LS West stays perfect with win over PH South
By Cole Young PrepsKC staff writer
With a team with as many weapons as Lee’s Summit West, it isn’t a matter of if someone is going to star for the Titans, it’s a matter of which weapon will star.
In Lee’s Summit West’s 31-6 win over Park Hill South it was Monte Harrison.
Harrison, a junior, is listed as a wide receiver on the roster, but scored three different ways on Friday night. Harrison found the end zone on a punt return, caught a touchdown pass and also ran one in from the Wildcat formation.
Harrison though is quick to point out he doesn’t see himself as just a running back when he lines up in that formation, but rather as the quarterback then.
“Coach (Derek) Howard usually lets me back there as quarterback in practice a couple times during the week and if I do well, I get maybe one or two plays back there during the game,” Harrison said.
In the victory over the Panthers (3-3), Harrison estimated he lined up in that position closer to 15 times. It wasn’t there though that he made perhaps his biggest play of the night.
After forcing the Panthers to punt midway through the first quarter Harrison found a couple blocks and returned a punt 50 yards for a score.
“We thought we could return one tonight,” Harrison said. “We saw that they crashed hard on returns. The rest of the guys made some nice blocks and I was able to get into the end zone.”
While it was just one score, it deflated the Panthers which had just defended another short field (created by another Harrison return) holding the Titans (6-0) to a field goal. This touchdown however put them in an early 10-0 hole.
The teams would trade field position through nearly the rest of the first half. Late in the second quarter though faced with a third and long, quarterback Thomas Ganaden found Harrison again to set up an Austin Burau 1-yard touchdown with less than a minute left in the first half.
For head coach Royce Boehm, it’d be better if the Titans just didn’t put themselves in the third and difficult positions.
“A lot of that is just mental,” Boehm said. “We have to do a better job of focusing and we wouldn’t have made penalties to put us in those spots. It’s something we’ll continue to work on in practice.”
Ganaden was able to focus on both Burau and Harrison when the Titans found themselves in third and long situations. Burau finished with three catches to 91 yards to compliment Harrison’s 98 yards on five catches. Ganaden completed 11 of 24 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown.
“Our plan was to not let them run all over us,” Park Hill head coach Mark Simcox said. “We did a good job of that but that left some of our secondary guys out on their own a few times.”
Still overall Simcox was pleased with his defense’s performance with the exception of the handful of big plays they allowed.
On the offensive side, Park Hill South struggled to get much of anything going offensively until backup quarterback Carson Reid connected on a 1-yard touchdown pass to Nick Griffith in the final minutes.
Their best other opportunity came late in the third quarter when the Panthers reached the West 15 before they were sacked by Titan linebacker Nick Ramirez and then tossed an interception on the following play.
“I think we saw tonight we probably aren’t as fast as we thought we were,” Simcox said. “When double our wideouts we have to be able to run the ball. That’s tough to sustain for 15 plays. You don’t have much room for negative plays or no gains when you are faced with that.”
Next for the Titans is an intriguing non-conference and non-district game on the road at Ray-Pec. It’s a matchup of two teams that share just one loss and also share a school district boundary.
“They’ve been down the last few years but are back up again this year,” Boehm said. “It’s a game Coach (Tom) Kruse and I like to make sure and schedule since we’re so close to Raymore.”
Lees Summit Tigers
Knob Noster Panthers
North Kansas City Hornets
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Shawnee Mission North Indians