LS West jumps on Liberty for first win
By Bill Knust PrepsKC staff writer
Holding onto a slim lead but little, if any, momentum before the half, defensive back Mario Goodrich needed only 6.9 seconds to get it all back. The Lee’s Summit West sophomore jumped a go-route and took it 55 yards to the Liberty end zone as time expired in the first half, keying a 35-9 victory in the season-opener Friday night.
Titan’s coach Royce Boehm said Goodrich picked a great time to make an impact.
“I’ll tell you what, Mario’s pretty special,” Boehm said. “That was huge because we were hoping to punch it in right before half knowing we had the ball to start the second half. We went for it on fourth down and didn’t get it. There were only six seconds left. I don’t know why they threw it.”
After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, Liberty pulled within 14-9 in the second quarter thanks to a touchdown pass from Ryan Potts to Jackson Barnes and a safety from Bennett Swope. It appeared the score would stay that way heading into half, but Goodrich had other ideas. That allowed the Titans, ranked No. 10 in Class 6, to head into halftime with a renewed sense of urgency.
“It kind of amps you up,” receiver Jacob Katzfey said. “It makes you want to go out there and perform like he did. It makes everyone want to play a little bit better.”
Katzfey and fellow wide receiver Zach Shanholtzer scored two touchdowns a piece. Each of them had one touchdown reception and one on the ground. Katzfey put the game away for good in the fourth quarter, taking a direct snap on third down and three and scampering 55 yards for the final score of the game.
“The blocks were all there,” Katzfey said. “I kind of panicked (when I got into the open) because I was hoping the defensive guy wouldn’t catch me.”
Katzfey opened the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Cole Taylor. Katzfey sat down in the middle of the field, Taylor found him wide-open, and the junior sprinted the rest of the way for his first varsity touchdown.
Shanholtzer increased the score with a 14-yard touchdown reception of his own a little under eight minutes later to increase the lead.
Despite the loss, Liberty coach Chad Frigon was pleased with the effort of his team, saying it was something they could build on before their contest at Kearney next week.
“I was extremely happy,” Frigon said. “We started four sophomores on offense and several other young kids on defense. We hung in there all night. We made it three quarters before we tired out in the end. … This may be as hard as we’ve played in a while in a game.”
The Blue Jays were led by running back Robert Rawie. The sophomore set up the Blue Jays’ first score with an 80-yard run from the shadow of Liberty’s own goalpost. He finished with 194 yards on 28 carries. However, Frigon knows he won’t be able to feed Rawie 28 carries a game and have him hold up the whole season.
“He’s such a special kid and a great leader,” Frigon said. “I do worry about giving him the ball so much. We are working on developing some kids that we can get in there with him. We have one that is injured right now that would have been in there with him. He’s a tough kid, though.”
Both teams made it through the game relatively unscathed. There were cramping issues on both sides, and Lee’s Summit West lost offensive tackle and University of Nebraska recruit Boe Wilson to a leg injury early on. Liberty also lost quarterback Thomas Henrichs to concussion-like symptoms early in the game as well.
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