Trailing by 12 points going into the fourth quarter in a road matchup against Blue Valley West, Staley coach Steve Rampy was about to see what his team was made of. The Falcons had jumped out to a two-score lead in the first half, but some offensive struggles and difficulties with slowing down Blue Valley West running back Sage Huffman had turned the tide in favor of the Jaguars.
The confidence of the Falcons didn’t fade, though. They scored two touchdowns in the final 7:24 to earn a 34-33 victory over the Jaguars.
“This is a big win after a win last week,” Rampy said. “We had to beat a good team, so this was a good win for us.”
Staley quarterback Cole Robertson gave the Falcons their first spark in the fourth quarter when his 2-yard touchdown run cut the West lead to 33-27. Still, the Falcons had to come up with a stop defensively if they were going to go back across the state line with a winning record.
Doing that was going to be much easier said than done, as Huffman wreaked havoc out of the West backfield for much of the night. The junior running back logged 31 carries for 240 yards and a touchdown, and also caught a 62-yard touchdown pass. But there was one carry that he’d like to have back. The Falcons were able to force a Huffman fumble at the West 43-yard with 6:38 to go to put Robertson and company right back on the field.
“Sage had an unbelievable game and did some great things, and so did our offensive line an entire team,” West coach Josh Koerkenmeier said. “One critical mistake can cost you a football game. That’s not all on him. We had other critical mistakes too and I think our guys hopefully learned tonight that if they want to win big football games, you’ve got to avoid those.”
On the very next play, Robertson scrambled for 33 yards to give Staley the ball at the BV West 10-yard line. KV Stone scored from 4 yards out a few plays later to help Staley retake the lead with 4:48 to go.
The Staley ground attack had an impressive night of its own with 343 rushing yards on 39 totes. Robertson led the way with 176 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. He also scored on runs of 47 and 28 yards in the first half.
“I felt very comfortable,” Robertson said. “The offensive line created a lot of big openings for me. It was all the big boys up front.”
However, with 4:48 to go, there was still plenty of time for the Jaguars to march down the field to retake the lead. The Jaguars got one first down but punted it away with 2:43 to go following a sack by Tyler Shanks.
“He’s one of the best defensive linemen in Kansas City,” Rampy said of Shanks. “He played really well, and he plays hard. He plays on both sides of the ball. He was tired, but with four minutes left, I said, ‘You’re not coming off the field again.’ He really played well.”
The Jaguars still had one final chance to get the ball back after forcing Staley into a 4th and 2 from the BV West 48 with 1:37 to play. Robertson wanted the ball in his hands to seal the game, and he did just that with a 3-yard run that sent the Staley sideline into a frenzy.
“It was a big win for us to come on the road with a long ride over here,” Robertson said. “We came out as a team to get a good win.”
The Falcons owned a 21-19 lead going into the half, but the third quarter was all BV West. Zach Darche scored the second of his two rushing touchdowns with 2:06 to go in the third quarter to give BV West its first lead at 26-21. Darche and Brayden Nagy platooned at quarterback for the Jaguars. Nagy completed 6 of 9 passes for 84 yards, including the 62-yard touchdown pass to Huffman.
West padded its lead with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter. After a bad snap on a Staley punt gave the Jaguars the ball at the Staley 7-yard line, Crew Myers capitalized for BV West by scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run on a reverse. However, Myers’ touchdown proved to be the final points of the night for the Jaguars.
The fourth quarter comeback pushed Staley’s record to 3-2, while West fell to 2-2. The Falcons will be back on the road at 7 p.m. Friday to take on Liberty. The Jaguars will try to bounce back at 7 p.m. Friday in a road tilt against Blue Valley Northwest.