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Examiner
  • District downer for Jags

  • Blue Springs South football coach Greg Oder isn’t always the most revealing guy. He’s well versed in the art of coachspeak, and tends to play his cards close to his chest when offering up postgame analysis.

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  • Blue Springs South football coach Greg Oder isn’t always the most revealing guy. He’s well versed in the art of coachspeak, and tends to play his cards close to his chest when offering up postgame analysis.
    But after Friday night’s 25-16 Class 6 District 4 defeat to Liberty at William Jewell College’s Greene Stadium, Oder gave a blunt assessment of his team’s season. The Jaguars showed flashes throughout the year despite returning only three starters from last season’s Class 6 state championship squad, but things never really came together like Oder expected.
    “I still don’t feel like we ever played the kind of game we were capable of playing,” Oder said. “I don’t know if we ever did, and that’s frustrating because we’ve had 5-5 teams and we were 4-6 before and we’re 5-5 right now. This doesn’t feel like either of those teams. It’s just been very frustrating.”
    In their four previous defeats, the Jags came out the following week with a win. But after dropping a 13-7 verdict to the Blue Jays in last week’s season finale, South couldn’t summon an answer to extend its season.
    Liberty (6-4) jumped ahead early as Matthew Zombo returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. After a Jaguar three-and-out, Zombo pushed the Jays down the field with runs of 24 and 38 yards out of the Wildcat formation on two of Liberty’s first three plays from scrimmage. The Jays went up 13-0 after Eric Greely Jr. scored from 14 yards out on a double reverse.
    South did settle down late in the quarter, pulling within 13-7 after senior running back Khorey Kilgore registered a 45-yard scoring dash with 2:44 left in the first. Kilgore added another 39-yard TD on a draw play in which he shook two sets of potential Liberty tacklers with a pair of jukes to give the Jags a 14-13 halftime lead.
    That was pretty much it for the South offense, though, as the Jags totaled just 12 total yards in the final two periods. Kilgore said the South game plan was heavily reliant on executing inside runs, but after his second score he noticed Liberty’s tackles pinching in at the line of scrimmage, neutralizing the Jags’ best weapon.
    “That was our bread and butter coming into the week and they had it knocked down,” said Kilgore, who rushed for 80 yards on 16 carries. “They had it locked up.”
    And after containing the Jays’ ground game after their first drive – Zombo gained only 23 yards on his final 11 attempts of the first half after picking up 64 on his first three – the South defense gave up another touchdown to Zombo on a 27-yard burst with 7:12 left in the third to push Liberty back ahead 19-14.
    Page 2 of 2 - Zombo finished with 130 yards on 22 carries.
    As the Jaguar offense stalled – they didn’t pick up a first down in the second half until the 2:30 mark of the fourth quarter – Jays kicker Andrew Fishel booted 24- and 37-yard field goals that made it 25-14 with 10:16 left. South’s only second-half points came on safety Liberty took on the final play of the game to avoid having to punt.
    “We’re just down,” Kilgore said. “We know we have so much potential on this team. Our record’s 5-5 and that’s not terrible, but it’s not what we thought we would be capable of. It just sucks. It just sucks losing, period, and especially like this.”
     

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