Clinging to a six-point lead with over 8 minutes left, Raymore-Peculiar put together an impressive, time-consuming touchdown drive that allowed the Panthers to pull off a 21-7 upset victory at Lee’s Summit Friday evening.
Just two weeks ago, Lee’s Summit beat Ray-Pec 44-23 at Ray-Pec. Much more was on the line Friday in the opening round of the Missouri Class 6, District 4 playoffs. Lee’s Summit, which finished its season 7-3, was the third seed, and Ray-Pec was the sixth seed.
“The biggest thing is we only gave up seven points to Lee’s Summit,” said Ray-Pec coach Tom Kruse, whose team improved to 6-4. “They put some points up. If we continue to play defense like that, we are going to be in every game.”
Lee’s Summit looked like it finally got its offense on track late in the third quarter. A 9-yard touchdown run by Preston Whitworth pulled the Tigers to within six at 13-7.
Neither team was able to score on its next possession. With 8:30 left, Lee’s Summit punted. Ray-Pec got great field position at the Lee’s Summit’s 49.
Behind the running of senior Trent Mitchell and sophomore Chris McKinzy, Ray-Pec methodically moved down field.
“We felt like early on we could do that,” Kruse said. “We could control the line of scrimmage. Two weeks ago we couldn’t.”
On the 12th play of the drive, the Panthers finally scored on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Grant Ardito. The two-point conversion gave the Panthers a two-touchdown lead with 2:05 left in the game.
“Mitchell was out last week, so having him back really helped us out because he is a power runner,” said McKinzy, who scored a touchdown in the first half. “Putting that drive together really helped. We were making the right blocks and running hard. It was a team effort.”
In the first half, Ray-Pec took full advantage of three turnovers by Lee’s Summit and took a 13-0 lead into halftime.
The turnover that hurt Lee’s Summit the most occurred when a pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, and Ray-Pec senior linebacker Zerryn Gines was in the right spot for the interception. Gines then cut across the field for a 25-yard interception return for the touchdown. The extra point gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead with 6 minutes left in the first quarter.