Week One is officially in the books for the Missouri side, and let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint.
Friday’s games brought us a lot of upsets and big-time matchups that I wouldn’t mind seeing again in the playoffs come early November.
Because it felt like playoff football across the metro — especially at the game I was at on Friday.
I got the pleasure of seeing North Kansas City and Raytown. For those of you who haven’t heard, North Kansas City won thanks to a late goal-to-go stand by its defense, a defense that held Raytown’s new look offense to 21 points, and zero in the second half.
Outside of the Hornets strong defensive effort late in the game, two players really caught my eye.
The first being Daniel Joiner Jr. Joiner, an Army commit, made plays all over the field, both offensively and defensively. He finished the game with 12 carries for 51 yards and a second quarter touchdown that gave the Hornets much needed momentum just before the half.
On defense, Joiner may have only finished the game with one and a half tackles, but it proved to be a big one. On Raytown’s final drive of the game, the Bluejays were on the doorstep of scoring a late go-ahead touchdown, but Joiner and the North Kansas City defense had other plans.
On third-and-goal, Raytown decided to run an outside sweep to the left, but Joiner was able to edge and tackle Raytown running back Zahmari Gray for just a short gain. At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, it really shouldn’t shock you why programs from across the country have been inquiring about Joiner’s services.
He wasn’t the only standout from Friday’s game. The other was North Kansas City senior running back Jeremy Brown. Brown, who finished the game with 227 yards on 36 carries, scored twice. But it was second touchdown of the game that really impressed me.
The Hornets trailed 21-14 late in the third quarter and faced a daunting decision. Facing a fourth-and-goal from the 11-yard line, North Kansas City coach Leon Douglas left his offense on the field.
It proved to be the right decision as Brown answered the call as he evaded several Raytown defenders before scoring the eventual game tying touchdown.
Brown also played a huge role in the Hornets taking the lead. Brown broke loose down the far sideline and setup the go-ahead field goal midway through the fourth quarter.
The one area for concern though — at least for me anyway — was the lack of a passing attack.
The Hornets only attempted three passes the entire game and didn’t complete a single one. Going forward, teams will start cheating the run and force North Kansas City to throw the ball.
The Hornets have the size on the outside, which should create a lot of mismatches going forward. If they can get the passing game figured out, look out, because this team will be dangerous come playoff time.