It’s been business as usual for the Lee’s Summit football team this week, which was just what coach Eric Thomas wanted.
Sure, the Tigers remain excited after one of the biggest victories in the program’s recent history, a 20-17 overtime thriller at Lee’s Summit West, but Thomas knew they still had work to do — and he hoped his team understood that.
“There isn’t a difference in the way we work or the way we go about things,” Thomas said. “You can tell they’re excited and enthused about things, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t win this week.”
It’s postseason time for Lee’s Summit and the rest of Missouri high school football, so the Tigers know their next loss will be their last.
Lee’s Summit (4-5) is seeded sixth in Class 6, District 4 and will travel to No. 3 seed Joplin (8-1) for a first-round playoff game.
Meanwhile, Lee’s Summit West (7-2) drew the No. 1 seed and will host No. 8 seed Raymore-Peculiar (2-7) and No. 5 seed Lee’s Summit North (6-3) plays at No. 4 seed Rockhurst (6-3).
Lee’s Summit, which started the season 1-4, is feeling better about its campaign after last week’s victory against West.
The Tigers gashed the Titans, who were fourth in Class 6, for 302 rushing yards, including 150 yards from quarterback Preston Whitworth.
After starting the year at running back before the Tigers lost their top two QBs two injury, Whitworth has rushed for 992 yards and eight touchdowns on 212 carries.
Thomas expects the Tigers to get a good test from Joplin, which hasn’t lost since dropping a 54-24 decision at Springfield Glendale in its season opener.
The Eagles are led by Blake Tash, a sophomore quarterback who has thrown for 1,818 yards and 14 touchdowns, and sophomore wide receiver Zach Westmoreland, who’s amassed 1,135 yards from scrimmage and 17 total TDs.
“They run it, they throw it, and they’re good offensively and defensively,” Thomas said. “They’re pretty physical up front and I’m sure, after what they saw last week, they’re going to load the box on us.”
West hopes to rebound against a Ray-Pec team it beat 41-7 during the third week of the season.
Running back Phillip Brooks has rushed for 1,358 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Titans, but he didn’t find the end zone against Ray-Pec. Quarterbacks Ben Kobel and Sammy Cooper combined to throw five TDs in that game
North, which has won four of its last five and secured its first winning season since 2001, will rely on its trio of ball carriers to get past perennial powerhouse Rockhurst.
Quarterback Christian Carter (975 rushing yards) and running back John Eldridge (573) have scored 10 touchdowns apiece, while Ontario Russell has rushed for 554 yards and five touchdowns.
Finally, Summit Christian Academy opens Class 2, District 7 play at home against Sherwood, a team the Eagles routed 69-6 last month. SCA (5-4) is seeded second in the district and has won four straight games.