Blue Springs South coach Greg Oder wasn’t worried about his team’s mentality after a mistake-filled first half left the Jaguars with more than 200 yards and loads of good field position but in a 7-7 tie with Lee’s Summit West.
“We love the fight in these kids,” Oder said. “We were making a lot of mistakes and not playing as well as we’d like early on, but they kept their composure and kept fighting. They’ve done that all year.”
The Jaguars came up with the big plays they needed in the second half to hold off the Titans 27-21 on Friday night at Blue Springs South. The win pushes the Jags to 7-0 after their 5-5 season a year ago. Lee’s Summit West falls to 5-2.
“Every conference game is big, especially with the conference we play in,” Jaguars quarterback Noah Nigro said. “Lee’s Summit West is a very respectable team, and they played their butts off. We’re happy to come out with the win.”
That win wasn’t completely locked down until the Jags picked up a first down with less than a minute remaining, but a fourth-down play five minutes earlier made South fans breathe a little easier.
After a Cale Conners interception set the Jags up with premium field position, they found themselves in fourth and 15 from the Titan 25. They chose to go for it instead of attempting a long field goal, and Nigro found 6-foot-4 senior receiver Briley Moore-McKinney in the end zone to push the lead to 27-14 with 5:15 to play.
“We had a play call that has several options with it,” Oder said. “They moved their safety over to the other side and left Briley one on one. Noah chose that option, and it worked out pretty well.”
Lee’s Summit West responded with its best drive of the night, a 10-play, 76-yarder that was highlighted by Cole Taylor’s 38-yard pass to Jacob Katzfey. Taylor later scored on a 3-yard run to cut the lead to 27-21 with 1:48 to play.
The Titans had two timeouts remaining, but the Jaguars were able to pick up two first downs and run out the clock.
A wild first half ended in a 7-7 tie. Both teams could have simultaneously felt lucky to not be trailing while being disappointed in not having the lead.
West began a drive at its own 2 with 2:18 to play in the half. Two plays later, Taylor hit Katzfey on a long pass play that momentarily looked like it might find the end zone. But South’s Savion Cauveren caught Katzfey 70 yards downfield and forced a fumble.
“That was huge. They were inside the 20,” Oder said. “Players keep playing and keep fighting. It ended up working out for us.”
The Jaguars took over and quickly drove to the Titan 20-yard line before Titan senior Tyler Boehm ended the half, and the threat, by intercepting a Nigro pass.
Nigro finished the night 13 for 26 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Adam Cofield rushed for 114 yards in 21 carries, including a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jerome Hawkins opened the scoring for South by breaking free for a 73-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Taylor passed for 174 yards for the Titans, 152 of which went to Katzfey.