Once Staley started taking advantage of numerous miscues by Blue Springs in the first half, the Falcons dominated the perennial Missouri Class 6 power.
Later, at the start of the third quarter, Staley — a Class 5 school — scored a touchdown and that triggered the running clock. Needless to say, it was a jubilant night for Staley and a long night for Blue Springs on Friday night at the North Kansas City Schools District Football Stadium at Staley.
Staley’s 35-0 victory might send shock waves across Missouri. Blue Springs, after all, won back-to-back Missouri Class 6 state titles in 2012 and 2013. The Wildcats compiled a 35-5 record during the previous three seasons.
“This was real big,” Staley senior quarterback Michael Kilpatrick said. “We haven’t won a home opener in three years. We shut them out, so it feels good.”
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During the first 9 minutes, Blue Springs moved the ball better than Staley and was winning the field position battle.
It all changed with 3:00 remaining in the first quarter, when Blue Springs’ punter dropped a perfect snap. Staley junior Mohammed Karim bolted through the middle and blocked the punt.
“We needed some momentum,” Staley coach Fred Bouchard said. “Blue Springs stymied us on offense. They were doing some pretty good things. He just makes a great play and we get that first score.”
The Falcons got the ball on Blue Springs’ 5-yard line and, three plays later, senior running back Joe Eller bulldozed his way into the end zone for the first points of the game with 2:19 left in the first quarter.
On defense, Staley started to completely control the line of scrimmage. The Falcons forced a punt, but then were penalized for roughing the kicker.
With new life, Blue Springs showed a spark on offense and drove to the 1-yard line. The Wildcats were in position to tie the game early in the second quarter, but a fumble caused by Staley senior defensive back Micah Daniels dashed those hopes.
Three plays later on third-and-1 from its 10-yard line, Staley senior running back Faizol Bouchard broke the Wildcats’ spirit when he burst through the middle of the line of scrimmage for a 90-yard touchdown run.
After Bouchard kicked his second extra point, Staley led 14-0 with 8:56 left in the second quarter.
“That run felt really good,” Faizol Bouchard said. “The offensive line opened the hole for me and God gave me speed to use and I turned it on.”
Stunned by the sudden change in momentum, Blue Springs struggled during the next 6 minutes. Staley pounced on the Wildcats when, two minutes later, Eller caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Kilpatrick, giving Staley a 21-0 lead.
A little later in the second quarter, Staley showed its depth at running back when Julian Ross had a 42-yard run, followed by a 4-yard touchdown run on the next play. Faizol Bouchard’s fourth extra point made it 28-0 with just more than 2 minutes left before halftime.
“We have a really good defense,” Faizol Bouchard said. “They play physical every week, every practice. They showed it today.”
Kilpatrick led Staley on a 72-yard drive, culminating with a 10-yard touchdown pass to senior Beau Baker with 9 minutes left in the third quarter.