By Cole Young PrepsKC staff writer
As Lee’s Summit West gathered following its 40-20 victory over Raymore-Peculiar, the assistant coaches reminded the top-ranked team in Missouri Class 5 it has a ways to go still.
On Friday night however it looked like West may be coming into form as they get ready for a postseason run. The Titans dispatched the Class 6 Panthers with a variety of big plays on the ground and through the air to complement their defense.
“That’s what makes it so neat for us is that we have so many different weapons,” Lee’s Summit West coach Royce Boehm said. “We have a lot of different guys who can go out and make plays for us.”
The biggest of those big plays came early in the fourth quarter. Leading 26-13, the Titans were faced with a fourth and 7 from the Panther 36. As Titan quarterback Thomas Ganaden let the pass go it appeared the Panthers had the play defended perfectly. Instead, however, receiver Monte Harrison made an acrobatic catch in front of the Ray-Pec defender then broke a tackle to go into the end zone.
“It was one of those plays where I just let my God-given ability takeover,” Harrison said. “You don’t even think about it, you just try and make a play.”
The score essentially ended comeback hopes for the Panthers who then faced a 20-point deficit with just 10 minutes left.
Lee’s Summit got out to a 19-0 lead behind two one-play touchdown drives.
With the score still tied 0-0, Ray-Pec called for a fake punt from its own 30. The call came up a yard short. On the first play of the drive, Harrison took a snap out of the Wildcat formation and moved to the right before heading into the end zone.
Ryan Williams matched Harrison’s run, also scoring on the first play of the drive, this time for 68 yards. He led all rushers with 193 yards on 18 carries.
For the Panthers, the decision to go with a fake punt early in the game along with other gambles was a matter of trying to keep pace offensively with the Titans.
“We knew we needed to take some chances,” Raymore-Peculiar coach Tom Kruse said. “They weren’t going to give up a lot of chances to score.”
The second blow that was dealt to the Panthers came midway through the second quarter when they drove to the Titan 10 and looked to pull within one score. Instead, the drive ended when a throw to the end zone was intercepted by Lee’s Summit West defensive back Brandon Miller.
“That’s what a good team does to you,” Kruse said of the Titan’s big plays. “We had them third and 27 and they converted, fourth and 7 and they scored a touchdown. That’s a good football team.”
Meanwhile the Titan defense was left trying to find ways to slow a Panther offense that has had no problem scoring this season.
After giving up a touchdown on the first possession of the second half, the Titan defense didn’t allow another Panther drive to materialize until the second string defense went in.
“For us the big thing was trying to hold things up front,” Titan defensive lineman Jamone Boyd said. “We knew we just had to keep doing what we were doing.”
Boehm also spoke highly of his defense’s performance.
“Coach Kruse runs a complicated offense,” he said. “That’s a defense you sometimes need two or three weeks to scheme for. Our guys really came in and focused in a week and were able to do their job.”
Lee’s Summit West now hits the road to take on winless Ruskin.
Ray-Pec’s schedule doesn’t get any easier after the loss. They face Blue Springs on the road.
“When the schedule came out we knew Weeks 7 and 8 were big ones,” Kruse said. “What our guys have to do now is look at the film and make corrections. Blue Springs is a lot like Lee’s Summit West .They have a lot of playmakers.”
Liberty North Eagles
Lawrence Free State Firebirds
Blue Valley Southwest Timberwolves
Grain Valley Eagles
Shawnee Mission South Raiders
Lafayette County Huskers
Crest Ridge Cougars
Olathe South Falcons
Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers
Ruskin Golden Eagles
Shawnee Mission West Vikings
Bishop Ward Cyclones