ST. LOUIS — Sweet Caroline never sounded better for the Lee’s Summit West football team than it did inside the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis as played by the Titan marching band and sung by the West faithful.
By BILL HESTER
Special to The Star
Indeed, good times never seemed so good, so good, so good for the Titans as they defeated Parkway Central 51-14 in the Missouri Class 5 championship game Saturday night.
“What a football team that stepped on the field today,” Lee’s Summit West coach Royce Boehm said. “The game of football is about all five phases of the game and we executed all phases today.”
The state championship is the third for the Titans, who likely will move up to Class 6 next season. Lee’s Summit West defeated Parkway Central 35-0 in the Class 4 title game in 2007 and then defeated Webster Groves 44-21 in the Class 5 championship game in 2010.
This title was even more dominant as the Titans led 51-7 until a last minute touchdown by the Colts.
Boehm brings freshmen up to the varsity roster for the state experience which meant that many of this year’s seniors were dressed for the win against Webster Groves.
“I came on to the field to pick up the tee one time,” senior cornerback Logan Cheadle said.
Cheadle did much more than that Saturday as he sparked a dominant Titan defense. He tied a state record with three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
“I’ve been waiting for a game like this all year,” Cheadle said. “The quarterbacks in Kansas City show me a lot of respect and I did not have an interception this year. I thought I might have the chance to do something tonight. The coaches put me in the right position to succeed and I was able to make some plays.”
Brenner Clemons got the scoring started for the Titans with a 45-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.
Cheadle set up the offense with an interception and return to the Colt 39-yard line late in the first quarter. It took Lee’s Summit West six plays to capitalize with Monte Harrison taking it in from 2 yards.
Cheadle had his second interception early in the second quarter. The offense again started in Parkway Central territory. Aided by a 30-yard run from punt formation by Clemons, the Titans again converted the turnover into points. Ryan Williams scored the first of his three touchdowns on an 11-yard run.
Williams would add a 35-yard touchdown run before Parkway Central had a big play of its own, scoring on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Zackery Lazenby to Jonathan Bonner with less than a minute to go in the half.
Lee’s Summit West was aided by a pass interference penalty on the Colts on the last play of the first half. Tanner Martin took advantage of the untimed play to kick a 30-yard field goal and give the Titans a comfortable 30-7 halftime advantage.
The Titans got the ball to start the second half and scored on an eight-play, 72-yard drive, finished by the third touchdown of the game by Williams, a 17-yard run.
Cheadle would put an exclamation point on his memorable game as he intercepted a Lazenby pass and took it to the house from 38 yards less than a minute later.
Andrew Palmer added another touchdown on a 6-yard run in the third quarter and the celebration was on.
The championship helped take the sting out of last year’s disappointing quarterfinal loss to Ozark.
“That is why we are here now,” Boehm said of last year’s upset loss. “We felt we had one taken away from us last season and the off-season was very intense.”
The Lee’s Summit West defense was outstanding Saturday night. The Titans limited Colt standout running back Augie Brooks to just 34 yards in 19 carries. Brooks came into the game with over 2,000 yards rushing and an average of almost 8 yards a carry.
“They took away what we wanted to do,” Parkway Central coach Mark Goldenberg said. “Our hats are off to Lee’s Summit West. They are an outstanding team.”
The Titans finished the season with a 13-1 record. Their average margin of victory was 35 points per game. The only blemish in the record was a 42-35 loss to Class 6 champion Blue Springs in the fourth week of the season.
Parkway Central, which had given up more than 13 points just twice during the season, finished 13-2.
“We’ve been together a long time,” Titans senior linebacker Zach Rasmussen said. “This is a great reward for everything that we worked for. It is a great way to end a high school career.”