Blue Springs South looked like a team tired of losing and hungry for its first win of the season Friday night at home against Olathe North.
The Jaguars overwhelmed the Eagles from the opening kickoff and never looked backed on their way to a 50-7 victory.
Needless to say, this one felt good.
“We’ve definitely had our struggles early on,” Jaguars head coach Jon Oyler said. “We’d like to have some of those games back. But with all the work that we’ve put in, it’s nice to feel like this.”
“This was much-needed,” running back Austin Terry added with a smile.
This one was never in doubt, as the Jaguars led 16-0 after the first quarter and 43-0 at halftime.
The first half stats told the story. South collected 274 total yards of offense, as well as a Trey Vaval punt return for a touchdown, while the Eagles had less than 20 yards. The Jaguars had 17 first downs, while the Eagles had only one, which came on their first drive of the game.
The Jaguar defense set the tone from the beginning. After the initial first down they allowed, they were nearly perfect the rest of the second half. They forced five three-and-outs and recovered a pair of fumbles.
“This week at practice there was non-stop communication,” linebacker Blayce Tipton said. “There was no hesitation in trusting each other. We worked as a unit tonight.”
Tipton and fellow linebacker Anthony Orlando both returned from injuries in what was their first game action of the season.
“They brought an aggressiveness and confidence to the defense,” Oyler said. “It was nice to have them back. The first three drives (on defense) it felt like we were energized and flying to the ball.”
With the defense allowing the Eagles to go nowhere on offense, that set up several short fields for the offense. The Jaguar offense started five of their drives in Eagle territory in the first half.
“It makes our job a lot easier,” Terry said.
Nathan Rockwell got the scoring started with a 27-yard field goal, which was followed up by the 57-yard punt return touchdown from Vaval for a 10-0 lead.
After that, it was the Terry show for a good chunk of the rest of the half. He accounted for three touchdowns, two on the ground and one in the air, while rushing for 158 yards on 20 carries.
“My line was amazing,” Terry said. “I couldn’t do my job without them. … After we got our first touchdown it felt like we hit our rhythm.”
Quarterback Brody Parker, along with the touchdown pass to Terry, also ran for a couple of scores. Backup quarterback Adam Connors scored South’s final touchdown on a 3-yard run.
Olathe North dropped to 1-2 on the season. They were able to get on the scoreboard late in the third quarter when quarterback Zac Krause found Malcolm McKibben for an 18-yard touchdown pass.
The Eagles will look to get back in the win column next week when they travel to Shawnee Mission East.
South, now 1-4, will travel to Raymore-Peculiar next week in hopes of building some momentum, despite what has been a frustrating first five games.
“Effort has never been a problem,” Oyler said. “I”m proud of the way they’ve handled things. I hope we can get the ball rolling a bit.”