Broncos bustin through

Jeff Floyd

By Andy Meyer PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 13, 2017 - 11:44 PM

A resurgent Lee’s Summit North squad showed no signs of slowing down, as it continued to surge into the postseason by knocking off a state-ranked opponent.

The Broncos assured themselves a winning season Friday night by battling back for a 30-15 victory against Liberty, the No. 4-ranked team in Class 5.

Three touchdown runs by John Eldridge allowed the Broncos (6-3) to gradually pull away, while a fierce defensive effort notched four turnovers – including three interceptions – against an explosive Liberty attack.

Lee’s Summit North coach Jamar Mozee said it’s the school’s first winning season since 2001, and said he’s proud of the strides the squad continues to make.

“We want to win here, and we want to change the culture,” Mozee said. “These kids are doing it, and I told them if they buy in and do what they’re told, they’d get it done.

“I can’t be more-proud.”

The Blue Jays (7-2) stormed out of the gates, taking an early lead on Thomas Henrichs’ scoring strike to Josh Corf. They had a golden chance to add to the lead, but fumbled the ball at the 1-yard-line and out of the end zone for a touchback late in the first quarter.

That stop proved crucial. Lee’s Summit North took the ensuing possession and took the lead, 7-6, on Eldridge’s first touchdown run. Instead of trailing by two scores, the Broncos suddenly had the lead, one they wouldn’t give back.

“That turnover was huge,” Mozee said. “Our defense came up strong tough and played tough. That kind of changed the momentum back in our favor because they came out swinging.”

North’s Elijah Farr found himself wide open for a touchdown pass from Christian Carter that added to the lead, and Eldridge found the end zone twice in the second half on scoring runs of 37 and 55 yards.

Eldridge finished with a team-high 104 yards on just seven carries, and his third score capped a 30-3 scoring run that helped the Broncos seize control of the game for good.

“The team’s momentum, it really just encouraged me to do better and helped us win the game,” Eldridge said.

Carter also went for 81 yards on 11 carries, while Ontario Russell tacked on another 70 rushing yards for North’s balanced ground game.

Liberty running back Robert Rawie suffered an injury during the second quarter but returned to action on the way to 111 rushing yards. Henrichs also finished with nearly 200 passing yards and a touchdown to go with two picks.

Junior quarterback Alex Roush came in late and rushed for a touchdown with 4 minutes remaining to give the Blue Jays hope of a last-gasp comeback. But Lee’s Summit North snagged its third interception in the end zone to preserve the milestone victory.