Wildcat propels Kearney to comeback win
By Stephen Bubalo PrepsKC staff writer
Kearney head coach Greg Jones knew last weekend he wasn’t going to have starting quarterback Cole Davis for Friday night’s home-opener against Lee’s Summit, so the changes in the offensive game plan started early.
Jones also knew backup quarterback, sophomore Johnny Weidmaier, would need some help so he implemented the Wildcat offense at practice Monday, and boy, did it pay off.
Junior running back Brock Broughton was nearly unstoppable from the Bulldogs’ third drive until the end of the game, rushing for 351 yards in a steady rain on the schools new turf field in a 34-17 come-from-behind win.
“That’s an eye opener,” Broughton said when told how many yards he had. “I’ve never rushed for so many yards. I’m so proud of this team.”
Jones said he didn’t want to go to the Wildcat until the game’s third drive and the way the game started, he might have been wishing he started with it.
Lee’s Summit looked as if they would be the ones hard to slow down on this night, as it jumped out to a 17-0 lead behind a 22-yard touchdown pass from Drew Lock to Ian Burch and a 1-yard scoring run from Lock.
That’s when Broughton started to take over.
He rushed for 120 yards on the next two Bulldog drives – both of which ended in 1-yard scoring runs on fourth down, one from Weidmaier and one from Broughton – to make it 17-13 at the half.
The second half was much of the same.
The key play of the second half came with Lee’s Summit driving in Kearney territory when Lock fumbled a slippery ball, giving Broughton and the Bulldogs the ball back.
Two plays later, Broughton rumbled 77 yards for a score and gave Kearney the lead for good. While he broke several tackles throughout the night, he had to give credit to the big men up front.
“Everyone blocked real well,” Broughton said. “If they block past the first level I’m going to go.”
Broughton added a 53-yard score on the next possession and finished the scoring with a 5-yard run.
“In some ways I wish their starting quarterback would have played,” Tigers head coach Eric Thomas said with a laugh. “We had a chance to get out of several drives if we could just tackle. Broughton is good. I don’t want to take anything away from him.”
Added Jones, “The kids did a good job of picking (the Wildcat) up at practice. They never stopped it, so we would have been stupid to get out of it. And the offensive line took over. They fed off of (Broughton) when they saw him make those runs.”
Broughton was a workhorse once the Wildcat went into effect. Of the 37 plays ran, he carried the ball on 34 of them.
But Broughton wasn’t worried about wearing down. He knew it was on his shoulders to lead his team.
“I just thought about the team giving me the ball,” he said. “I had to keep going. They were doing their job so I had to do my job.”
Not to be overlooked in the win was the way the Kearney defense buckled down after getting behind early. The Tigers only managed five first downs after taking the 17-0 lead.
Lee’s Summit, now 1-1, is a team that likes to air it out with the pass in its spread offense, but the rain forced them to change the game plan. And while running back Casey Slaughter was a handful in the early going, eventually the Bulldogs had the Tiger offense figured out, which Thomas took the blame for.
“I’m not sure we made the right adjustments with the weather,” he said. “Obviously, we had to change things, but that’s on us. We can’t put that on the weather.”
Brock Broughton didn’t help things, either.
“Either (it will propel him) or it puts a target on his back,” Jones said of Broughton after his team moved to 2-0. “There aren’t going to be any more games where teams don’t know who Brock Broughton is.”
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