Lee's Summit West blows out Willard
By David Svoboda PrepsKC staff writer
Lee’s Summit West rode a balanced offense and an attacking defense to an impressive 47-8 thrashing of Willard Monday night in a Missouri Class 5 playoff game at West.
The Titans, who moved to 10-1 on the year, got touchdowns from five different players on offense, and also benefitted from a double-figure tackle night from senior linebacker Austin Workman in posting the victory. Willard ended its year at 8-3.
“What we wanted to get done was to establish our running game, establish our passing game,” said Lee’s Summit West Coach Royce Boehm, who saw his team put check marks next to both of those goals. “But the biggest thing was, getting a good performance from our defense against a very, very tough offense from Willard.”
Third and final check mark achieved.
West now moves on to a state quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon at Springfield Kickapoo, which posted an equally impressive 45-14 rout of Nixa.
But back to the win over Willard.
West broke from the gates with an impressive eight-play drive to grab a 7-0 lead when senior Monte Harrison scored from one yard out and Tanner Martin knocked home the extra point. Just over three minutes had elapsed, and the Titans looked like world beaters.
Willard did little to change that perception over the next couple of minutes, and West got into the end zone again when junior Brenner Clemons made a nifty 18-yard run and Martin added the extra point to make it 14-0.
The Tigers, however, failed to fold, going on a business-like, 11-play, 70-yard drive that was culminated when quarterback Kyle Smith scampered 33 yards for the score, and then found Tanner Moore with a two-point conversion pass that cut the Titan lead to 14-8.
Little did anyone expect that Willard was done scoring for the night, and West was just getting warmed up – which was difficult on a night where temperatures hovered in the upper 30s with a howling wind making things much colder on field level.
“It seemed like the momentum might have shifted a bit,” Boehm said of the score that cut the lead to six. “But the kids stepped up and answered the challenge.”
After Smith’s TD for Willard, Lee’s Summit West got touchdowns from Andrew Palmer, Ryan Williams, a second from Clemons, Blake Burau on a throw from Thomas Ganaden, and Palmer’s second of the night.
Sharing the wealth? You bet.
West only put the ball in the air seven times on the windy night, but Ganaden hit on six of his throws, racking up 166 yards and the aforementioned TD to Burau.
The Titans had four different ball carriers with 35 or more yards, and four different players who scored while rushing the football. Palmer’s 99 yards on just five carries – with his two TDS – led the way. His second-quarter touchdown, which was Lee’s Summit West’s answer to having its lead cut to six, was the longest TD of the night, a 41-yard breakaway effort.
As impressive as the offense was for West, the defense – particularly after the Tiger touchdown – was equally dominant.
After Palmer’s score made it 21-8, Willard was able to get the ball across midfield just once for the remainder of the game – with its deepest penetration being the Titan 36-yard line.
Yes, it was impressive the way the Titans answered the early challenge.
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