Are you ready for some high school state championship football? Among the Kansas City area teams vying for a state title are Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit West. Here’s a preview of their games.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Class 6: Blue Springs (13-0) vs. Columbia Rock Bridge (8-5), 7:30 pm. Friday in St. Louis
The prime time game on the state-championship schedule features a team nearly everyone expected to reach the Edward Jones Dome and a team almost nobody figured would make it there.
Blue Springs hasn't lost a game since falling in overtime to Lee's Summit West on Sept. 14, 2012 — a streak that spans 23 games. The Missouri Class 6 defending-champion Wildcats have been the most dominate team in the state this season — in any class — winning all but one game by at least 15 points.
Rock Bridge, on the other hand, seemed all but out of the championship picture as the playoffs began. The Bruins finished the regular season on a four-game losing streak and took a losing record into the district tournament.
So how have the Bruins turned things around? Well, the offense has found another gear recently. It has scored four or more touchdowns in all four playoff victories, something it did only once over the final six regular season games.
But the Bruins still have cause for concern. Their defense has allowed 28.2 points per game this season.
A game against Blue Springs isn't exactly the medicine to cure the defensive woes. Running back Dalvin Warmack deservedly receives plenty of hype — he has reached 2,000 rushing yards and 30 total touchdown for the second straight season. But what truly makes Blue Springs dangerous is its versatility.
With Warmack taking a seat on the bench in the second half of last week's semifinal victory against Eureka because of an ankle injury, quarterback Ian Brown fired five touchdown passes. He has 38 touchdown passes this season and only four interceptions.
Warmack practiced Monday and will be ready to go Friday, he said. Top wideout Darrius Shepherd also will play after missing parts of last week's game because of leg cramps.
Class 5: Lee's Summit West (12-1) vs. Parkway Central (12-1), 5:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Louis
It has been a long wait for the Lee's Summit West Titans.
A year after unexpectedly losing in the Missouri Class 5 sectionals, the Titans are one game away from capturing their third state championship in the school's 10-year history.
After a Sept. 20 loss to Blue Springs — a defeat coach Royce Boehm calls key to his team's season — Lee's Summit West won its next nine games by an average of 39 points per contest. The Titans' offense has been nothing short of brilliant, scoring at least 41 points in all nine victories.
Its toughest test since that Blue Springs loss awaits Saturday.
Parkway Central of Chesterfield in suburban St. Louis relies on its defense. The Cols avenged their only loss of the regular season last week when they defeated Webster Groves by three touchdowns. Webster Groves is the only team to score more than 13 points against Parkway Central.
To be fair, though, Parkway Central hasn't faced teams like Lee's Summit West on a consistent basis. The Titans are averaging more than 200 passing and 200 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Thomas Ganaden has thrown for 27 touchdowns, 13 of them to Monte Harrison.
Tailbacks Ryan Williams and Demarcus Edwards have run for nine touchdowns each, and Andre Palmer has run for eight. An emerging weapon Brenner Clemons — a wide receiver who doubles as a wildcat formation lead back —has accounted for 12 scores.