Welcome to the first of two semifinal games for this year’s Hammer Tournament. Yesterday we watched SWOSU achieve their 2nd ever victory in a Hammer Tournament. SWOSU shutout NEO A&M 5 to 0. SWOSU’s only other victory came against the Kansas City Chiefs in last year’s Hammer Tournament where they won 3 to 2.
Today we switch gears to the Semifinals and the first game pits the #2 Kansas City Chiefs against #3 Central Missouri. This will be Kansas City’s 4th time appearing in the Hammer Tournament. Their first 3 appearances all ended in defeat. In 2010, KC’s inaugural season in the Hammer Tournament, they traveled to Warrensburg, MO and were blown out by Central Missouri 5 to 17 in a Semifinal game. The next year NEO A&M defeated them in the Wild Card round 6 to 12 in front of a home crowd at Arrowhead. Then finally there was last year when KC lost to SWOSU at Weatherford, OK in what was SWOSU’s first ever victory in the Hammer Tournament by the score of 2 to 3. SWOSU announced to the world that day that they wanted to be known as a competitor in the Hammer Tournament and that a new era of SWOSU Football was officially here.
Central Missouri became a Hammer Tournament competitor the same year as Kansas City but has seen significantly more success. In 2010 UCM defeated Kansas City in the Semifinals and advanced to the Hammer Bowl (Championship). They put up a heck of a fight against the reigning Hammer Bowl Champion (Oklahoma) but fell short in the end and lost 18 to 24. The next year, 2011, UCM shutout SWOSU in the Semifinals 10 to 0, and once again advanced to the Championship to face #1 Oklahoma again. UCM once again fell to Oklahoma 10 to 21. Last year a struggling UCM traveled to Miami, OK and lost to NEO A&M in a semifinal game 8 to 15. In their first 2 seasons in the Hammer Tournament UCM made it to the Championship game twice and lost to the same team twice.
UCM gets that ball first. The UCM kickoff returner gets the ball deep in UCM’s end zone. Two Kansas City defenders bear down on him and he jukes to the right. All off a sudden the UCM returner is near the 20 yard line with only two Kansas City players between him and the end zone. A quick juke to the left and the first would-be-tackler hits nothing but air. A shudder step to the right again and suddenly there is nothing but green grass between UCM and the end zone. TOUCHDOWN UCM! On the opening kickoff UCM scores in dramatic fashion.
KC 0, UCM 7
The reminder of the first quarter is scoreless as we head into the 2nd quarter. UCM scores again but the extra point goes wide right and the score now reads:
KC 0, UCM 13
The University of Central Missouri is shutting out the Kansas City Chiefs. This is absolutely unbelievable. On the following Kansas City drive a fumble is recovered by UCM. KC’s defense holds and UCM has to settle for a field goal.
KC 0, UCM 16
Just like that it is now a 3 score game. However Kansas City does manage to find their footing and does score on the following drive.
KC 7, UCM 16
With less than 2 minutes left in the first half and in a mirrored turn of events that we saw earlier before the UCM field goal we watch UCM bumble a snap and the Chiefs recover it inside the 10 yard line. UCM does manage to keep the Chiefs out of the end zone and KC’s field goal sails through the uprights as time expires.
KC 10, UCM 16
16 unanswered points by UCM followed by 10 unanswered points by KC and we head into the half with the #2 seeded team trailing. In the entire 13 year history of the Hammer Tournament there has never been a #3 seed or below play in the championship. It has never happened before. The way UCM is playing I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull off an upset here at Kansas City. The second half will be posted on Monday.