When reigning Examiner co-Defensive Player of the Year Elijah Lee walked into the Blue Springs High School football locker room earlier this week he saw a “62” taped to his locker.
“I went over and tore it off,” said Lee, as the 62 was a reminder of last year’s 84-62 Suburban Big Six win over Lee’s Summit, the Wildcats' opponent Friday night at Peve Stadium.
“I didn’t want to see that 62. There was no way they were scoring 62 tonight.”
The Tigers scored just one touchdown as the Wildcats claimed a 49-7 Big Six victory in the final regular-season game of 2013. The win gives Blue Springs a 9-0 record, 5-0 conference mark and a fifth-consecutive undefeated conference crown.
“This was a statement game,” added Lee, who made life miserable for Tigers quarterback Drew Lock, who was just 10 of 21 passing for 133 yards. “Every down, I was thinking, ‘First and 62, second and 62, third and 62.’ I was thinking of 62 all night long, and I’m disappointed we gave up the one score.
“We wanted to show them we’re the conference champions, and we wanted to make a statement with the win.”
When asked if the lopsided victory was a statement game, Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe said, “One of our coaches came up to me after the game and said, ‘Coach, that was a statement win.’
“I guess it was, but I wasn’t looking at it as a statement game. I just wanted to see us play well – and not give up 62 points.”
He was grinning when he made the statement, then added, “We’re getting better every play, every series, every game. We played as clean a first half as we’ve played this season, and that was more important to me than making a statement.”
Just 1:47 into the first quarter Dalvin Warmack scored on an 8-yard run. Blane Howell’s first of seven extra points made the score 7-0.
Darrius Shepherd then took a reverse from Warmack and raced 43 yards to the Tigers’ 1-yard line. Warmack bulled his way into the end zone and it was 14-0.
The Tigers (8-1, 4-1) made it close for a while as Lock hit Caymen Metcalf on a 15-yard pass play to cut the deficit to 14-7, but that was as close as they got as the Wildcats scored the next five touchdowns.
Shepherd scored on a 35-yard run to make it 21-7 with 1:02 left in the first quarter.
Ian Brown hit Cobi Bissell for a 54-yard score, and Warmack ran 29 yards to score his third TD to make it 35-7 at the 7:45 mark in the second. Kaleb Prewett capped the first-half with a 16-yard touchdown run.
The second half started with a 42-7 Wildcat lead and a running mercy clock. Bissell’s 5-yard run with just 51 seconds left in the third period wrapped up the big offensive night for the Wildcats.
“I don’t really look at this as a statement game,” said Brown, who was 4 of 8 for 83 yards and a score. “It was no more of a statement game than any of our other games. We want to make a statement every time we play; we want to prove that we are one of the best teams in the state.”
The defending Class 6 state champion is ranked No. 1 in the state, and twin tackles Carlos and Khalil Davis believe the best is yet to come.
“We wanted to prove to Lee’s Summit that we were better this year than we were when we played them last year,” Khalil said. “We want to be playing our best football with the playoffs starting next week.”
His brother Carlos added, “We made a statement tonight. We wanted to prove to everyone that we are the best team in the state.”
Warmack finished the night with 14 carries for 122 yards and three scores.
“The guys on defense had a bad taste in their mouth since last year, and they got rid of it tonight,” Warmack said. “This defense is so good, it’s unbelievable.”
As if he overheard his teammate and longtime friend’s comment, Lee walked out of the locker room and said, “The bad taste is gone. I’ve had that bad taste 365 days, and now, it just tastes like victory.”