Blue Springs rolls Blue Springs South
By Stephen Bubalo PrepsKC staff writer
Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe felt like going into Friday night’s game against cross-town rival Blue Springs South that his team’s defensive front could put pressure on the Jaguars.
He couldn’t have been more right.
The Wildcats built a 21-0 lead in the first half and then used a dominant defense to roll to a 35-14 win over the Jaguars, giving the Wildcat seniors a perfect 4-0 record against their rivals.
“The defensive line set the tone the entire night,” said Donohoe.
The Jaguars ran for just 43 yards, while quarterback Dalton Brewer and the passing game struggled as well, mainly with protection, as the Wildcats collected seven sacks – all in the second half.
“We thought they were going to come out and start by pulling the guard and the tackle but they tried to attack us up front. They were unable to push us back,” said senior defensive lineman Jason Young, who finished with three sacks.
“It was unbelievable how we played against them. We kept blowing them up.”
The Blue Springs offense got the balling rolling, overcoming two holding penalties on its second drive before Dalvin Warmack capped things with an 18-yard touchdown run. They struck big on the following drive when the Jaguars appeared to blow a coverage in the secondary, leaving Darrius Shepherd wide open on a pass from Wylson Lamb for a 73-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
After another three-and-out forced by the Wildcat defense, Young made his presence felt on special teams by blocking a punt. Blue Springs recovered on the South 2-yard line and three plays later Warmack was in the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
“It was the way they got their points,” South head coach Greg Oder said. “They got the blocked punt and we appeared to stop covering on one of the plays. The defense fought hard.”
“That was really important,” Warmack said of the early lead. “We always have to come out at a level like that in a big game like this.”
South’s big play offense finally struck to start the second half when Brewer found Khorey Kilgore for a 76-yard score to make it 21-7. The big play was what worried Donohoe coming into the game, but his defense responded on its next possession when Donte Watkins jumped a passing route for an interception, returning it 33 yards for a touchdown.
“What kid would I love to see get a pick-six? Dante,” Donohoe said. “He’s the heart of the defense back there with his inspiration. We were spying that play.
“ … We really felt coming in that Kilgore, (Brandin) Dandridge and (Trey) Ervin, we were afraid they could break some big plays but we limited them. The defense did a really nice job of staying composed.”
Added Young, “We call it finishing. That’s a great team. We had to keep our composure. It comes from everybody. When one person goes hard everybody feeds off of that and it’s contagious.”
Ervin would return the ensuing kickoff for a score, making it 28-14, and the South defense made a fourth-down stop to get the offense the ball back, but the Wildcat defense stood tall with three sacks to force a punt.
That set up the nail in the coffin, as Warmack made the Wildcats’ next drive just one play long, going 82 yards for a score.
“Coach was telling me to be patient all day and wait for the big one to come,” said Warmack, who finished with 163 yards. “I just had to make sure I got in the end zone.”
South dropped to 4-3 with the loss, as they racked up just under 150 yards of total offense but the more alarming stat were 15 penalties.
“We had 800 yards of penalties,” a sarcastic Oder said of the penalty woes. “You can’t do that. We got in no rhythm offensively. The disappointing part is the number of personal fouls we had. We haven’t had that many in the previous six games.”
Blue Springs was nearly as sloppy, earning 12 penalties, but that was about the only blemish for the Wildcats on this night, as they improved to 6-1. They have now dominated three straight opponents after losing to Lee’s Summit West.
“We learned we’ve got to be focused and have more energy in the first half. We can’t come out cocky,” Warmack said. “We have a bunch of talent and guys are making plays.”
Raytown South Cardinals
Park Hill Trojans
Sabetha Blue Jays
Father Tolton Catholic
Lees Summit North Broncos