East Buchanan outlasts West Platte
By Andrew Dewitt The St. Joseph News-Press
GOWER, Mo. — When East Buchanan quarterback Cory Bower saw West Platte quarterback Luke Wetzel’s pass sail through the back of the end zone, he knew what his team accomplished.
East Buchanan beat West Platte 44-36 on Thursday night at East Buchanan High School to become Class 1 District 15 champions and earn a share of the KCI Conference championship for the first time since 2004. Lawson, West Platte and East Buchanan each tied for the conference title by each finishing 5-1 in conference play.
“We were preaching to our kids all week about conference championship, district championship,” East Buchanan coach Kevin Bryan said. “We haven’t had that around here since 2004, and it was time for us to put our stamp on it. Our kids came out here and put our stamp on it.”
Bower’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with 1 minute, 25 seconds left gave the Bulldogs an eight-point lead after the two-point conversion failed.
West Platte’s two-minute offense dink and dunked its way to the East Buchanan 17-yard line with 4 seconds remaining, but there was no miracle ending for the Blue Jays after the final pass went wanting.
Bower rushed for 194 yards and threw for another 296 yards. He passed for three touchdowns and rushed for three more. He also threw four two-point conversions. He completed passes to 10 different receivers, completing 29-of-42 passes.
“That’s the most fun football game I’ve ever played,” Bower said. “That’s exactly what we expected from them tonight.”
East Buchanan’s decisive drive ate up more than 5 minutes and came after an interception from Wetzel.
One play after West Platte junior Nathan Coulson blocked a punt that gave West Platte great field position at the East Buchanan 35-yard line. Defensive pressure from the Bulldog defensive line forced Wetzel out of the pocket toward the East Buchanan sideline, and Wetzel threw across his body into double coverage where senior linebacker Kevin Robbins picked it off.
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