A month into the football season, Blue Springs wide receiver Darrius Shepherd said he hoped his senior class would leave a mark on an already tradition-filled program.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
How’s this for a legacy?
Blue Springs captured its second straight Missouri Class 6 state championship, easily moving past Columbia Rock Bridge 35-14 last Friday at the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis. The Wildcats won their school’s fifth state title and fourth under coach Kelly Donohoe.
But none of the other titles came in such dominant fashion.
Finishing with a 14-0 record, Blue Springs was challenged only once this season but escaped Lee’s Summit West with a 42-35 victory. The Titans were the only team to play Blue Springs within 14 points.
The Wildcats started slowly last Friday — relatively speaking, of course — until Shepherd returned a punt 48 yards for a touchdown, igniting a streak of 28 consecutive points.
“Darrius Shepherd is one of the most underrated players in the city,” Donohoe said. “He does so many things for your team that don’t get recognized.”
Blue Springs senior running back Dalvin Warmack sat out the second half after aggravating an ankle injury. In his place, Cobi Bissell gained 73 yards and scored two touchdowns on nine carries.
Shepherd and Kaleb Prewett each caught five passes. Prewett found the end zone twice.
Class 5: Titans bury Parkway Central
Three days before heading east to play in the Missouri Class 5 state championship game in St. Louis, Lee’s Summit West senior Logan Cheadle said the bitter feeling of coming up short last season still hadn’t left his memory.
Perhaps this will help.
The Titans won their third Class 5 stae title in the school’s 10-year history last Saturday with a 51-14 dismantling of Parkway Central of Chesterfield in suburban St. Louis.
Cheadle, who has committed to Missouri University, picked off a pass as part of the Titans’ impressive defensive effort. Lee’s Summit West, 13-1, held Parkway Central to only 171 yards of offense.
It took the Titans less than two quarters to reach that yardage figure. A week after relying on its passing game in a 42-14 win against Kearney, Lee’s Summit West kept the ball on the ground.
The Titans rushed for 332 yards on 41 carries, slightly better than eight yards per carry.
Ryan Williams led the way with 122 yards and three touchdowns. Brenner Clemons and Monte Harrison each ran for touchdowns while working out of the Wildcat package.
Titans coach Royce Boehm credited an early-season loss to Blue Springs with keeping his team motivated.
“Every game we played like we were playing Blue Springs,” Boehm said. “That’s the mentality we had. When you prepare like you’re playing Blue Springs week in and week out, you’re going to be prepared for any team you see.”
Class 2: Cardinals find positives
The Lawson Cardinals played in St. Louis last on Friday in search of the school’s first state football championship since 2007.
Instead, the Lamar dynasty marches on.
Lamar won its third straight Missouri Class 2 state title, cruising to a 42-0 victory against Lawson.
And Lamar didn’t even complete a pass. The Tigers ran 54 plays — 53 of them rushing plays — and totaled 518 yards of offense. Jared Beshore needed only 11 carries to reach 212 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Levi Peterson added another 151 yards. He attempted only one pass, which was incomplete.
All that spelled a disappointing end to a Lawson season that started with its share of question marks. The Cardinals, who finished with a 12-3 record, returned only three starters from last season and were blown out 32-0 in their season opener.
But they rebounded with 12 wins over the next 13 weeks to reach the state championship game for the first time in six years.
Lawson will graduate 16 seniors.
“I don’t know if I have ever had as much fun as a coach as I have coaching this team,” Lawson coach Todd Dunn said. “The fact that it was so unexpected for us to get (to the state championship) took all the pressure off us. Shoot, we were expected to go home a month ago.”