Blue Springs pulls away from Jefferson City

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: October 21, 2017 - 9:35 AM

After the first half of Blue Springs’ first-round playoff game against Jefferson City Friday night, it didn’t appear as if the Wildcats would need any sort of wake-up call. They led 22-0 after two quarters and were in complete control.

But the Jays came out in the second half and scored a touchdown to make it 22-8 after the two-point conversion, forced a three-and-out and then started to drive into Wildcat territory again, looking to make it a one-score game.

Defensive back Ramond Brown put an end to that, intercepting a Devin Roberson pass, and seven plays later Aveion Bailey found the end zone from 9 yards out for a 29-8 lead. That would be the spark the Wildcats needed, as they rolled to a 46-23 win.

“Our goal was to step on their throat, but they were trying to get back up,” Blue Springs’ Caleb Marquez said. “That probably wasn’t better for them. They woke us up.”

Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe admitted things were getting a bit uneasy before the interception.

“I thought it could get interesting, and then we put the accelerator down,” he said. “That (the interception) was a big play. That was as big of a play as we had all game. We keep having guys on defense step up and make plays.”

After Bailey’s touchdown run the Jays would answer with a score of their own to make it 29-15, but the Jefferson City defense was beginning to tire.

The Wildcats recovered an onside kick and then reeled off runs of 17, 12 and 22 yards for a quick three-play scoring drive, as Marquez found the end zone after two runs from Bailey.

“Over the course of the game it wears on the defense,” Marquez said of the offense. “When we run the ball, nobody wants to come up and tackle anyone.”

Added quarterback Chase Donohoe, “On that drive we had three runs plays in a row for big gains. When we get that we know they’re (the defense) getting tired.”

Samuel Knowlton added a 37-yard field goal and then Nick Wood put the finishing touches on the win with a 73-yard dash to the end zone to make it 46-15.

“We feel a lot better,” quarterback Chase Donohoe said of the offense. “The past couple of weeks we were a little down. We’re still not where we want to be, so that’s good to know that we can get better.”

Chase Donohoe had a strong first half, throwing for three touchdowns. The first came early, just 48 seconds into the game when he found Tre Wheaton. The next two went to Marquez, one from 3 yards out on a fade pattern, while the other was a 14-yard pass across the middle with just 31 seconds left before halftime.

“I always tell people it’s easy to do what I do with the people around me,” Chase Donohoe said. “They make me look better than I am.”

The win moves the Wildcats to 8-2 on the season and sets them up to face Fort Zumwalt West, also 8-2, in the district semifinals next Friday.

“Work ethic is really important during practice,” Marquez said. “No matter who it is (we play), we always practice and prepare like they’re the best in the state. ... A win is a win. That’s all we want.”