Lee's Summit Journal

Kicker’s crazy day mirrors crazy game for Titans football

Lee’s Summit West football coach Vinny Careswell addressed his team after the Titans’ 37-30 double-overtime victory Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, against Raymore-Peculiar in a Class 6, District 4 playoff action.
Lee’s Summit West football coach Vinny Careswell addressed his team after the Titans’ 37-30 double-overtime victory Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, against Raymore-Peculiar in a Class 6, District 4 playoff action. dmcqueen@kcstar.com

Mykal Wiley thought he had won the game.

So did his coach and his Lee’s Summit West teammates.

And he still thinks he did, in an odd way.

Wiley took to the field in a tie game for a 32-yard field goal try with 8.6 seconds remaining during West’s wild and wooly Class 6, District 4 playoff game against Raymore-Peculiar.

On a night with a gusty, swirling wind, he had already attempted two field goals — one make and a near-miss.

This time Wiley had a good snap, a true strike and ... the ball sailed just shy of the right upright.

“I didn’t know it would curve that much,” Wiley said. “Everybody thought it went in. I was happy and felt everything build up inside me. And it was all brought down when the ref was waving no good.”

Wiley’s moment was one of many topsy-turvy ones for West during a bizarre game.

Wiley missed an extra point then redeemed himself with a crucial point-after that helped West reach double overtime during a 37-30 victory at Titan Stadium.

Like the rest of his team, Wiley came out of the game unbowed despite his struggles and coming oh-so-close on three chances to put the game away.

“I think that was good for Mykal,” West head coach Vinny Careswell said. “I think it gave him confidence, because in his mind he made all those. He’s still completely sure that he made all those, so I don’t think it’s going to be a confidence-breaker at all. If anything it’s going to be a boost for him.”

Wiley — a 5-foot-9, 130-pound junior — didn’t anticipate such a tough night despite the wind. He said he felt good warming up and had no trouble connecting on a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Entering the fourth quarter, Wiley also was perfect on three extra-point tries.

Things got tougher from there.

He missed a chance to give West the lead with less than a minute left when a 34-yard try drifted narrowly off target.

Soon, he’d be back on the field again with the game truly on the line, a position he said he’d never been in before.

“Honestly, I was just thinking about putting the ball through the two uprights,” Wiley said. “I was nervous, of course, but I’ve tried to train myself to go with my nerves and try to overcome my fears.”

Ray-Pec scored first in overtime, but a bad snap thwarted the Panthers’ point-after attempt.

When the Titans answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by Marcian Marshall, Wiley had another chance at glory — and barely missed again.

But after West wide receiver/quarterback Sammy Cooper crashed through from 4 yards out to start the second overtime, Wiley’s point-after was straight and true.

Now, Ray-Pec would need more than a touchdown and PAT to win on their possession, a point that became moot when West’s Jake Grauberger picked off Noah Durham in the end zone.

And so ended a long night that saw West rack up 499 total yards of offense, including 183 yards rushing and a receiving touchdown from running back Phillips Brooks, while giving up 482 yards to the Panthers.

The Titans were penalized 10 times for 100 yards, while the Panthers were whistled 15 times for 155.

Durham finished with 292 yards passing and three touchdowns.

“Ray-Pec is the best eighth seed in Missouri history, I think,” said Careswell, whose Titans beat Ray-Pec 41-7 on Sept. 1. “We had a good game against them early in the season, but we knew they would be a lot better and they’ve got a lot of pride. They were fighting.”

So, it came down to Wiley, who didn’t take up football until the eighth grade. His soccer-playing father thought he had a talent for kicking the ball, but his son hated soccer.

“It just felt good,” Wiley said, “like I had done my job for the night.”

West (8-2) moves on to face Rockhurst (7-3) in the second round at 7:05 p.m. on Friday at Titan Stadium.

The Hawklets dispatched Lee’s Summit North (6-4) by a 7-0 final in the opening round last week.

Meanwhile, Lee’s Summit (5-5), a 40-26 winner at Joplin, plays at 7 p.m. on Friday at Park Hill (8-2) in its second-round battle.

Summit Christian (6-4) advanced to the second round of the Class 2 playoffs with a 50-6 win against winless Sherwood, setting up a second-round clash at home versus Holden (3-7).