It’s hard to dispute Lee’s Summit West’s resiliency now, not after another come-from-behind victory.
For the third straight game, the Titans found themselves trailing late, this time against high-scoring Park Hill.
Once again, the Titans took charge late and came away with a 31-27 victory Friday in a Suburban Gold Conference football game at Park Hill.
“That’s three games in a row where we faced adversity and overcome and won the game,” West coach Vinny Careswell said. “In the fourth quarter, when they went up, the kids could have packed it in, but they responded right away.”
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West (5-1, 4-1 Suburban Gold) never trailed until Park Hill (4-2, 3-1 Suburban Gold) quarterback Billy Maples connected on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Payton Stanfield that put the Trojans ahead 27-24 with just four minutes left in the game.
But West, as it did when trailing Lee’s Summit North in the third quarter two weeks ago and most of the first half against Lawrence last week, made the plays it needed to go back on top — and the Titans made them quickly.
West’s response after falling behind came when quarterback Ben Kobel completed a 59-yard pass to Trevor Kardell to the Park Hill 5-yard line. Running back Phillip Brooks took it in from there with just under 3 minutes left in the game.
“We were confident that we could get the ball in our playmakers’ hands and score again,” Careswell said.
Brooks was a big playmaker for the Titans again, gaining 166 rushing yards with the game-winning touchdown.
Kobel finished with 252 passing yards and two scores, while Kardell made four catches for 125 yards with two touchdowns.
West limited Maples, who threw a state-record nine touchdown passes in the second week of the season against Lee’s Summit, to 203 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans also sacked Maples three times, the last of which ended the Trojans’ final drive of the game.
“We had pretty good pressure on him all night on him and we were real happy with it,” Careswell said. “He’s a great quarterback and we were able to slow him down and get a few hits on him.”
West scored on its first four possessions of the game and led 24-20 at the half.
Kardell and Kobel hooked up for the Titans’ first two touchdowns before resorting to some trickery for the third.
Sammy Cooper, the Titans’ backup quarterback, took a snap and handed off to Brooks, who swept right and tossed the ball to Cade Clemons. Clemons then rolled left and tossed the ball downfield to Cooper, who raced untouched for a 68-yard score.
The two teams battled through a scoreless third quarter before West had its resilience tested again.
“That was a big, tough road victory,” said Careswell, whose team faces another tough road test this Friday at Fort Osage. “I told them you’re always in a game. We have big weapons on offense that can get us back on top.”