Blue Springs South wide receiver Ethan Swanegan couldn’t be covered, but the Staley offense couldn’t be stopped.
In a game where offensive fireworks dominated Friday at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium, Swanegan’s 14 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown marked one of several eye-popping performances.
In the end, though, the Jaguars couldn’t slow down Falcons quarterback John Raybourn and the Staley offense as the visitors took a 41-37 win.
“Numbers don’t matter in a loss,” Swanegan said. “We’re all out here trying to get a win and I was just doing what I could to help my team get there.”
The Falcons (4-0) finished with 629 yards of offense, Raybourn throwing for 343 yards and four touchdowns and adding 106 yards on the ground.
“Raybourn is dynamic and they have a couple of great wide receivers,” South coach Jon Oyler said. “Staley is a good, well-coached football team. Our kids battled and I’m proud of the effort, but those obviously aren’t the results that we want. … We need to get some things ironed out and figured out defensively. That’s four weeks in a row where I don’t feel like we’re playing up to what our potential is (on defense).”
Offensively, South stuck almost exclusively to the passing game, and with good reason, as quarterback Brody Parker completed 26 of 42 passes for 393 yards and five touchdowns.
“We both got after it offensively,” Parker said. “We were playing by what they were doing on defense. They’re great inside the box and we just beat them the ways we could, but it wasn’t enough in the end. We have to start executing better and be more consistent all the way around.”
Though Parker primarily went to Swanegan, he threw three of his touchdown passes to DJ Frost, who ended the game with five catches for 103 yards.
“I have the best wide receivers in the world,” Parker said. “They go up and get the ball when we need it.”
The Jaguars (0-4) led only once, taking a 17-13 advantage into halftime after falling behind 13-0 less than five minutes into the game.
Staley retook the lead for good on a pair of third-quarter Raybourn touchdown passes to Rod Criss II of 39 and 9 yards, respectively.
The teams combined for five touchdowns in the fourth, going back and forth with South drawing within four points or less three times.
South opened the final frame with Parker’s 14-yard TD pass to Swanegan.
JD Benbow answered for the Falcons with a 14-yard touchdown run to put Staley ahead 34-24, then South responded with Parker’s 65-yard touchdown pass to Frost.
On Staley’s next play from scrimmage, Raybourn’s 51-yard strike to Benbow gave the Falcons a 41-31 lead.
Parker and Frost hooked up again for a score, this time from 9 yards out, but the Jaguars couldn’t recover their onside kick and Staley ran out the clock.
“We did everything we could, we just came up a little short,” Swanegan said. “We’ll get back to work and try to get a win next week against Olathe North. That’s all we can do right now.”
Staley took its 13-0 lead in the first when Raybourn hit Benbow for a 49-yard touchdown pass, then took advantage of a South fumble deep in Jaguars territory as Criss II scored on a 19-yard run.
South responded with 17 straight points.
Parker connected with Frost for a 26-yard touchdown pass, Nathan Rockwell kicked a 49-yard field goal and Parker hit Ryan Dycus for a 9-yard TD.
“We gave them too many opportunities, especially those first 13 points,” Oyler said. “I felt like we gave them those. What’s crazy is that’s the fewest points they’ve been held to. We have to get better at every single detail of everything.”