Lee’s Summit North may have opened some eyes Friday night.
The Broncos, who typically finish in the bottom of the Suburban Gold Conference, blitzed an established program in Raymore-Peculiar, 65-27, at Bronco Stadium with their speed.
But only time will tell if the win marks a program-defining win or just a blip on the map.
“Be a team. Culture. This kind of atmosphere,” North head coach Jamar Mozee said of making it a defining win. “Them believing in what we’re doing. That’s what makes it.
“(Ray-Pec is) a great program. Every team we play in our league is great, and they’ve been great a long time. We’ve been bad a long time. We’ve been the doormat. So trying to change a doormat into a power is a whole different ballgame.”
Junior quarterback Christian Carter led the Broncos, 1-1 overall and in the conference, with three rushing touchdowns, all 40-plus yards.
“I think the biggest thing is their speed kind of bothered us,” said Ray-Pec head coach Tom Kruse. “They’ve got some guys that can run. We talked about it all week, just getting our angles where they needed to get to. But until you really see it, we can’t demonstrate it for them in practice.”
While only throwing for 13 yards on four-for-six passing, Carter rushed for 239 yards on 10 carries.
Ontario Russell added two touchdowns and 98 yards on 12 carries.
Ray-Pec, which came into the game ranked No. 8 in Class 6, came out flat to begin both halves, and the Broncos made the Panthers pay.
On the first play from scrimmage, John Eldridge put North up 6-0 with a 91-yard sweep to the left side.
“They big-played us to death,” Kruse said. “We’ve got to get better at it. We’ve got to get better angles.”
A 21-yard pass from Carter to Myles Shaw set up 20-yard scamper at the 7:18 mark in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead after Carter kept the ball on the two-point conversion.
“We really have a lot of speed all around with John (Eldridge), Ontario (Russell), and Keyon (Mozee) coming out of the slot,” said Carter. “And Jordan (Murray) our big receiver, we can throw it to him. Just a lot of weapons on offense.”
Ray-Pec trailed 35-20 at halftime, and the Panthers started the second half with Chris McKinzy, Jr. running the kickoff out of bounds at the 2-yard line. The Broncos earned a safety on the next play to go up 37-20.
Again on the first play from scrimmage off the half, the Broncos went big. Carter tucked the ball in, made a few cuts, and was gone for a 59-yard touchdown and the lead swelled to 44-20.
“And that was really my best halftime speech I thought I had,” Kruse said. “I thought we were ready to go.”
While the Broncos for the most part stuffed the run, the Panthers’ passing game ran fairly efficiently with Noah Durham completing 20 of 32 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.
Durham connected with Luke Grim for 31-yard catch-and-run to pull Ray-Pec within 14-7 near the end of the first quarter.
Durham threw the ball up for Je’Von Williams to grab in the end zone, keeping the Panthers within 28-20 with 1:34 left before halftime, but the Broncos put some distance between the teams with a 46-yard touchdown run by Carter.
“Yeah, we can run fast,” Mozee said. “Very fast. I think it kind of showed up in track season. I went to some of the meets and was like, ‘Woah.’ We’ve been applying it to the field. It’s neat to watch.”
Ray-Pec’s Brett Felz missed a 37-yard field goal attempt to the left by inches at the end of the second quarter, missing an opportunity to try to swing momentum.
Kendall Thomas kept the momentum going for North in the third quarter with a pick-six to go up 51-21.
From there, there was no catching the Broncos.
The Broncos get tested again this Friday, hosting Blue Springs South at 7 p.m. The Panthers face another challenge in Lee’s Summit West at home at 7 p.m.