After getting shut out 39-0 in Week 1 by Blue Springs, Week 2 seemed to get started in the right direction for William Chrisman.
But the Bears, 0-2 overall and 0-1 in Suburban Middle Seven play, didn’t capitalize off mistakes, and the game turned on a dime midway through the second half as North Kansas City (2-0, 1-0) went on to romp the Bears 41-7.
The Bears reversed the opening kickoff as Simeon Leau-Fiso pitched the ball to Tre’Vaughn Sisco, who broke a tackle and went 95 yards for a touchdown.
The defense picked up a three-and-out and then Kelvyn Mason picked off Northtown quarterback Seth Mattly near the goal line and went into Hornet territory.
“It made us feel pretty good about ourselves starting the game with a kickoff return,” Chrisman head coach Matt Perry said, “and then came back out and stopped them. Then we drove it down and fizzled out. We’ve got to stop that. We’ve got to finish.”
On the third Hornet possession, the Bears got another stop and recovered a fumbled snap before a punt.
But the good fortune ended there, the mistakes started piling up, and the Northtown’s ground game took control.
“We didn’t handle adversity very well,” Perry said, “and we just have to do that. We have to see when that momentum’s coming and we have to have some kids step up and say, ‘We’re going to stop this.’”
Along with not stopping the momentum swing, the Bears had no answer for the Hornets’ ground game.
Running back Clyde Price tore apart the Bears’ defense for 263 yards and four touchdowns while Brandon Hall added 141 rushing yards and a touchdown.
The Hornets offense ran as one-dimensional as possible – the only pass attempt of the night got picked off by Mason. Mattly left the game in the second quarter and Northtown went to the Wildcat with Hall taking the snaps.
“(Price is) a great back,” Perry said. “He’s a 2,000-yard rusher last year, probably do the same this year. They do a great job with him. Their scheme is good. They run the option attack, and we struggled with it.”
Hall put North Kansas City on the board with 5:22 left in the second on a 69-yard run untouched down the right sideline.
Then the wheels fell off for the Bears.
Going three-and-out on their next possession, the Bears were going to punt from the 35, but the snap went over Osi Nauer’s head and the Hornets recovered the ball in the end zone to go up 14-7 with 3:47 left before half.
William Chrisman looked completely unprepared for an onside kick attempt up the middle, but came up with the ball. It didn’t matter as quarterback Dawson Herl fumbled the next snap, which led to Price’s first touchdown run of the night at the 3:07 mark.
The Hornets tried the onside kick again, but this time succeeded down their left sideline.
Price scored again with 1:09 on the clock to put the Hornets up 27-7.
The offense showed signs of life in the second half, but couldn’t get on the board.
“We put ourselves in position to make some plays,” Perry said, “so I think that was different than last week. We put ourselves in position to make some plays. Now we just have to make those plays. We have to have some kids step up and just make those plays.”
Twice Herl and Sisco missed on a connection down the sideline that would have ended up for a big score, once on the first play from scrimmage that was overthrown and would have put the Bears up 14-0, and again in the second half that bounced off Sisco’s pads that would have cut the lead down to 27-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Herl completed 8 of 18 passing attempts for 62 yards.
But Price busted out two more touchdowns in the fourth, one for 85 yards.
“There were times where a lot of playmaking had to happen,” Price said, “but our line was still solid up front. We had to make a couple of adjustments up front, but they still held them tight.”