A high school football team, if it’s lucky, might pull off one fake punt a season. Lee’s Summit North pulled off two in one game on Friday night.
That, if anything, illustrates how well everything is going for LS North this season, as well as how well things went in its 29-16 home victory over Blue Springs South. Broncos coach Jamar Mozee called for the fake twice against the Jaguars, and both times the play extended drives that turned into touchdowns.
“Calling that was never on my mind before the game started,” Mozee said. “We saw how they aligned the time before, and we called it and it worked. As time went by we saw they were lined up the same way, and we called it again.”
Mozee first called it in the second quarter when LS North faced fourth-and-8 on its own 39-yard line. Miles Craddock took the snap as the up-back and carried the ball for a 9-yard gain. Three plays later, running back Ontario Russell scored the first of his two touchdowns for a 14-0 North lead.
Russell’s second TD came after the second fake in the fourth quarter, when Craddock took the snap again for another 9-yard run on fourth-and-7. That score put LS North up 29-9 and well on its way to its second straight Suburban Gold Conference victory.
“I think the coaches trusted in me, and I think they believed in me to do that,” Craddock said. “They put it on my shoulders to get a first down, and that’s what I did.”
The fakery complimented what has become a quick and multifaceted ground game for the Broncos. Quarterback Christian Carter, who had 243 yards and three touchdowns the week before against Raymore-Peculiar, tallied 172 yards and a TD on 14 carries against 0-3 Blue Springs South. Russell rushed for 95 yards and two TDs on 13 carries and John Eldridge had 59 yards and a TD on 13 carries.
And the Broncos wasted no time showing off that speed and setting the tone for the game. Two plays after Blue Springs South’s 17-play 76-yard opening drive ended with an interception in the end zone, Carter found room on the left sideline and raced 74 yards for LS North’s first TD. He also broke loose for a 45-yard run after the first faked punt to set up Russell’s first score.
“When you’ve got three guys like that you give them the ball,” Mozee said. “And those three guys can play.”
Blue Springs South got a 34-yard field goal from Nathan Rockwell and 1-yard touchdown run from quarterback Brody Parker to pull within 14-9 by halftime, and the Broncos offense bogged down at the start of the third quarter.
But North ended a short drive after the Jaguars turned the ball over on downs with a 9-yard touchdown run by Eldridge late in the third quarter, and Russell followed that with his fourth-quarter score.
Parker threw a 10-yard TD pass to Ethan Swanegan late in the fourth quarter for Blue Springs South.