It took a gritty team performance, an eye-popping late touchdown in regulation and a dramatic stop on a two-point conversion to give Lee’s Summit North its first win ever over longtime rival Blue Springs.
It all happened on a rainy Friday night at Peve Stadium where former Blue Springs star running back Jamar Mozee, who is in his fourth year as the head coach of the Broncos, led his team to a 28-27 victory over the Wildcats.
The Broncos scored on a 42-yard swing pass from Christian Carter to Ontario Russell with just 1:56 left in regulation to tie the game at 21-all. What made that play so special is that it came seconds after a Keyon Mozee 70-yard punt return for a touchdown was called back on a penalty.
The Broncos then scored on their first overtime possession as Carter scored on a 3-yard run and Devin DeRousse kicked the extra point to make it 28-21.
The Wildcats then got the ball on the 25-yard line and quarterback Koby Mansfield, who carried the ball 28 times for 104 yards and three touchdowns in regulation, led Blue Springs to the 8-yard line. Senior running back Aveion Bailey then took the ball in to score to make it 28-27.
“We had all the momentum, our running game was working and our offensive was just amazing tonight,” said Wildcats coach Kelly Donohoe, who had his team go for the two-point conversion.
“We were feeling it with the running game, and I knew that after we scored, we were going for two, and it didn’t work out. I feel bad for our guys because they worked so hard, but it’s still early in the season and we’re going to be fine.”
Jaylen Hickman was the Broncos who wrapped up Mansfield on the unsuccessful two-point run.
“We thought they were going to run up the middle because they had been so successful all night,” said Hickman, who talked about the big win while his teammates celebrated with Bronco fans. “When I hit him, I knew he wasn’t going to make it end the zone. It was a great feeling. Do you know that’s the first time we’ve ever beat them? Ever! It feels good.”
Lee’s Summit North opened in 1995, and the Broncos were 0-18 against the Wildcats heading into Friday night’s game.
“That’s something we addressed a lot this week,” said Mozee, whose team is 3-0 and entered with the No. 4 ranking in the Class 6 state poll. “Some coaches shy away from things like that, but not me. We absolutely addressed the fact that we were 0-18 against Blue Springs and this year we had a team that could do something about that record.
“I am so proud of our guys. We had the (late punt return for a) touchdown called back, and made a few other mistakes we can clean up. I want our guys to savor this win tonight. Then, we have to get back to work.”
When asked if it was the biggest win in the history of a program that has enjoyed little success, a grinning Mozee said, “No doubt about it. Some people may disagree, but I believe it’s the biggest.
“Now, we have to know how to handle success, and you do that by working hard and taking every day one at a time.”
For two-plus quarters, it looked like the Broncos were going to blank the Wildcats as they held a 14-0 lead while nothing seemed to work offensively for Blue Springs.
“We made some adjustments at the half and played much better the second half,” Wildcats offensive lineman Conrad Rowley said. “We did what we do best in the second half – dominate at the line – and when we scored, we got some confidence.”
The Wildcats drove 65 yards, with Mansfield picking up most of the yardage running behind his big center, Jack Johnson.
“We ran to our strengths,” Johnson said. “We got a good push off the line and Koby and our backs did a great job.”
Mansfield scored on a 1-yard run to make it 14-8 after scoring on a two-point run.
Moments later, following a John Pittman fumble recovery, Mansfield scored on his second 1-yard run. A pass on a two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete and it was 14-all.
On their next possession, the Broncos saw a bad snap give the Wildcats great field position. Blue Springs then took its first lead of the night on another 1-yard Mansfield run with 8:45 left the fourth quarter.
Fredy Romero’s extra point made it 21-14, setting the stage for the Broncos’ late score and overtime win.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Donohoe said. “We’d gone six quarters (losing 17-0 at Rockhurst last week) and we found a way to pound the ball and get it in the end zone and take a lead against an explosive and very good team.
“We didn’t get it done, but we’ll be fine. Our guys are going to keep working hard.”
Keyon Mozee finished with 12 carries for 107 yards, Russell added 18 carries for 72 yards and Carter 14 carries for 81 yards.