What Steve Said: Steve Bubalo 9/25

Steve Bubalo

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 26, 2018 - 7:24 PM

I’ve covered a lot of high school football games over the years, and I’ve seen quite a few memorable performances in those games. And while it happened a little more than a week ago, I keep coming back to C.J. Price’s performance against Fort Osage as one of the best and one of the most unique I’ve seen.

The North Kansas City star running back was an absolute beast in what was a monumental come-from-behind win for the Hornets. A lot of memorable running back performances are games where the player will average double-digit yards per carry with several long, highlight reel type touchdowns.

But that’s not what you do against Fort Osage. That’s just not going to happen against their defense. But what Price did do was carry the rock 45 times - I repeat, 45 times - for 308 yards and a pair of scores. He was like the Energizer bunny - he just kept going and going and going.

To Price’s credit, he only seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. He fought off some fumbling issues earlier in the game and had two fourth-quarter touchdown runs to help lead the comeback.

I couldn’t have been more impressed with my first-time watching Price play. It was an incredible showing of power and endurance. He earned every yard he gained that night.

And this was just one performance in what is turning into a weekly occurrence for Price. He’s putting up video-game type numbers. It’s like I’m playing Tecmo Super Bowl with Barry Sanders back in the mid-90’s when you see his stats. He did it again this past Friday night, having one of those nights I talked about earlier with the double-digit per-carry average and highlight reel runs. He torched Belton for 380 yards on just 23 carries, a cool 16.5 yards a carry. That makes three straight games with more than 300 yards.

At this point, Price is appointment viewing. If nothing else, he makes you want to check the North Kansas City box score every Friday night to see what the damage is this week. He’s a big reason why the Hornets are 5-0 and ranked No. 4 in Class 5. He still has at least half a season remaining, but I’m not sure, for me, if he’ll be able to top what he did that Friday night at Fort Osage.

But it’ll be fun to watch him try.

Speaking of running backs in beast mode, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that Blue Springs’ Aveion Bailey seems to be back at full strength. He told me after Friday night’s win over Blue Springs South that he finally feels 100 percent after battling turf toe and hamstring issues to start the season.

Bailey looked like he had an extra burst at times against the Jaguars, and while he doesn’t shoulder the kind of load that Price does, a healthy Bailey makes the Wildcats a much more dangerous team moving forward. He also had one of the nastiest stiff arms I’ve seen at the high school level.

These backs are extremely talented and only have a handful of high school games remaining. Enjoy them while you can.