Warrensburg ends Harrisonville's late run

By Chad Grammar Special to PrepsKC
Posted: November 11, 2018 - 4:31 PM

The Harrisonville Wildcat Playoff train ran out of gas with a 35-28 loss to the Warrensburg Tigers Friday night at Walton Stadium on the campus of The University of Central Missouri. After struggling most of the regular season with a young roster and brutal schedule the Wildcats had won 3 of 4 and found themselves in the District Championship for a 5th consecutive season. Now for the first time since 2013 the State Quarter Finals are without the Wildcats.

The first time these two teams met in late September the Tigers handed the Wildcats a 49-0 loss on their homecoming night. Harrisonville came out early and made sure Warrensburg knew that would not be the case on a frigidly cold night at Walton stadium. Harrisonville took the opening kickoff and marched down the field in an opening drive chewing up nearly 6 minutes of clock and punched it in with a Jaydn Wilson 2-yard run to take a 6-0 lead.

Warrensburg’s opening drive was the complete opposite as they lost 10 yards in 3 plays and had to punt it away. The Wildcats had an opportunity to really put the pressure on the Tigers and take a 2-score lead, however a fumbled pitch coupled with a chop block after a first and 10 at the Warrensburg 15 put the Cats in a 4th and forever and forced them to punt.

Still the Tigers could not get that high-powered offense in gear and went 3 and out for a second straight drive. Harrisonville again in position to go up two scores then lightning stuck. On a second and 7 from their own 49-yard line Jace Reynolds took a handoff to the outside and while blocking downfield Kennedy Atkinson got clipped by the play and went down with what was later found out to be 2 broken bones in his lower leg. This seemed to turn the tide to Warrensburg. Harrisonville was forced to punt, and Miles Moore answered with an 80-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats where then in catch up mode the rest of the game.

With one of its best outside blockers and play making wide receivers Harrisonville’s offense went into a little slump. All while Warrensburg’s got going. A 42-yard TD by Ejyah Sheridan gave the Tigers a 14-6 lead into the locker room and the ball back to start the second half. Able to punch another TD to start the second half Harrisonville was forced to chase a 2-touchdown deficit the rest of the game. Twice they were able to get within 7 behind strong running by senior Jaydn Wilson and great passing by sophomore QB River Riley. Without Atkinson junior WR Colby Knowles was a warrior, taking major hits, grabbing amazing catches all while playing on a bum ankle. Each time the Tigers were able to get an answer the backbreaker with 5:25 left in the game an 80-yard kick return by Miles Moore made it 35-21.

Harrisonville got it to 35-28 with another Wilson 1-yard TD run but Warrensburg was able to get a few first downs and let the clock strike midnight on the Wildcats Cinderella run in the district tournament.

While the season didn’t end the way they would have liked Harrisonville found its way down the stretch and was able to play for a district title for the 5th consecutive year and with a roster loaded with underclassman its safe to say the Wildcats are not going anywhere in the years to come which could spell more bad news for the MRVC and Class 4.