New year, same result

Debbie Squires/PrepsKC

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: November 18, 2017 - 9:32 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Blue Springs will look back at the third quarter as its undoing in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl.

The Wildcats fell in the finals for the second straight season, this time 31-14 to CBC at Plaster Stadium.

This time however the loss felt different than last year against Kirkwood, especially for Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe.

“Last year we had a lot of guys who were injured,” Donohoe said. “Chase was out, several of our guys were out. So I was really proud of our guys to get there and get through that. We saw a Kirkwood team that was a really special. So we walked off that field feeling like we tapped our guys out.

“This year was one where I felt like we had our guys and we didn’t play as well. That’s the tough thing for us coaches. I think in this game with these guys if it was a 10-game series, it’s a 5-5 deal. As we tell our guys sometimes the other guys have a better day and that’s what happened today.”

The third quarter was the difference this season.

Blue Springs gave up 10 straight points to watch a one-point deficit grow to 11 in just over four minutes.

Early in the second half it looked like the Wildcats might be in prime position to win a sixth state title.

The Wildcats got off to a strong start in the third quarter when Aveion Bailey and the Wildcats marched down the field. Bailey broke three tackles and rumbled 34 yards for a score. The extra point failed and Blue Springs trailed 7-6.

A quick three and out gave the Wildcats the ball back with a ton of momentum. On this drive however, for the first time on four tries Blue Springs wasn’t able to convert on a fourth-down conversion.

With the ball back, CBC went to work. The Cadets extended the lead when Carson Buddemey hit Julian Williams on a 53-yard wide receiver pass.

CBC drove down the field again before the end of the quarter and would hit a field goal to extend the lead to 17-6 early in the fourth.

“That’s why you play the schedule that we play and Blue Springs plays. Because you know there are situations in games that swing,” CBC coach Scott Pingel said. “Our sideline kept it upbeat. We had total confidence that our offense could score.”

Faced with a must-score drive, Blue Springs responded with a 29-yard touchdown run by Cade Musser. Bailey added a two-point conversion to get back to a field goal deficit, 17-14.

The Wildcats would get no closer.

The Cadets methodically moved the ball down the field taking 4:54 off the clock before Bryan Bradford scored on a two-yard run.

“They just kept converting those third down versions,” Donohoe said. “We knew last year when we saw them and were able to beat them they were a junior, sophomore heavy football team and they would be back. Obviously they came back with a vengeance and this was just their year.”

It was one of three touchdowns for Bradford who scored the first touchdown in the second quarter on a three-yard run to cap a 12 play, 84-yard drive. The play caught the Wildcats off balance. Blue Springs had just 10 players on the field and the coaching staff was yelling for a timeout which was never heard.

Blue Springs tried to answer with a long drive down the field. Led by Bailey and two fourth down conversions the Wildcats reached the Cadet three. An illegal procedure penalty set the Wildcats back to the eight. Blue Springs wasn’t able to come through with points however as they missed a 25-yard attempt.