What Steve Said: Steve Bubalo 10/25

Steve Bubalo

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: October 26, 2018 - 8:53 AM

For weeks now Raytown quarterback Joe Campbell has been talking about how people need to be taking the Bluejays seriously.

After a Week 6 win against Grain Valley, he told me “we’re done being slept on.” The following week after beating Fort Osage and securing the team’s first winning season in 26 years, he said, “beating them just sends a statement to everybody that well, we’re also one of the best teams in Class 5 and we’re coming after everybody else.”

And now, nine games into the season with the playoffs set to begin, looks like Campbell knew what he was talking about.

After defeating previously undefeated and No. 2-ranked North Kansas City 35-34 last Friday night, the Bluejays have proved any doubters wrong.

“It shows we’re a different Raytown,” Campbell said of the team coming from behind to beat the Hornets.

“We’re not the old Raytown,” echoed running back Messiah Miller said.

I even asked head coach Logan Minnick if he felt like the team had a chip on its shoulder.

“We like the underdog mentality,” he said.

That might be out the window now. This team might have been flying under the radar for a few weeks, probably more, but they aren’t any longer.

There was a lot that stood out about that thrilling game last Friday night at North Kansas City. First off, the atmosphere was incredible. It might as well have been a playoff game. Both teams are really good. There is talent all over the field, led by the likes of Campbell and Hornet running back C.J. Price. If you haven’t had a chance to watch those two guys play, try and do so. You won’t be disappointed.

What I was most impressed with was how Raytown hung tough and rallied after getting behind. I thought the game might be over in the second quarter. North Kansas City led 20-7 and were scoring with ease. The Bluejays faced a third-and-16 from their own 14 and Campbell found D’Vontae Key - who made a great play on the ball - for an 86-yard touchdown.

Just like that the game flipped. If Raytown punts there, I think the chances are pretty high that the Hornets would have tacked on another touchdown. That’s probably game over right there. They got behind again in the second half before scoring 14 straight in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good. Not many teams can go on the road and do that. Like Miller said, this isn’t the old Raytown.

I imagine the Hornets will be chomping at the bit for a rematch. They had two touchdowns called back on penalties to go along with two fumbles.

A possible rematch got me thinking about how fun the Class 5 playoffs should be. The two teams wouldn’t see each other again until the state quarterfinals, and it won’t be easy to get there. North Kansas City has to get past Park Hill South before potentially facing fourth-ranked Staley in the district final. Seeing that Falcon defense try and shut down Price would be so much fun.

Raytown will face either Ruskin or Belton in its first playoff game before possibly squaring off against Fort Osage for a second time in its district final. In my opinion, Fort Osage is the sleeper that I’m sure nobody is actually sleeping on, if that makes sense. The Indians may be 5-4 but they have had some close losses this season, including Lee’s Summit West and Raytown by a touchdown, and North Kansas City by a single point. By now, teams know better than to sleep on the Indians.

If these teams happen to play each other, I just hope the games are half as compelling as last Friday night. The three games between Raytown, North Kansas City and Fort Osage have been decided by a combined nine points. Those rematches are what high school playoff football is all about.