Near perfection

Debbie Squires/Special to PrepsKC

By Stephen Bubalo PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: November 8, 2013 - 11:27 PM



Rivalry games tend to have a hint of unpredictability to them, so it’s no wonder Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe was wary of a suddenly resurgent Blue Springs South coming into Friday night’s Class 6 playoff game against the Jaguars.
 
Sure, the Wildcats were riding a 20-game winning streak and a No. 1 ranking, but all bets tend to be off when these two teams meet.
 
Well, most years anyway.
 
Blue Springs continued its dominant season with a 40-0 rout of the Jaguars, moving one game closer to a shot at another state title.
 
“It was unbelievable how they responded,” Donohoe said. “This is a special group. They continue to amaze me. Our great players keep playing at a high level and that elevates everyone else’s game.”
 
Warmack was a testament to Donohoe’s statement, as he put on a show from the start.
 
On Blue Springs’ opening drive the senior carried the ball for 40 yards, finishing it with an 11-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
 
He was just getting started.
 
Two drives later Warmack was at it again, this time making one Blue Springs South defender miss with a nifty move and breaking a tackle before busting loose for a 45-yard touchdown on a third-and-1.
 
“I just make one cut and go. At this point everything is instinctual,” Warmack said.
 
A South turnover led to another Blue Springs touchdown, this one from quarterback Ian Brown to Darrius Shepherd from 8 yards out to make it 20-0 after the missed extra point.
 
Then, midway through the second quarter, after the Blue Springs defense got a fourth-and-8 stop, Warmack once again made a couple of Jaguar defenders miss right around the line of scrimmage to free himself enough for a 67-yard score and a 26-0 lead.
 
“He’s a special, special dude,” Donohoe said. “He got faster, stronger, quicker (this offseason). I’m really proud of him.”
 
It was an offseason after he won the Simone Award, given to the top player from the Kansas City area. Warmack was out to prove last year wasn’t a fluke, and he’s put any doubts to rest.
 
“I really wanted to make a big statement (this season),” said Warmack, who finished with 210 yards on just 17 carries, including a fourth touchdown run in the third quarter. “A lot of people thought last year was a fluke. Half the plays I’ve made this year I couldn’t have made last year.”
 
The Wildcats capped the first half scoring with a trick play when wide receiver Kaleb Prewett threw to a wide-open Shepherd for a 48-yard score and a 33-0 halftime lead.
 
The offensive output was more than enough for a stout Wildcat defense, as they picked off four passes – giving them eight in the last two weeks – in what was their third shutout in five games.
 
“They have tight splits so we knew it was going to be tough to get to (their quarterback),” Wildcats defensive lineman Khalil Davis said. “We just had to stay on our motor and keep getting after them. Our defensive backs stepped up and made plays.”
 
The South offense and quarterback Chris Swingle struggled from the get-go. The Jaguar rushing attack could never get going, while the passing game did its best to avoid pressure with quick throws but had little success.
 
“We went with a lot of hot routes,” said Swingle, after the Jaguars wrapped up a 6-5 season. “They have a great line. We didn’t have a lot of production early. … I felt like we were playing our best football coming into tonight. They’re a great team. They put up points and it’s tough to fight back.
 
“We played our hearts out. I’m proud of everyone on this team.”
 
Next on the schedule for Blue Springs (11-0) will be another team looking for revenge when they host Lee’s Summit next Friday, a 49-7 victim at the hands of the Wildcats a couple of weeks ago.
 
“We welcome that challenge,” Warmack said of having a target on their backs. “It keeps us from getting complacent.”