Ray-Pec impressive in win over Lee's Summit
By Cole Young PrepsKC staff writer
The scheme of the Raymore-Peculiar defensive line is a simple one – distrupt everything.
That simple approach caused complex problems for Lee’s Summit as the Panther’s cruised to 41-0 homecoming victory.
“Our entire game plan is just to go out and cause problems as a defensive line,” Ray-Pec defensive lineman Dylan Doss said. “We feel like we carry the weight of the defense up front. If we can make it hard on the offense that makes it that much easier for the rest of the defense.”
Consider it mission accomplished for Doss and his fellow linemen. They held a Lee’s Summit offense that had been averaging over 36 points a game scoreless. More impressively shut down a normally potent Tiger running attack, holding it to just 16 yards on 26 attempts.
That impressive total included five sacks by the defense including three sacks by Doss.
“Up front on both sides is where I’d say we’ve probably improved the most this season,” Panther head coach Tom Kruse said. “… Defensively when our line is able to cause that much disruption it means we don’t have to blitz. When you don’t have to do that, you are able to drop six guys back in coverage.”
As impressive as the defense was, the offense seemed to click just as much in the first half, jumping out to a 34-0 lead.
The star offensively was speedy running back Aaron Russell. The senior found the end zone twice in the first half on runs of 23 and 64. It was his 64-yard run that seemed to finish off the Tigers with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
On the first play of the drive Russell found a seam but looked to be potentially caught before changing directions twice and ending up in the end zone on the opposite side of the field.
“He’d be a tough guy to catch if he’d just run straight,” quarterback Trae Hodges joked.
Russell led all rushers with 174 yards on 14 carries.
Hodges had a hand in 16 points in the victory, throwing for a touchdown to Scotty Schaffner, rushing for one and kicking four extra points.
The sound victory is the type of win coaches can’t always count on in a homecoming game with a variety of distractions for the players during the week. That made jumping out to a quick lead that much sweeter for Kruse.
“Being able to see them come out and look probably as sharp as they have all year and to be as focused as they were, I think says a lot about the leadership we have from our upperclassmen,” he said.
Lee’s Summit’s best chance to score came midway through the second quarter when quarterback Drew Lock drove the Tigers to the Ray-Pec 35. That drive ended however when Skyler Simms stepped in front of Lock’s next pass for an interception.
The Tigers wouldn’t get that deep into Panther territory again until the final minute of the game before time expired.
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