Raytown South not kind to former assitant
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Staff Writer
In what could be deemed as a homecoming of sorts for William Chrisman head football coach John Crutcher, his Bears fell to his former team, Raytown South 27-8 Friday night at Chitwood Stadium in Raytown.
Crutcher was the defensive coordinator for the Cardinals (6-3 overall; 5-1 in the Suburban Small Seven Conference; and 2-0 in Class 5, District 10) the past two seasons, so emotions ran high for him and his former defensive unit.
Before the game, he received a warm ovation from the Ray-South faithful and after the game hugs and handshakes from his former players.
“It was bittersweet,” Crutcher said of his return to Raytown. “It was good to see the kids that I coached for the last two years. It was hard for me because we didn’t play as well as we could have.”
Even Cardinals head coach David Allie felt the emotion from seeing a former member of his staff.
“We’re brothers,” Allie said. “It’s 364 days out of the year, we’re friends, but tonight, we were combatants, but there’s much love from both sides. It was two years together that we obviously had some pretty good times, and he’s a phenomenal coach, and he’s got those guys playing very well. We knew it was going to be an emotional homecoming for him coming here, and the kids too.”
It may have been friendly before and after the game, but Raytown South made sure they were going to send its former coach back to Independence on the losing end. With the loss, the Bears fell to 5-4, 2-3 in the league and 1-1 in districts.
The scoring didn’t really get started until seconds left in the first half. Quarterback Marc-Alan Tucker plowed up the middle for a six-yard touchdown, and the Cardinals took a 7-0 at the half.
Both teams had its share of troubles moving the ball up and down the field and scoring throughout the first half, but for the Cardinals, it wasn’t for lack of field position. They got the ball near midfield several times during the half with drives that started at their own 46-yard line, own 34, own 45 and own 40.
In the second half, the Cardinals were able to move the ball more effectively on the ground churning out 385 yards on 61 carries overall. Leading the charge was running back Jameel Cox, who had 132 of those yards and a score.
“We wanted to come out in practice and just keep working on running the ball,” Cox said of Ray-South’s grind it offense. “It worked out pretty well."
The score was not indicative of how both defenses performed. Chrisman knew what Ray-South was going to show them with its running game, but the key was keeping each other out of the end zone while trying to move the ball methodically down field on the ground.
Chrisman was able to do that for much of the first half, but Ray-South kept up its persistent running attack and it paid off.
The Bears lone score was a 94-yard punt return from DeMarco Hill. He later left the game after a hit that rattled him a bit. At that point, the Cardinals led 14-8, and it looked like this might come down to the wire, but a nine-play 50-yard drive that took more than four minutes off the clock all but sealed it for the Cardinals.
Cardinal defensive back Rudy Smith put the icing on the cake when he returned a Dylan Cole interception down the far sideline 103 yards for the score.
Raytown South, a battle-tested postseason team of recent years, is guaranteed a spot in this year’s playoffs with Raytown beating Truman Friday night. But there’s still the big prize in sight, and that’s the outright district title to earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
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