By Mike Genet
Knowing the state of the Truman football program he inherited, Gregg Webb’s debut Friday as the Patriots coach went about as he expected, though that was only good on the scoreboard for Blue Springs South.
The visiting Jaguars, the 2011 state champion looking to redeem themselves from a 5-5 season in 2012, scored their three touchdowns on their first six offensive snaps and rolled to a 47-0 victory to open the season at Independence All-School Stadium.
South running backs Emery Ester and Adam Cofield scored three touchdowns apiece on the ground, with Emery’s TDs coming on his first three carries.
“There’s some good and bad things, and I’m sure Truman’s saying the same thing,” Blue Springs South coach Greg Oder said. “It wasn’t as sloppy, maybe, as some other first games we’ve had. The kids handled the heat well; I don’t think we had any major injuries.”
South forced punts on Truman’s first three possessions and the fourth ended in a fumble recovered by Wyatt Parker.
Ester broke off scoring runs of 38 and 24 yards, the latter after a 31-yard hookup between Chris Swingle and Brandin Dandridge. Cofield’s first carry went 18 yards for a touchdown immediately after a shanked punt that traveled just 1 yard, making it 21-0 with 3:26 left in the first quarter.
Two possessions later, Ester scored again 33 yards out. Following Cole Connors’ interception of a Dean Clemons deep ball, Cofield snapped off runs of 23 and 22 runs to set up 1-yard TD plunge with two minutes left in the half for a 35-0 halftime lead.
“You hope that maybe you’ll get a break or a turnover, and maybe the light will go on,” Webb said. “But we’ve got such a ways to go. Our defense just isn’t good.”
Though Friday’s game vindicated Webb’s preseason assessment of his team, he insisted there also are some building blocks.
“They’re giving us what they think they have, if that makes sense,” Webb said of the Patriots. “They have to see, and it’s our job as coaches to get them to see this, that there’s so much more.
“This was a good game for us. Hopefully our kids see what it takes to be a good team. (The Jaguars) have got good kids, speed and they scheme well.”
Truman forced a South three-and-out to start the second half but fumbled away the punt return, and five plays later Cofield capped a 35-yard drive with another 1-yard plunge. Backup quarterback Nick Nigro added a 46-yard keeper in the fourth for the game’s final score.
Blue Springs South limited Truman to 149 yards of offense. Middle guards Cole West and Yousef Mahmoud led a defensive front that especially stuffed the fullback dive, holding Truman’s Josh Cole to 20 yards on 13 carries. Clemons, a sophomore making his first start at quarterback, completed just one pass but rushed 15 times for 69 yards.
Ester, a senior finished with 102 yards on five carries, while sophomore Cofield had 86 yards on nine carries. Swingle, a senior also making his first start at quarterback, clicked on 9 of 13 passes for 97 yards.
“There’s a lot of adjustments we had to make, and they handled it really well,” Oder said. “I thought (Swingle) did well. I don’t know if there was any miscommunication or times we didn’t get the play in.”
Blue Springs South 47 Truman 0
BSS – 21 14 6 6 – 47
T – 0 0 0 0 – 0
BSS – Emery Ester 38 run (Chris Swingle kick), 9:26
BSS – Ester 24 run (Swingle kick), 5:16
BSS – Adam Cofield 18 run (Swingle kick), 3:26
BSS – Ester 33 run (Swingle kick), 4:15
BSS – Cofield 1 run (Swingle kick), 2:02
BSS – Cofield 1 run (kick failed), 6:23
BSS – Noah Nigro 46 run (kick failed), 8:57
Blue Springs South Truman
17 First downs 7
25-272 Attempts-Rushing yards 39-134
97 Yards passing 15
13 Passing attempts 6
9 Completions 1
0 Intercepted 1
1-32.0 Punts-average 4-26.0
1-0 Fumbles-lost 4-1
5-40 Penalties-yards 7-42