It didn’t take Blue Springs football coach Kelly Donohoe long to figure out he had something special when quarterback Ian Brown transferred to the school from Rockhurst.
By BILL HESTER
Special to The Star
“He played as a sophomore at Rockhurst and actually threw a couple of touchdown passes against us,” Donohoe said.
Brown threw five touchdown passes Friday night, four in the first half, as the Wildcats defeated Eureka 42-14 in a Class 6 semifinal game at Eureka.
Blue Springs will have a chance to defend its Class 6 championship Friday night when it takes on Rock Bridge. The Bruins edged Hazelwood Central 36-33 in the other Class 6 semifinal contest.
“This is awesome,” Brown said Brown. “Going to the Dome is something you dream about when you are a kid. I’ve see so many guys play there and now I get the chance.”
Brown has 30 touchdown passes on the season with only four interceptions.
“Ian runs the show for us,” Donohoe said. “He has so much poise and he is a sharp kid. He just never makes mistakes.”
Blue Springs, which did not have a turnover, got off to a quick start Friday scoring a pair of touchdowns in the first four minutes.
Dalvin Warmack scored on a 47-yard run on the Wildcats’ first offensive possession to cap a three-play, 74-yard drive.
Brown took over from there as he threw four first-half touchdown passes.
He connected twice with Darrius Shepherd on 4-yard touchdown passes and later hit Warmack for a 56-yard touchdown and Kaleb Prewett with a 15-yard touchdown pass.
The Wildcats scored twice in the final three minutes of the half to take control of the game with a 35-14 halftime advantage.
The Wildcats blocked a punt after stopping Eureka on the first possession of the second half. They turned that into a score as Brown threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game, a 19-yarder to Cobi Bissell, in the first three minutes of the third quarter.
“They were stacking the box so we thought we had a chance to have some success throwing the ball tonight,” Brown said.
Blue Springs played most of the second half without two of its biggest weapons, Warmack and Shepherd. Warmack tweaked an ankle and Shepherd went out of the game with cramps.
“It’s too bad that you didn’t get to see the true No. 1 (Warmack) tonight,” Donohoe said. “He is very special, but we showed tonight that we have a number of weapons.”
Donohoe said that he expects to have Warmack and Shepherd back for Friday night’s championship game.
“Dalvin could have played if we needed him,” Donohoe said. “We were ahead 35-14 and he tweaked his ankle. We did not want to risk putting him in in that situation. I don’t know how you cramp in 30-degree weather but Darrius did. He also should be fine.”
The Wildcats, who surpassed 40 points for the ninth time this season, will take a 13-0 record into the scheduled 7:30 game against the Bruins.
“We are excited to be able to play Rock Bridge,” Donohoe said. “The last time we played them was in 2011 and we had a heart-breaking loss. I know our seniors, who were sophomores at the time, will remember that game.”
Many of the current Blue Springs’ players know the elation of winning a state championship. The Wildcats celebrated at the Edward Jones Dome after a 42-3 win over Francis Howell in 2012.
Brown now looks forward to having the feeling himself.
“We just need to go out there and play our ‘A’ game,” he said.
Brown certainly deserved an ‘A’ with his five-touchdown performance against Eureka, which finished the season at 11-2.