
C - Sumner Foster 82 return (Clark run), 9:14
C - Bogan 72 run (Deiontrail Winston run), 3:29
M - Chapen Riley 9 pass to Coleman (two-point conversion failed), 5:01
C - Foster 75 return (two-point conversion failed), 4:47
M - Nick Thompson 4 run (two-point conversion failed), 1:24
C - Bogan 0 run (two-point conversion failed), 9:29
C - Bogan 76 run (two-point conversion failed), 6:17
C - Bogan 4 run (Hull run), 1:49
|Time of Possession||19:37||28:23|
RUSHING: Charleston - Robert Bogan 17-243, Deiontrail Winston 11-73, Rontavious Clark 10-67, Mike Hull 3-(-6), Demontrail Clark 2-6. Malden - Romello McCoy 33-211, Nick Thompson 12-70, Gunner Jones 3-2, Mitchell Coleman 2-61, Dremond Robinson 1-(-6), Chapen Riley 1-(-8).
PASSING: Charleston - Mike Hull 2-6-0 66. Malden - Chapen Riley 6-8-0 102
RECEIVING: Charleston - Sumner Foster 1-48, Darrion Carter 1-18. Malden - Dajuan Criglar 5-93, Mitchell Coleman 1-9.