Blue Springs South’s football season started with three losses and a rash of injuries.
Fortune was destined to smile upon the Jaguars at some point.
Friday’s 25-17 victory over Raymore-Peculiar on an unseasonably chilly evening was the first time Blue Springs South felt luck’s warm embrace.
To wit: their 52-yard double pass touchdown from Cale Connors to Jake Lamb to Adam Cofield in the final minute of the first half.
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Connors had to thread the pass between the outstretched arms of an oncoming Ray-Pec lineman just to get the ball to Lamb.
Lamb didn’t even have time to spot his target. He just turned and chucked the ball – into the teeth of a stiff northerly breeze, no less – to a spot downfield. Cofield took care of the rest.
“We practiced it, but the coaches just told me to try to get it there,” Lamb said. “I got lucky. I underthrew Adam. It was an ugly looking pass, but I guess it worked. I didn’t see him, but I just threw it as far as I could.”
Blue Springs South, 1-3, got 148 yards and two touchdowns from Connors. The offense converted a third-and-19 on the drive that produced the eventual game-winning score. The Jaguar defense held Ray-Pec in check. The Panthers touchdown drives covered 18 and 31 yards.
There was a combination of joy and relief in the sprint to the locker room after the post-game handshake line.
“We made some big plays that we haven’t been making, and obviously it makes a big difference,” Blue Springs South coach Greg Oder said. “(The win) is huge. Kids have fought, and basically we were blown out two weeks and played better last week. We’ve been stressing trying to get better every week, and winning before you play Rockhurst is obviously a lot better than 0-4 going in.”
Ray-Pec, 2-2, took its only lead of the game early in the third quarter on Trent Mitchell’s 27-yard touchdown run.
But that play was the last for starting quarterback Reed Davis, who aggravated an ankle injury that kept him out of action last week.
The Panthers couldn’t get out of their own way for much of the evening.
“We made too many mistakes, and it ended up being costly,” Ray-Pec coach Tom Kruse said. “A couple were quarterback-center exchanges, and at this point of the game, those are unacceptable. But credit South. Defensively they were solid. They made big plays in the passing game. It’s always a close game with us and South, and we knew it was going to be that way and it was.”
Blue Springs South’s schedule doesn’t slow down in the coming weeks. If the Jaguars were to turn things around, it needed to leave Ray-Pec with a victory.
“It’s huge. We’ve all been believing and we’ve been working these past couple weeks for a win,” Connors said. “We’re not satisfied. We’re going to keep going out and work for more.”