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Examiner
  • SOLID AS A ROCK

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  • Ian Brown threw another Hail Mary touchdown pass, completed 13 of 17 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns Friday.
    And all the Blue Springs High School quarterback wanted to talk about after a 22-7 victory over his former Rockhurst team was the Wildcats defense.
    “We feed off our defense,” said Brown, who threw six touchdown passes week, including a Hail Mary to Kaleb Prewett before halftime at Park Hill South last week. “If the offense doesn't get the job done, we know we can rely on the defense to get the ball back.
    “I've never been on a team like this where there seems to be an elite player at every position.”
    Blue Springs all-state defensive end Elijah Lee and twin defensive tackles Khalil and Carlos Davis made life miserable for Rockhurst quarterback T.J. Green, the son of former Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl quarterback Trent Green.
    On the opening series, both Davis brothers had a tackle and Lee recorded one of his 3 1/2 sacks.
    “We missed out on some scoring opportunities and made way too many mistakes,” said Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe, who celebrated his birthday as his team improved to 3-0. “I was especially disappointed in our lack of discipline, our (two) personal foul penalties and missing two extra points and having a punt blocked – but each time we made a mistake our defense bailed us out.
    “Those guys on defense are fun to watch when they're flying around, going after the ball.”
    Rockhurst, which is off to its first 0-3 start since 1978, finished with just 151 of total yards of offense, including only 30 on the ground.
    “We read … about how Rockhurst had lost to the No. 1 team in Illinois and Arkansas and we wanted to make sure they lost to the No. 1 team in Missouri tonight,” Lee said. “It's crazy how good the defense is playing right now, and we haven't even come close to playing our best game. We'll need to play a lot better next week (when they travel to Class 5 No. 1-ranked Lee's Summit West, the lone team that beat the Class 6 state champions last season).”
    An Antwon President interception and Gunnar Strickland sack ended any hope of a Rockhurst comeback as the Wildcats refused to give an inch against their longtime rival. The win evened the all-time series at 23-23.
    “Every time they put together a drive, we found a way to stop it,” President said. “It was like Gunnar's sack on their last offensive series. We didn't want them to get anything tonight.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Strickland was called for a personal foul when he got into a skirmish on the Rockhurst sideline, but he said there is no fear of a one-game suspension.
    “I hit him, he got his hand under my facemask, some words were exchanged – that was it,” Strickland said. “I can't let my emotions get the best of me, especially against a team like Rockhurst. With the Davis twins and Elijah on the line and Kaleb (Prewett, who caught two touchdown passes) and Antwon in the backfield, I don't think we even know how good we can be.
    “We wanted to make a statement defensively and I think we did it tonight. We have to clean some things up, but I think this team has the chance to be a great team with a great defense.”
    Long after most of their teammates had left the locker room, Carlos and Khalil Davis said the defense feeds off the offense.
    “To share this with my brother, and all our football brothers, makes it even more special,” Khalil said. “When you see Ian play so cool and calm and Kaleb catch those touchdown passes and Dalvin (Warmack) run for 100 yards, it fires the defense up.
    “I know Ian says the offense feeds off the defense, and we feel off the offense. If we make a big play, a big stand, we know the offense is going to do something great when it gets the ball.”
    Carlos agreed, adding, “The sky's the limit for our team and our defense. We have a lot of talent, a lot of elite players, and we're just getting started.”
    Brown threw touchdown passes of 88 and 38 yards to Prewett, 31 yards to Shepherd and Blane Howell kickded a 23-yard field goal along with the two missed extra points.
    The Wildcats lost tight end Marqus Andrews to a foot/ankle injury, which hampered their running game. However, Warmack, the reigning Simone Award winner, finished the game with 120 hard-fought yards on 23 carries.
    Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC

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