William Chrisman football coach Jon Crutcher watched his team commit miscue after miscue Friday night against Raytown – especially during the Bears’ first three possessions.
The Bears fumbled away their first two possessions and lost their third to an interception. The Blue Jays used the turnovers to quickly build a 21-0 lead. Raytown went on to lead 28-0 after one quarter and 48-0 at halftime and routed the Bears 62-0.
“We’re nowhere near talented enough to dig out of that (21-point) hole,” Crutcher said after the Suburban Middle Seven defeat. “It’s just mistakes – too many mistakes.”
Besides the early turnovers, the Bears (0-4, 0-2 Suburban Middle Seven) repeatedly gave the Blue Jays the ball in Chrisman territory. Of Raytown’s seven first-half possessions, six started inside Chrisman’s 35-yard line.
“Our defense did a really great job of setting us up with really good field position in the first half,” Blue Jays coach Kevin Page said.
The defense set up the offense at the Chrisman 16 for Raytown’s first-scoring drive – a three-play possession capped by Aydrian Gray’s 1-yard run and Aaron Spradley’s extra-point kick with 10:08 left in the first quarter.
It then set up the offense at the Chrisman 29 for a five-play drive, capped by Josh Drake’s 5-yard TD run with 7:32 remaining. Eugene Walls’ interception set up the offense at the Chrisman 17 for a four-play drive, capped by Joe Straws’ 5-yard TD pass to Devin Wilmore with 4:26 remaining.
Raytown’s special teams set up the offense, too. A blocked punt set up the Blue Jays’ five-play, 25-yard scoring drive, capped by Straws’ 14-yard TD pass to Joe Hoversten with 46.7 seconds left.
During the second quarter, the Blue Jays (1-3, 1-2) showed they also could score on grind-it-out drives and on special teams. They went up 35-0 by launching a 10-play, 67-yard drive, capped by Straws’ 12-yard TD pass to Curtis Fann with 7:45 remaining. The Blue Jays capitalized on a botched Chrisman punt attempt by launching four-play drive, capped by Drake’s 4-yard TD run with 4:17 left. Then, Walls scored on a 55-yard punt return.
“I saw two guys. I tried to split them,” Wall said of his return. “I took off through the middle of them and I saw daylight. I had my blockers ahead of me. It felt good.”
Shantez Cosey’s 4- and 56-yard TD runs helped the Blue Jays put it away in the third quarter.
Getting contributions from all three units was needed, Page said. He attributed that to the wake-up call the Blue Jays got from Week 3’s “horrible letdown in the second half” against North Kansas City in a 34-31 loss.
“What we committed to do was to learn from that and to move forward,” Page said. “We’re not talking about it any more. We know what it was and we’re ready to move ahead.”