LS North beats BS South to make history

By Dave McQueen PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 20, 2018 - 12:24 AM

Lee’s Summit North’s football players hollered and celebrated after clinching a piece of the first conference title in the school’s history Friday night. The celebration though was somewhat subdued.

North earned a share of the Suburban Gold Conference with a sloppy 19-2 victory over Blue Springs South on its home field. It should have been a joyous night for the Broncos, who accomplished something never before done in 23 years of mostly struggling football at the school.

But even as they reveled in that accomplishment, most of the Broncos couldn’t shake the sight of Christian Carter, their quarterback and team leader, being carted off the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter.

With less than six minutes left in the game, Carter ran up the middle for a short gain and took a blow to the head as he fumbled the ball. While paramedics worked for more than 15 minutes to stabilize his head and neck to place him on a stretcher, players and fans alike watched in stunned silence.

“When I walked over he was laying down and his eyes were closed,” Broncos’ running back Ontario Russell said. “He said, ‘I’m OK,’ and I thought, good. But as soon as I saw the paramedics I started crying because it’s more than football.”

North coach Jamar Mozee said Carter had movement and feeling in both arms and legs and never lost consciousness. Mozee said Carter, who had some tingling in his legs, may have just suffered a stinger, but he didn’t know the extent of his injuries after the game.

“I think he’s going to be fine,” Mozee said. “I think he just felt some tingling in his legs, a stinger. I’ve had one of those myself.”

Anything more serious could be a crippling loss for the Broncos on the brink of postseason play, because Carter is the driving force of the Broncos’ multi-faceted rushing offense. When he went out Friday the Broncos already had the game well in hand, even after four turnovers and a second consecutive game with sometimes sloppy execution on offense.

North’s first two possessions ended with turnovers on first and goal from the 6-yard line. A fumbled handoff ended the first drive of the game. A short punt after a Blue Springs South three-and-out soon had the Broncos back at the 6, but Carter’s pass into the end zone was picked off by the Jaguars’ Trey Vaval.

The Broncos made it back to the BS South 6 on their next possession with the help of a 50-yard Keyon Mozee run, and this time the Broncos cashed in with a 5-yard touchdown run from John Eldridge for a lead they would never relinquish.

“The way we’re made up, we cannot turn the ball over,” Mozee said. “That keeps them in the game and keeps the game competitive. But our defense played lights out.”

North’s defense kept South (2-7, 0-5 Suburban Gold) from getting a first down until well into the second quarter and only once let the Jaguars get past the Broncos’ 20-yard line. The Jaguars didn’t get on the board until Russell was tackled in the end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter.

“Our job is to shut them down and that’s what we had to do to get the (win),” North linebacker Lane Overton said. “If the offense scores six, that should be enough for us.”

Broncos’ defensive back Brandon Winston picked off a Jaguar pass right after the Broncos’ first TD, and set up a 7-yard TD run by Carter for a 12-0 lead. The Broncos’ offense sputtered for much of the third quarter until Russell turned a screen pass from Carter into a 41-yard TD and a 19-0 lead.

That would be enough to secure North a 7-2 overall record and a 4-1 conference mark that tied them with Lee’s Summit West. District play starts next week.

The Broncos just hope Carter will be there to lead them.

“Christian is the heartbeat of our offense,” Russell said. “Without him, it goes, but it doesn’t always go the way we want it.”