Blue Springs falls to Fayetteville, Ark.

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 2, 2017 - 2:11 AM



For the second straight week Blue Springs was locked in a dogfight for four quarters, but unlike last week when they beat Lee’s Summit West, 16-6, the Wildcats were unable to make the plays necessary to stop a quality opponent. Two-time defending Arkansas 7A state champs Fayetteville used some late-game heroics to spoil Blue Springs’ home opener in a 22-17 win. “We have to find ways to win games,” Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe said. “Our little things added up to a big loss.” The other thing that happened was Fayetteville quarterback Darius Bowers. With the Wildcats clinging to a 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter, the junior led the Bulldogs on a 70-yard scoring drive. During the drive he converted a pair of fourth downs through the air, including the go-ahead 28-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-10 with a perfectly-placed ball to wide receiver Frank Morgan between a pair of Wildcat defenders. “Frank Morgan, he’s a great player,” Bowers said. “I threw it up there and he just went up and got it.” Added Donohoe,” We had a chance to seal it on fourth-and-10. … It was a miraculous play.” The Wildcats still had a little more than 4 minutes on the clock for a comeback. Their first drive stalled quickly with four incomplete passes. The Bulldogs converted that turnover on downs into a field goal for a 22-17 lead with 1:51 left. Blue Springs wound up stringing together a couple of first downs when they got the ball back and drove to the Fayetteville 39-yard line thanks to a pair of fourth-down conversions of its own, but quarterback Chase Donohoe was intercepted by Cemari Dobbins to seal the Bulldog win. The Wildcats were unable to get their powerhouse running game going all night, thanks to a stingy Bulldog defense and a first-quarter injury to starting tailback Cade Musser. Aveion Bailey and Michael Warmack tried to pick up the slack but the team barely managed to break 100 yards rushing for the game. “We take pride on offense that if it isn’t broken, we don’t need to fix it,” lineman Daniel Parker said. “And tonight they stopped the run and we weren’t prepared to do anything else.” The inability to run the ball was never more evident than late in the second quarter when the Wildcats had the ball at the Bulldog 1-yard line. But after two straight runs by Bailey pushed them back 6 yards, Donohoe forced a throw into the end zone that was intercepted. The Wildcats moved the ball well in the first half, entering Fayetteville territory on their first four possessions and getting inside the 15-yard line on three of those. But of those four possessions, they were only able to walk away with nine points. “It’s horribly frustrating,” coach Donohoe said. “We’ve got to score on the 1-yard line. We’re never not scoring from there. … When we didn’t get much from the run we had to go to the air and that’s not what we want to do. We had to work backwards and that puts us in a tough spot.” On Fayetteville’s next play after the interception Bowers connected with Kris Mulinga for a 73-yard pass that set up a field goal before the half and a 13-9 Bulldog lead. Blue Springs would come out strong in the second half, getting a stop on defense and then a safety thanks to a bad snap on a punt to make it 13-11. When they got the ball back they marched 50 yards and scored on a 3-yard pass from Donohoe to Bailey for a 17-13 lead after the two-point conversion failed. But thanks to Bowers’ heroics, the Wildcats dropped to 2-1 on the season and will look to get back on track when they travel to face a tough Park Hill team next Friday. “We have to refocus and make sure this feeling doesn’t come back,” Donohoe said. 

For the second straight week Blue Springs was locked in a dogfight for four quarters, but unlike last week when they beat Lee’s Summit West, 16-6, the Wildcats were unable to make the plays necessary to stop a quality opponent. Two-time defending Arkansas 7A state champs Fayetteville used some late-game heroics to spoil Blue Springs’ home opener in a 22-17 win.

“We have to find ways to win games,” Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe said. “Our little things added up to a big loss.”

The other thing that happened was Fayetteville quarterback Darius Bowers.

With the Wildcats clinging to a 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter, the junior led the Bulldogs on a 70-yard scoring drive. During the drive he converted a pair of fourth downs through the air, including the go-ahead 28-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-10 with a perfectly-placed ball to wide receiver Frank Morgan between a pair of Wildcat defenders.

“Frank Morgan, he’s a great player,” Bowers said. “I threw it up there and he just went up and got it.”

Added Donohoe,” We had a chance to seal it on fourth-and-10. … It was a miraculous play.”

The Wildcats still had a little more than 4 minutes on the clock for a comeback. Their first drive stalled quickly with four incomplete passes. The Bulldogs converted that turnover on downs into a field goal for a 22-17 lead with 1:51 left.

Blue Springs wound up stringing together a couple of first downs when they got the ball back and drove to the Fayetteville 39-yard line thanks to a pair of fourth-down conversions of its own, but quarterback Chase Donohoe was intercepted by Cemari Dobbins to seal the Bulldog win.

The Wildcats were unable to get their powerhouse running game going all night, thanks to a stingy Bulldog defense and a first-quarter injury to starting tailback Cade Musser. Aveion Bailey and Michael Warmack tried to pick up the slack but the team barely managed to break 100 yards rushing for the game.

“We take pride on offense that if it isn’t broken, we don’t need to fix it,” lineman Daniel Parker said. “And tonight they stopped the run and we weren’t prepared to do anything else.”

The inability to run the ball was never more evident than late in the second quarter when the Wildcats had the ball at the Bulldog 1-yard line. But after two straight runs by Bailey pushed them back 6 yards, Donohoe forced a throw into the end zone that was intercepted.

The Wildcats moved the ball well in the first half, entering Fayetteville territory on their first four possessions and getting inside the 15-yard line on three of those. But of those four possessions, they were only able to walk away with nine points.

“It’s horribly frustrating,” coach Donohoe said. “We’ve got to score on the 1-yard line. We’re never not scoring from there. … When we didn’t get much from the run we had to go to the air and that’s not what we want to do. We had to work backwards and that puts us in a tough spot.”

On Fayetteville’s next play after the interception Bowers connected with Kris Mulinga for a 73-yard pass that set up a field goal before the half and a 13-9 Bulldog lead.

Blue Springs would come out strong in the second half, getting a stop on defense and then a safety thanks to a bad snap on a punt to make it 13-11. When they got the ball back they marched 50 yards and scored on a 3-yard pass from Donohoe to Bailey for a 17-13 lead after the two-point conversion failed.

But thanks to Bowers’ heroics, the Wildcats dropped to 2-1 on the season and will look to get back on track when they travel to face a tough Park Hill team next Friday.

“We have to refocus and make sure this feeling doesn’t come back,” Donohoe said.