Almost, LS West holds off Ray-Pec

By Kyle Yehle PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 21, 2017 - 2:05 AM

If falling to Lee's Summit in the final week of the regular season was a scare for Lee's Summit West, consider what almost happened Friday night a full-fledged nightmare.

No. 7 Lee's Summit West survived eighth-seeded Raymore-Peculiar 37-30 in double overtime at Titan Stadium to move on to the Class 6 District 4 semifinals against No. 10 Rockhurst.

West had several chances down the stretch to win the instant classic, but the brisk, blustery conditions on the opening night of high school playoff football in Missouri played a tremendous part in the result.

"The wind was a factor with our kicking game," Titan head coach Vinny Careswell said. "We had a chance to win it there a couple of times. [Ray-Pec] is the best eighth seed in Missouri."

With the game tied at 24 and 58 seconds left, West set up for a 34-yard go-ahead field goal. Junior Mykal Wiley, booting it into a moderate southerly gust, missed wide right.

Ray-Pec stalled on their ensuing drive and the Titans managed to drive the ball to the Panther 14 with three seconds remaining. However, the wind again shoved Wiley's kick wide right.

The Panthers began overtime with a quick 5-play drive ending with a 1-yard Chris McKinzy Jr. scoring plunge. A bad snap on the extra-point attempt kept the score 30-24.

West scored on a 1-yard run by junior tailback Marcian Marshall, but missed the point-after wide - again because of the wind.

After scoring again on a Sammy Cooper 4-yard scamper, the Titans forced Ray-Pec into a fourth-and-nine from the 11. Panther senior quarterback Noah Durham faked a handoff and ran right, then lofted a backside pass toward the end zone's left corner for junior Je'Von Williams.

That's when junior defensive back Jake Grauberger jumped Williams' route and picked off the pass, ending the game to the elation of the home crowd.

"Right when the ball snapped, [Williams] went on a knee," Grauberger said. "Then he popped up and I realized they were going to him on the backside. I just went with him and got the pick."

Ray-Pec, who started out the season No. 8 in Class 6, ends their season at 2-8.

"For the first time this season, I felt like we came together," Panther head coach Tom Kruse said. "There's a reason why an eight has never beaten a one, but... we thought we were going to tonight."