Speed kills

Brian Davidson/The Examiner

By Michael Smith The Examiner
Posted: August 18, 2017 - 11:45 PM

It appeared Blue Springs South wasn’t ready for what Lee’s Summit West had in store for it in Friday’s season opener at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium.

The Titans unleashed a type of offense that is uncommon among a lot high school teams in the state – the deep passing game.

West completed nine passes of 10 yards or more and six passes over 30 yards. It racked up 382 yards through the air and 544 yards total in a 49-28 win.

Accounting for a bulk of those yards was running back Phillip Brooks, who rushed for 116 yards and a score and caught five passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. The Jaguar defense had no answer for who looked like the fastest player on the field. And West head coach Vinnie Careswell confirmed afterward that probably was the case.

“Philip Brooks is a special kid,” Careswell said. “He ran a 4.27 (40-yard dash) this summer at an Ohio State camp. It was a laser time. I kind of believed it. We never clocked him at that speed, but boy did he look like he could run a 4.27 tonight.”

Careswell utilized a two-quarterback system, and it worked to near-perfection as neither quarterback had any problem throwing the deep ball.

Ben Kobel got things started for the Titans on the opening possession when he threw an 80-yard bomb to Brooks, who had about seven yards of separation from the nearest defender, which led to a 7-0 lead.

On the next drive, a 36-yard screen pass from Kobel to Brooks set up a 6-yard rushing score from Mario Goodrich, a University of Nebraska commit, to make it 13-0.

South struggled on offense, and it didn’t help that starting quarterback Brody Parker was unable to play due to an injury he suffered in practice this week. Jaguars head coach Jon Oyler handed the keys to the offense to backup Michael Muehlberger, who struggled at first, completing only three of his first 10 passes.

“I don’t want to use that as an excuse,” Oyler said of not having Parker available. “We’ve got other guys. We just need to work on some things.”

So did the offense, which came up empty on its first three drives, including one which ended at the West 8. The Jaguars finally got going on their fourth drive when the Titans jumped offsides on a field goal attempt from the 4. That set up a 2-yard touchdown run from running back Austin Terry, who had 150 yards on 21 carries, to cut the lead to 13-7.

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