Entering this season, the Blue Springs Wildcats weren’t used to the feeling of having their backs pressed against the wall.
The Wildcats, the Missouri Class Class 6 two-time defending state champions, had — for the most part — enjoyed relatively stress-free outings. But back-to-back recent losses and three setbacks overall made for an entirely new mindset for the Wildcats entering Friday night’s showdown at Lee’s Summit West.
Blue Springs 38, Lee’s Summit West 14.
“Things definitely weren’t easy for us, but things had gone so well lately that we hadn’t experienced much adversity,” Blue Springs coach Kelly Donahoe said.
The Wildcats bounced back in impressive fashion, led by 207 rushing yards from Cobi Bissell against Lee’s Summit West.
“This win was special,” said Bissell, who averaged 6.3 yards per carry on the night. “We switched some people around and fired it up at practice. We had to step our game up, and we did that tonight.”
Blue Springs, 5-3, rode behind a revamped offensive line and piled up 523 yards of total offense — 280 rushing and 243 passing from quarterback Ian Brown.
Arguably the biggest of those offensive plays came in the third quarter, after Lee’s Summit West used an interception and two big pass plays to set up quarterback Bryce Kreikemeier’s 1-yard touchdown run that cut Blue Springs’ lead to 21-14.
Three plays later, Bissell broke free for a 64-yard run up the middle. He punched it in two plays later to restore Blue Springs’ 14-point lead.
“That’s probably was the play of the game right there,” Donahoe said.
“We knew we were going to face adversity. This is a good team,” he said of Lee’s Summit West. “We needed to answer that touchdown and the line came out and did all the work. They opened a huge hole and I just had to run.”
The Blue Springs defense then came up with two interceptions and a forced punt. The Wildcats’ offense added a field goal and a 63-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Terrance Sanders.
“They just executed and made the plays when they needed to,” Titans coach Royce Boehm said. “I was talking to (Donahoe) and he was telling me how they were getting healthy again and this is right, as we’re banged up. But, hey, that’s big-boy Class 6 football. They made the plays tonight.”
Kreikemeier passed for 169 yards for Lee’s Summit West, which goes to 6-2 with the loss. The Titans’ Ryan Williams rushed eight times for 91 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown that knotted the game 7-7 in the first quarter.
“We just have to keep playing,” Boehm said. “That’s what we’re telling our kids right now. We were in that game but didn’t do what we needed to give ourselves a chance. Now we just have to move on and keep playing.”