Once the Fort Osage offense got rolling, the Indians had plenty to overcome some defensive hiccups that Raytown South took advantage of for big plays.
Skylar Thompson completed 14 of 22 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns and added 67 yards on 12 rushes, and Fort Osage scored on eight straight possessions after punting on its first two, rolling to a 51-26 season-opening win over the host Cardinals at Raytown High’s Ted Chittwood Stadium.
Thompson’s rushing was part of a 304-yard output on the ground by the Indians. Jesse McBee carried 15 times for 78 yards and four touchdowns, and Bailey Williamson and freshman Isaiah Iloilo had carries apiece for 67 and 56 yards, respectively.
The game already pushed back an hour due to the heat, didn’t start until 8:20 p.m. due to lightning spotted in the region during the pregame warmups. Once teams came back on the field, they had 15 minutes to complete a truncated warmup session before kickoff.
“We talked about handling adversity, and I thought we did a nice job of that once we settled down,” Fort Osage coach Ryan Schartz told his team after the game that ended just after 11 p.m.
With all the gaudy offensive numbers, Fort Osage’s stepped up big to start, forcing a three-and-out after Raytown South’s Stephon Rucker-Carroll returned the opening kickoff 52 yards. Then, on the 14th play of a drive started from the Cardinals’ 13, the Indians’ Andru Baxley fell on a Ray-South fumble inside the 10.
Raytown South ultimately scored first when Isaiah Hutchinson (15 carries, 108 yards) reversed field, got a block from quarterback Jabril Cox and sped down the right sideline for a 71-yard touchdown.
But Fort Osage responded with a nine-play, 73-yard drive, capped when Thompson found Matt Smith in the end zone on fourth down for a 23-yard touchdown. Then, a muffed punt snap set up the Indians 6 yards away and McBee scored on a 1-yard plunge.
Cox broke free for a 42-yard touchdown on fourth-and-two and ran the ensuing two-point conversion, tying the game at 14 with 1:04 left before halftime, but that left enough time for Thompson to lead an eight-play scoring drive, as Kegan Lammering booted a 24-yard field goal on the last play of the half.
In the third quarter, McBee’s 6-yard run on fourth down capped a 13-play, 71-yard drive. After a punt, Thompson then lofted a pass to Williamson down the right sideline for a 71-yard touchdown and a 31-14 lead.
After Hutchinson’s 20-yard touchdown gave Cardinals a brief reprieve, McBee added touchdowns of 16 yards off an option pitch and 3 yards after the second of three lost fumbles by Ray-South.
Iloilo added a 7-yard touchdown after the third turnover, and Fort Osage nearly made it nine straight scoring possessions before Raytown South made last minute stand at the 1. The Indians finished with 542 yards and 25 first downs on offense. Bailey Richardson, Sone Faitau, Zach Ingram, Jacob Jacobs, Sima Thomas were among the defenders who had stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Cox finished with 61 yards on 11 carries and completed 5 of 9 passes for 104 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown to Alahandro Garrett in the waning minutes.