Uriah Aleshire and William Chrisman didn’t like the feeling of losing their last two games.
On the Bears’ homecoming Friday, they made sure it didn’t happen again.
Aleshire, a senior running back, rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns and did most of the work on a 75-yard scoring reception as Chrisman took care of North Kansas City, 36-16, at Independence All-School Stadium.
“It feels really good to win again,” Aleshire said. “We had a rough two weeks, but we got back in the flow and the coaches pushed us all week.”
The Bears’ offense was as balanced as possible on the way to scoring its highest point total of the year.
Quarterback Dawson Herl completed 8 of 16 passes for 200 yards, with Aleshire accounting for most of team’s 193 yards rushing.
“We were a little more dynamic on offense tonight,” Chrisman coach Matt Perry said. “We were able to throw the ball a little and that was able to set up the run. We tried not to get in third-and-longs. Our running game was good because we stuck to what we know, and that’s being an outside running team. Those kids have been running that offense since they were in middle school. We went back to that a little more and it was really efficient for us.”
One wrinkle Chrisman used on offense was bringing in 300-pound defensive lineman Isaiah McFall, who scored on a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter, as a running back near the goal line.
“That was amazing,” McFall said. “That was my first touchdown. I’ve done 2-point conversions before, but that was really fun.”
While Hornets running back Clyde Price rushed for 205 yards, the Bears' defense made plays when it needed to, forcing a fumble and stopping North Kansas City twice inside the red zone.
“That’s what our defense does,” Perry said. “It’s kind of a bend-but-don’t-break defense and we made some really big plays. Our defensive line is really good. It didn’t play as well as it should have tonight. We made some mistakes, but we’ll be better.”
Chrisman (5-2, 3-1 Suburban Middle Six) took less than 90 seconds to score on the game’s opening drive as Herl found a wide open Tre’Vaughn Sisco for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Later in the frame, Aleshire scored his first touchdown of the game from the 3 to cap off a 61-yard drive.
Aleshire made a highlight-reel play in the second when he took a short pass from Herl, then cut back across the field, weaving through nearly the entire North Kansas City defense on his 75-yard scoring catch to give the Bears a 21-3 halftime lead.
“I didn’t really mean to do that,” Aleshire said with a chuckle. “My feet just did it all for me. I meant to go with the (flow of the play), but cut it back for some reason. It was just instinct.”
After Price scored on an 18-yard run midway through the third, it looked like the Hornets (1-6, 0-4) might cut their deficit to one score when they drove inside the 10 on their next possession, but defensive end Daniel Carson stopped Price on fourth-and-3 for a 3-yard loss.
Chrisman promptly drove 89 yards for McFall’s touchdown and North Kansas City never seriously threatened to make the game close again.
Aleshire crossed the goal line from the 6 late in the fourth to close out the scoring.
“It’s great to get back on the winning track,” Perry said. “It helps the kids have some confidence in themselves knowing what they’re going to do. … It’s the first time we almost put four quarters together. That’s something we can build on, especially with a really tough game (at Fort Osage) next week.”
McFall noted the process for his team returning to its winning ways was simple.
“We just picked our heads back up and got right back to being the William Chrisman Bears,” he said.