The only thing more solid than Raytown’s all-black uniforms with a red, white and blue “R” logo on the helmet was its play on the field.
The Blue Jays pounded visiting Grain Valley 49-14 on Friday on Military Appreciation Night at Chittwood Stadium.
Grain Valley received the opening kick, but on the first play from scrimmage fumbled into the arms of Raytown’s Marshawn Zachary.
Raytown quarterback Joe Campbell then connected with senior Dominic Gicinto on a 36-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue Jays a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game.
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“You always want to start out physical defensively, and getting a fumble right out of the gate was huge for us,” said Raytown coach Logan Minnick. “Then Joe made a great throw and Dom ran a great route.”
Raytown’s second touchdown came on Desmond Hutson’s 27-yard catch from Campbell with 6:35 left in the opening quarter, and another Campbell-to-Hutson connection made it 21-0 to open the second period.
The highlight play of the night came with with 6:52 left in the half, when Gicinto leaped over a Grain Valley defender to grab a jump-ball pass from Campbell and scampered down the sideline for a 47-yard touchdown.
Gicinto shined all night, piling up 140 yards on eight receptions.
“He’s pretty exciting to watch, and he’s pretty exciting to coach,” Minnick said.
Three first-half turnovers proved costly for Grain Valley, which trailed 28-0 at the break.
It was more of the same after halftime, though Grain Valley was able to put points on the board with two second-half touchdown runs. Ethan Grasher rumbled 40 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, and quarterback Tate Collum added a 24-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
The win pushes Raytown to 3-0, but the Blue Jays want more.
“We’ve got a higher goal than being just 3-0,” Gicinto said. “We want to be that 15-0 and win state. It’s uphill from here.”
Campbell finished the night 21 of 39 through the air with 273 yards passing.