What Steve Said: Steve Bubalo 11/17

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: November 21, 2017 - 8:41 AM



I went in to last Saturday afternoon’s Blue Springs-Park Hill Class 6 state semifinal game expecting a similar game to the first meeting between the two teams. It was a down-to-the-wire game with the Trojans pulling out a 28-25 win. I was ready for what the rematch had to offer. 

I, along with everyone in attendance, was quickly reminded that Blue Springs is playing its best football of the season when it matters most. They were dominant on both sides of the ball and rolled to a 34-14 win. 

Having been in attendance for three of Blue Springs’ four playoff games this season, I’d have to say this was the most impressive thanks in large part to what the defense was able to do. While the Park Hill offense wasn’t at 100 percent, it’s still a unit that can put up a lot of points. But the Wildcat defense put on a clinic. 

I’ve been impressed with the Blue Springs defensive line all season but they’ve taken their game to another level during the playoffs. The last two games against Blue Springs South and the Trojans were the best I’ve seen them. They seemed to be getting to quarterback Billy Maples at will Saturday, and when they weren’t, the secondary was in blanket coverage. They made one mistake all game that led to a touchdown. 

The way the Wildcat defense is playing is what makes this Saturday’s state title game against CBC so interesting. The Cadets have one of the best offenses in the state, averaging almost 45 points per game. Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe described it as “prolific.”

So the old adage applies - an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. 

For the Cadets it starts with quarterback Brett Gabbert. The signal caller has thrown for more than 2,700 yards this season with 33 touchdowns to just five interceptions. And he’s got some weapons at his disposal, most notably Cameron Brown who has 58 receptions for 931 yards. 

 

This is where the Wildcat defensive line will have to come into play. As good as the defensive backfield is, the likes of Daniel Parker Jr., Caleb Marquez and Khristian Boyd will need to do what they’ve done for most of the season, and especially the playoffs, to help slow down this offense. If they can make life difficult for Gabbert, it will go a long way toward another Blue Springs state title.

 

I have a feeling the Blue Springs offense will be able to put points on the board. Much like the defensive line, the offensive line has been just as impressive pushing teams around. If Cade Musser is healthy enough to play, the Wildcats can match any team playmaker-for-playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. 

 

Does that mean this one is a shootout? It wouldn’t surprise me. I fully expect it to be a close game. 

 

But if there’s one thing I’ve seen the last few weeks, it’s that I’d have a hard time betting against that Blue Springs defense. They showed last week what they can do when they’re motivated and on top of their game. They’ve got one more game to show they can do it again.