The moment demanded a momentum-changing play by Fort Osage and the Indians made it during a 28-14 victory over Lee’s Summit on Friday night at Fort Osage.
Lee’s Summit had just tied the game midway through the third quarter on a 53-yard touchdown pass by junior quarterback Dalton Hill, and the Tigers took advantage of a stunned Fort Osage team by successfully recovering an onside kick at the Indians’ 40 on the ensuing kickoff.
“I wasn’t expecting the onside kick,” Fort Osage senior wide receiver Matt Smith said. “It was good to see the defense make a big play after that.”
The Indians certainly rose to the occasion. Fort Osage’s front four bulldozed its way through the middle with such ferocity that they blew up the attempted run play and caused a fumble.
Eight plays later, Fort Osage scored the go-ahead touchdown on an 18-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Skylar Thompson to Smith.
“That was huge,” said Thompson, who completed 18 of 22 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another touchdown. “It was tied 14-14 and we needed to separate ourselves. We got the momentum back on our side and drove down the field and scored.”
The Indians scored again early in the fourth quarter and rode that two-touchdown advantage to victory, improving to 3-0. It was the first loss in three games for Lee’s Summit.
The explosive third quarter was filled with big plays. It started immediately when Smith returned the kickoff 63 yards, giving Fort Osage great field position at the Lee’s Summit 17. On the next play, senior running back Bailey Williamson scored on a run. The extra point gave the Indians a 14-7 lead.
“It was crazy,” said Smith, who finished with 10 receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns. “Coach said, ‘Let’s start off big. Let’s start off with a return.’”
Fort Osage appeared to be in control. The Indians forced a three-and-out by Lee’s Summit and then drove into Lee’s Summit territory. But An interception by Lee’s Summit energized the Tigers.
Hill made the Indians pay for the turnover. On the fourth play on the drive, he tossed a 28-yard pass to senior wide receiver Trevor Fell. On the next play, Hill hit senior Zach Mitchell on 55-yard touchdown pass, making it 14-14.
Then came the successful onside kick by Lee’s Summit.
“Their crowd was going crazy,” Thompson said. “Everything was going their way.”
Fort Osage responded. After causing the turnover, the Indians controlled the final 18 minutes of the game.
“It was big,” Fort Osage senior defensive lineman Sima Thomas said. “Everybody knew we needed a big play. We just happened to make it.”
In the first half, Thompson did his damage with his arm, Hill countered with his legs and the defense by both teams dominated the second quarter. Those three things were the main reasons why the game was tied 7-7 at halftime.
On their second drive of the game, the Indians took advantage of favorable field position, starting at Lee’s Summit 42. On the second play of the drive, Thompson hit Kevin Rush for a 17-yard pass play. Two plays later, Fort Osage was in the end zone on a 10-yard pass from Thompson to Smith with 1:56 left in the first quarter.
Hill provided a quick answer to the Indians’ touchdown by breaking off a 57-yard run on the first play on the ensuing drive. His run plus a personal foul put the ball on Fort Osage 7. Three plays later, Hill scored on a 2-yard run.