As a scoreless first half gave way to a seesaw of fireworks in the second half, Blue Springs South came back from a two-score deficit only to fall victim to some late-game drama for the second straight week.
Austin Terry's 3-yard touchdown run, his fourth score of the game, had South primed to force a second overtime against visiting Raymore-Peculiar. But the snap for the PAT kick was high and off the holder's hands, and Ray-Pec stormed the Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium field with a 35-34 victory in the teams' Suburban Big Six Conference opener.
Ray-Pec (2-0), which beat South for the first time in 10 tries, scored to start overtime on quarterback Grant Miller's 1-yard sneak. Miller also tied the game at 28 with a 12-yard keeper with 4:32 left in the fourth quarter.
South had taken the lead after coming back from deficits of 14-0 and 21-14, as quarterback Max Conard's 1-yard plunge and Shane Harper's PAT with 5:18 left made it 28-21.
“What our kids have shown the first two games is we're a resilient team,” Jaguars coach Jon Oyler said after his team fell to 0-2. “We need to make some of those breaks go in our direction, especially late in the game.”
Ray-Pec's Je'Von Williams hauled in a 23-yard pass and threw a 25-yard receiver pass to Luke Grimm to set up Miller's game-tying score in the fourth.
Miller had 31 yards on 16 carries and completed 7 of 18 for 130 yards. Grimm had 124 yards on six catches and also had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown after the South had tied the game at 14 to start the fourth quarter.
“I thought our quarterback play was so gutty tonight, and Luke Grimm is a special kid and makes a ton of plays,” Ray-Pec coach Tom Kruse said. “This was just a gritty effort by both teams. We seemed to have the momentum, and they just took it right back.”
Neither team could grab momentum in the first half, as both the Jaguars and Panthers lost two turnovers, including one inside the opposition's 20. Seemingly any big play on offense was followed by a turnover, defensive stand or drive-stalling penalty. Of the 11 first-half penalties combined, five were for ineligible receivers downfield. Each team ultimately got penalized 12 times.
Ray-Pec drew first blood when Matt Woodfine intercepted Conard and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. Aided by three Jaguar penalties on its next drive, the Panthers went up 14-0 on Brandon Rayos' 5-yard run with 4:40 left in the third.
Terry, who topped 200 yards for the second time in as many games already, got South on the board with an 11-yard touchdown at the 2:06 mark, capping an 80-yard drive.
The Jaguars started the fourth pinned back at their 9 after a punt return penalty and a sack, but Terry ripped off a 91-yard touchdown to tie game. Following Grimm's kick return, South countered in quick fashion with Terry's 10-yard score at the 9:35 mark.
Luke Fellers' 60-yard interception return then set up Conard's go-ahead sneak.
Conard finished 15-of-28 passing for 154 yards, and Dakoda Kenig backed Terry on the ground with 37 yards. In the first half, Ben Bryan had a fumble recovery and sack and Myles Opdahl an interception for South's defense.