Ray-Pec rebounds with win over SJ Central

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 19, 2015 - 12:53 AM

RayPec v StJoe


By Cole Young


Twice inside the red zone Raymore-Peculiar quarterback Kory Linaweaver saw his 6-foot-4 wide receiver James Sappington in single coverage.

And twice, the duo connected for touchdown passes, leading to a 36-17 victory over St. Joseph Central, the sixth straight victory for the Panthers over the Indians.

“It makes it easy.” Linaweaver said. “I just have to check off the safety, then throw it up to him and let him make a play.”

Their offensive performance overshadowed what was a strong performance by Central running back Isreal Smith.

Smith, who provided the bulk of the offense, finished the game with 181 yards on 22 carries. After averaging over 10 yards per carry through the first two and a half quarters, the Panthers were able to contain him after the first drive of the third quarter, which slowed the Indians offense considerably.

“They were the most physical team we’ve faced all year,” said St. Joseph Central coach Jeff Wallace. “We had some guys banged up and that meant putting some guys out there at times that maybe aren’t ready for Friday nights yet.”

The Panthers struck first in the game after waiting out a nearly 80-minute storm delay.

Aided by a punt which went out of bounds on the Indians 14, with 1:45 left in first quarter, Kory Linaweaver connected with James Sappington for an 8-yard score pass.

“It was important for us to establish ourselves,” said Linaweaver who threw for two scores and ran for another. “After last week we needed to go out and establish the run, get some points and let the defense do some work.”

The Panthers added to its lead with 4-yard run by Baylee Custer, the first of two on the night for him.

Trailing 14-0, the Indians struck back, mostly on the legs of Smith, who had 124 of his yards in the first half on just 12 carries.

After two big runs from Smith, Zachary Matthews got St. Joseph Central into the scoring column with a 19-yard run with 3:29 left in the second quarter.

On the Panthers next play from scrimmage, Indians got an interception from Keith Roderick.  

Central wasn’t able to find the end zone but connected on a 30-yard field goal from Austin Jackson to close the gap to 14-10 at the half.