Broncos bounce back

Jeff Stead/PrepsKC

By Dave McQueen PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 28, 2018 - 10:18 PM

Complete Stats and Box Score

Ontario Russell believes Lee’s Summit North has the best running backs in the Kansas City area. The way Russell and his teammates ground out the yardage Friday night, he might have a point.

Russell is one of those running backs, and he combined with fellow ball carriers Keyon Mozee and John Eldridge and quarterback Christian Carter to tally 396 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns as LS North handed crosstown rival Lee’s Summit West its first loss of the season in a convincing 35-14 victory at LS North.

Russell’s 116 yards on 19 carries topped the Broncos’ rushing quartet, but Mozee wasn’t far behind with 107 on 17 carries. Carter finished with 98 yards and Eldridge tallied 68. Mozee ran in two touchdowns, and the others had one apiece.

And they all played a role in keeping the ball out of LS West’s hands for most of the second half and turning around what had been a tight game at halftime.

“Our rotation keeps each other fresh,” Russell said. “When we’re running, we’re running hard and they keep the same dudes on defense. They get tired and that helps us out. We just kept draining them.”

With so many capable ball carriers, LS North coach Jamar Mozee has the luxury of keeping his backfield trio on a strict rotation. After a certain number of plays, Mozee will swap one for the other.

Keeping that rotation had been a challenge the last two games with Eldridge out with an injury. The Broncos lost both games after beating Blue Springs for the first time in the school’s history, and Mozee said having Eldridge back made a big difference.

“We’ve got three good runners in his absence but he just gives us another presence,” Mozee said. “He’s a physical inside runner. It made a difference having all three guys fresh and able to run like that.”

LS North (4-2, 2-1 Suburban Gold Conference) took a 7-0 lead on its first drive, which ended with Carter scoring from 12 yards out on a fourth-down play. The Broncos marched 69 yards on 14 plays on their next drive and took a 14-0 lead with a 3-yard Mozee TD run.

LS West (5-1, 2-1), which came back from 14 points down to beat Staley the previous week, looked poised to make another comeback with scores on its next two possessions. Quarterback Ben Kobel threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Marcian Marshall for the first score, which was set up by a 42-yard halfback pass from Sammy Cooper to Cam Careswell.

Marshall scored the Titans second touchdown and made it a 14-14 game on a 6-yard run shortly after a short Broncos punt.

LS North began the third quarter with a 50-yard burst up the middle from Russell, which started an 80-yard march that ended with Mozee’s second TD on a 2-yard run that put the Broncos up for good.

“That was really important,” Keyon Mozee said. “We knew if we could score then we could keep their momentum down.”

LS West’s offense had little momentum in the second half as the Broncos continued to hold on to the ball. The Titans managed only four first downs in second half and 164 total yards of offense for the game.

The Broncos, meanwhile, added another TD on a 2-yard run from Eldridge after another long drive in the fourth quarter and salted it away with a 3-yard TD run from Russell in the closing minutes.

“Coach Mozee and his staff did a good job of getting the ball to their playmakers,” LS West coach Vinny Careswell said. “And we couldn’t stop them in the second half. They’re pretty athletic.

LS North will have another city rivalry game next week when it travels to Lee’s Summit. LS West will play host to Liberty.