Raytown South hitting its stride
By Stephen Bubablo PrepsKC Staff Writer
Coming off an injury, Justin Chigbogu didn’t need much more motivation to come out ready to play hard Friday night.
But throw in the fact that this was the home opener for Chigbogu and his Raytown South teammates and that they were playing for former coach Charles Washington who passed away earlier in the year, and the Cardinals had their motor running on high against Lee’s Summit.
Chigbogu was a terror for the Tigers, but so were the rest of his defensive teammates as they smothered Lee’s Summit’s offense on the way to a 38-7 win.
“My game plan coming in here was just to help my teammates,” Chigbogu said. “When the defense is out there they’re the hype of the group. We want to smash their offense.”
And it was mission accomplished in a big way, as the defense forced four turnovers, blocked a punt and scored a touchdown.
“The defense was lights out,” Cardinals head coach David Allie said. “They were swarming. They did a heck of a job executing the game plan.”
Raytown South led just 7-0 at the half, as the offense had trouble holding onto the ball – fumbling twice – to go along with a turnover on downs and having a punt return for a touchdown called back due to a penalty.
But the defense kept setting them up, just waiting for them to convert, which they finally did in the second half.
A string of five straight Lee’s Summit possessions, going back to its final drive in the first half, resulted in a turnover or a blocked punt as the lead ballooned to 32-0.
“Our offense hung our defense out to dry,” Lee’s Summit head coach Eric Thomas said. “We were very inadequate on offense. Our defense was good … but we couldn’t do anything to slow them down or stop their momentum.”
It seemed like the Tiger defense was on the field the entire second half, as the Cardinals began to pound away with their strong running game that includes several different running backs with different styles.
A physical Jameel Cox had two touchdown runs, including one from 29 yards out on fourth-and-2 to make it 18-0, while speedster sophomore Glenn Pargo put the finishing touches on the game with an 80-yard scamper that made it 38-0.
Throw in Mustafaa Rose, Jamaal Cox and Justin Turner to the running back mix and it was lights out for the Tigers.
“We had to pick it up in the second half,” Turner said of the offense. “We came out strong with our run game. It was just run, run, run and get the defense tired. We’ve come out with a lot more weapons this year. We wanted to show what our running backs could do.”
Other touchdowns for the Cardinals went to Delvon Rouser on a 13-yard touchdown catch from third-string quarterback Deallon Walton, who was in for an injured Devin Hannah, and Turner picked up a fumble and ran it back 15 yards for a score.
While the turnovers for the Tigers continued to pile up in the second half, the biggest was a fumble on Cardinals 12-yard line just two plays after Antonio Smith had blocked a punt early in the third quarter with the deficit still just 7-0.
From there, the wheels came off for the now 2-1 Tigers.
“We have to put this in our back pocket,” Thomas said. “We have to hang our hat on our ability to play defense against a good team. Now, we have to find ways to get some yards.”
The Cardinals, ranked No. 8 in Class 5, moved to 2-1 and have looked impressive since losing 29-0 in week one against Blue Springs South.
“We just had to bounce back,” Chigbogu said. “The team is just now starting to get together as a unit. It’s a new start.”
And the defense is more than happy to lead the way.
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