In a way, Friday night’s 81-42 season-opening loss to Lee’s Summit reminded Lee’s Summit reminded Truman coach Gregg Webb of his days coaching eight-man football in Kansas. But not in a good way.
“Defensively, it sure as heck did (feel like eight-man football),” Webb said after the non-conference defeat at Norman James Field at Independence All-School Stadium.
Unofficially, the Patriots yielded 577 yards of total offense in losing their 15th straight game, including 343 passing yards. Missouri-bound starting quarterback Drew Lock torched the Patriots for 343 yards and six TD passes.
Lock, who completed 14 of 18 passes before leaving the game in the third quarter, tossed three of his touchdowns on the Tigers’ first three possessions to help Lee’s Summit bolt to a 22-0 lead. The Tigers went on lead 29-13 after one quarter.
Webb attributed the early deficit to “stupid plays and stupid breakdowns defensively.” Tigers coach Eric Thomas, on the other hand, attributed Lee’s Summit’s scoring outburst to play at a “really high energy level.”
“I think we burned some emotion there early on and then kind of hit a lull and came back,” Thomas said.
The Patriots threatened to keep it close during the second quarter, pulling to within 12 a little past the midway point. However, they trailed 46-20 at halftime.
“We thought we might be able to move the ball a little bit,” Webb stated. “But I had no idea our defense was going to be so porous.”
Lock threw the last of his TD passes early in the third quarter to help the Tigers build a 74-35 lead after three quarters.
The teams traded fourth-quarter touchdowns and extra-point kicks. Jordan Salima’s 1-yard TD run, set up by his 54-yard gain, and Will Jenkins’ PAT with 5:51 remaining provided the final points for Truman. Lee’s Summit scored on its next possession with a 70-yard TD run.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what to expect,” Thomas said. “We didn’t have a jamboree last week. We’ve got a lot of new starters (on) both sides of the ball – a lot of young kids on the field.”
Thomas knew Lock was the playmaker and that the Tigers “had some guys that were returning that could play.” On the other hand, the team “had to find some other things out,” he said.
One thing the Tigers found out was that they have “some young receivers that can make plays,” according to Thomas.
“We had several kids get first touchdowns tonight as sophomores at the varsity level,” he said. “That was good to see – that the game wasn’t too big for them and that they weren’t nervous.”