BV North flies past SM Northwest
By SJ Munoz PrepsKC staff writer
A one-score game was broken open late in the second quarter of Blue Valley North's 45-21 win over Shawnee Mission Northwest on Thursday night.
The Cougars hung tough for more than a quarter-and-a-half, but special teams and turnovers gave North the momentum and the Mustangs never looked back.
North (7-1) took the opening drive down the field and went up 7-0 on a touchdown pass from Joey Dolan to Josh Pederson with 9:37 to go in the first.
Northwest appeared unfazed and moved deep into Mustang territory on their first possession. Yet, the Cougars were turned away as senior defensive back Jack Gordon picked off a Ron Kopp pass in the end zone.
North's seven-point remained intact until the 9:35 mark of the second as Northwest (1-7) capitalized this time.
After breaking off a long run earlier in the series, Cougar running back Xavier Perry cashed it in from three yards out to make it 7-7.
Less than four minutes later the Mustangs went back up by a TD on a nifty punt return by Keilon Hunter that proved to be a game-changer. The 44-yard house call had North up 14-7 with 5:37 to play in the half.
The Mustangs defense set up the next two scores as they took control of the contest.
North's second interception of the game came with four minutes to go in the quarter set up a 38-yard field goal by Emerson Womble and North went up by 10 (17-7).
The Mustangs then came up with a fumble recovery at the Northwest 27 with 1:23 left on the clock. Dolan's second TD pass, a 12-yarder to Alex Blake, put North on top 24-7 at the break.
"It took us awhile to get started tonight and that's something we have to go back and fix," Mustangs head coach Andy Sims said. "The turnovers were key and the defense came up huge just like they have all year. The kids did a great job. Every week is special and especially for these seniors having a chance to come out and earn a spot in the playoffs."
With 6:32 to play in the third the North lead grew to 31-7 on on a 2-yard run by Cooper Lantefield.
The lead was still 24 (38-14) at the 8:08 mark of the fourth as the teams exchanged touchdowns.
North moved ahead 45-14 after Lantefield's second rushing TD, but credit Northwest for continuing to battle and adding a late score of their own, a 25-yard pass from Kopp to Gerrit Prince, with 34 seconds left.
North was led by Dolan's 215 yards through the air and Lantefield, who rushed for 121 yards and three scores on 14 attempts.
The Cougars outgained the Mustangs 373-352. Kopp was 13-22, throwing for 117 yards and two TDs, while Perry rushed for 183 yards on 27 carries.
North closes the regular season at Shawnee Mission West. The Cougars will take on Shawnee Mission South.
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