Blue Springs quarterback Koby Mansfield lavished high praise upon teammate Aveion Bailey following Friday’s season opener against William Chrisman.
“We have the best running back in the state by far,” Mansfield said of Bailey.
If Bailey can keep having games like he did on Friday, it would be hard to argue with Mansfield. The senior bruiser rushed for 194 yards and two scores on 17 carries as his Wildcats rolled to a 39-0 victory against the Bears at Peve Stadium.
When Bailey was told of Mansfield’s proclamation, he couldn’t help but smile but stayed humble at the same time.
“I like those words, and I think I can live up to it,” Bailey said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there.”
He wasn’t alone in the dominant Blue Springs backfield. Junior running back Quentin Fontenot, who flew under the radar before the season, showed what he could do as he rushed for 140 of Blue Springs’ 459 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
“He’s very shifty. He’s probably one of the fastest people on the team,” Bailey said of Fontenot. “He’s a young player and has the heart of a bull. We have a good backfield.”
Added Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe: “He’s electric. With the power of Aveion Bailey and the electricity of Quentin Fontenot, it’s a special thing.”
Fontenot got a bump up in carries due to senior Nick Wood not playing, but the latter will be back next week to make Blue Springs running game even more formidable.
“We feel like we have three or four really good backs,” Donohoe said. “We’re excited about these guys.”
“Aveion does what he always does,” he said. “He’s our big boy and I am the little fast guy.”
Bailey didn’t waste any time jump starting the Wildcat offense. He scored on a 7-yard run after Mansfield converted a fourth-and-13 on a fake punt and run to make it 7-0.
The signal caller later pulled off a masterful fake with 11:10 left in the second quarter when he faked a hand off to Bailey and bolted along the right sideline for a 43-yard touchdown on a read option that completely fooled the Chrisman defense.
“Every time I am reading the defense, they are pinching down to get (Bailey) and then I think, ‘OK, you are going to go for him, so I’ll show you what I got,’” Mansfield said. “I just got to the outside, turned on the burners and they just couldn’t get me.”
Blue Springs went into halftime up 17-0 thanks to a 33-yard field goal from Fredy Romero. Fontenot added scoring runs of 6 and 4 in the third period, while Bailey capped the scoring with a 41-yard run in which he went into the end zone untouched.
Chrisman got the ball in Blue Springs territory a handful of times but couldn’t manage a score. Bears head coach Matthew Perry pointed to one reason why the score was heavily in the Wildcats’ favor.
“It’s all about depth,” Perry said. “Our lack of depth killed us. We had six guys cramp up and they couldn’t go back in the second half. Our kids fought with all of their energy. They just ran out of gas.”
Even so, the Blue Springs defense still looked like a force to be reckoned with even after the departure of two NCAA Division I linemen from last year. It held Chrisman to just 168 yards of total offense and had one fumble recovery by John Pittman.
“Any time you shut out a good team, that says a lot,” Donohoe said. “I am really proud of those guys. We lost a lot on that side of the ball, but like I told people all year, we have really good football players.”
Felix paced the Chrisman offense with 43 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Dawson Herl had 35 yards rushing on five carries and completed a 59-yard pass to Tre’Vaughn Sisco.