A year ago in Week 3, Jamar Mozee’s Lee’s Summit North program officially stamped itself on the map with a program defining upset of Blue Springs in overtime, the school’s first ever victory over the Wildcats.
Friday night, the two met again with the Broncos proving they’re defending Suburban Gold champions for a reason, overpowering Blue Springs to a 31-21 win that has started a new trend in North’s favor.
“(This win) means everything,” junior quarterback Carlton Perkins said afterwards. “We’re excelling on all levels.”
The game’s start didn’t look like it would be so decisive though. In fact, it was the Wildcats who struck first on a Dom Harkness rollout that wound up becoming a dart over the outstretched arms of two Bronco defensive backs and into the arms of senior Cooper Willich, nearly brushing the visitors sideline before scampering 44-yards for a touchdown.
Lee’s Summit North followed up the initial scoring play with a lengthy drive that would prove to be telling of the night ahead. Twice converting on critical downs to keep possession, the home squad pounded their way near the goal line, with senior Myles Shaw capitalizing at the end of the first quarter with a three-yard plunge to tie the game.
“They’re a big, strong, physical team and we were coming in wanting to match them,” says Mozee, who watched his offense move the ball with authority on balanced drives. “That’s kind of a progression of our program because, in our league, the front is where it’s at.”
“We have three sophomore starters on the offensive line so it’s a progression, but they’re strong in the weight room, they’re listening, and they’re doing things right.”
Despite adding three more points to the scoreboard on the following possession to go up 10-7, Blue Springs once again recorded the highlight. Cruising behind highly touted junior tackle Beau Stephens, senior rusher Quentin Fontenot dashed untouched for an 80-yard score to go back ahead 14-10.
Vulnerable to falling victim to so many match ups in this rivalry’s past, these Broncos answered the call and withstood the adversity.
With 4:13 left before half, Perkins found senior transfer Jaden Moore for a 20-yard reception that erupted the crowd. Several plays later, Perkins would sneak in from inches away to regain the lead and show just how scary this offense can be – despite Kansas State commitment and senior star Keyon Mozee sidelined with a foot injury.
Defensively, the Broncos continued to stand tall too. Down 17-14 before halftime, the Wildcats were hoping to head to the locker room with a late surge, but seniors Zane Ragland and Mark McGhee blasted into the backfield for a drive-ending sack.
And that momentum never left the crimson and black.
“Those dudes (on defense) show me what they can do every day at practice,” chuckled Perkins of his Broncos counterparts, unfazed by the fact his counterparts held Kelly Donohoe’s bunch scoreless in the second half minus a late lapse with one-minute remaining. “They work hard, and all that work pays off.”
“They’re the heart of this team.”
If that’s truly the case, the Broncos lifeblood pumped with a vigor that should frighten opponents ahead after Friday. Relentlessly pressuring the pocket, Lee’s Summit North’s defense forced two second-half safeties and allowed the Wildcats offense just 12 minutes and 32 seconds of total operating time overall.
Meanwhile, the offense only fed off the momentum, controlling the clock for over 34 minutes while still passing for nearly 200-yards.
“Last year we had runners, crazy runners,” concluded Perkins humbly, praising his teammates before himself. “This year, we can expand on that because we’ve got the guys who can run and can catch to make plays happen.”
More physical, balanced, and passionate than a year ago, the 2019 Broncos have now become the hunted and it’s a target they’re wearing proudly.
“We’ve worked really hard to be in the position that we are now, and I think that it’s the best position that we’ve ever been in,” finished Perkins with confidence.
Lee’s Summit North travels to Park Hill next week, while Blue Springs is back home against Lee’s Summit.