William Chrisman coach Scorpio Horn refuses to use his football team’s youth as a crutch for its struggles through the first two games.
However, he also knows he can’t ignore the reality of that youth leading to some frustrating mistakes at times.
The visiting Bears netted their first points of the season, though they came after Raytown had rung up all its points and put in the reserves for what became a 47-6 Suburban Middle Seven win at Ted Chittwood Stadium.
With a lightning delay that included a brief downpour, Friday’s game essentially had an 80-minute halftime.
“We’re building, and it’s a slow process, but it’s hard to build a building without a ladder,” said Horn, whose team started the preseason with just five seniors and has added a few since. “My players are playing their butts off; they’re doing everything we ask them to do.
“We made mistakes, but I’m not going to use youth as an excuse, and Raytown’s a very good team.”
And Josh Drake in particular is a very good running back. The shifty senior scooted and powered his way to 291 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries.
His first score came at the 7:20 mark of the first quarter, but it gave the Blue Jays (1-1) a 14-0 lead. Three plays earlier Chrisman (0-2) had muffed away the kickoff following Montel Jones’ 9-yard jet sweep touchdown that capped a short 40-yard drive.
Chrisman then drove to the Raytown 29, its deepest penetration before the fourth-quarter touchdown, before punting away, and Drake promptly ripped off an 83-yard touchdown run.
Roosevelt Collins and the rest of the Bears defense made a goal line stand in the second quarter. But the ensuing punt got blocked, setting up Raytown for another short drive, this one capped by Mike Baxter’s 8-yard pass to twin brother Matt with 1:14 left in the half.
Drake added a 50-yard touchdown on the first snap of the second half, Mike Baxter added a 4-yard scoring toss to Dionte Smith later in the third, and Dillon Gercone’s 11-yard run in the fourth capped Raytown’s scoring.
“I was worried after the delay,” Raytown coach Kevin Page said. “They’ve got a big tailback (D’Vontae Brown) and they did some good things. We wanted to keep the pressure on them, and luckily we were able to.”
Chrisman’s Tayshaun Wrench returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards, setting up Gannon Ogle’s 16-yard pop pass to brother Grady for a touchdown with 3:44 left.
That sequence and the goal line stand gave Horn some rungs for his aforementioned ladder.
“That’s where we can go to the film and build on something, and we’ll fix and correct the mistakes,” he said.
Brown bulled his way to 71 yards on 17 carries and added 50 more yards on five catches. Michael Johnson had four catches for 71 yards. Gannon Ogle finished 14-of-23 passing for 159 yards.
Still, Horn knows plenty of his players have their heads spinning at 100 rpm on the field and miscues are bound to happen.
“We had seven players tonight see the varsity field for the first time,” Horn said. “They didn’t get to be babies.”