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Examiner
  • WILDCATS WIN

  • Down 28-6 late in the third quarter of its Class 6 District 7 playoff game against Blue Springs South, Blue Springs found out a little about themselves.

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  • Down 28-6 late in the third quarter of its Class 6 District 7 playoff game against Blue Springs South, Blue Springs found out a little about themselves.
    The Wildcats had opened the game with a three-play, 53 yard scoring drive on its first possession to take a 6-0 then let momentum swing the way of the Jaguars, who scored  28 consecutive points behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Calvin Jacobson.
    “Down 28-6, you would have bet everybody in this stadium wouldn’t think we could do that,” Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe said. “But we still believed that we could make something happen.”
    What Blue Springs did was ride the back, shoulders and legs of running back Darrian Miller and what they made happen was a stirring 21-point comeback that ended with a exhilarating 42-35 double overtime win Friday over host and Suburban Big Six Conference counterpart Blue Springs South.
    “Unbelievable,” Donohoe said. “I’m just unbelievably proud of our guys and how far we’ve come as a team. I’ve never been to double overtime in my life. I’ve been in some overtimes, but never double overtime.”
    The gut-wrenching loss was a tough one for the Jaguars, 5-3 overall, 2-2 in Big Six play and 0-1 in districts.
    “The season’s not over,” South head coach Greg Oder said. “We’ve got to win the next two to keep playing. We had chances, but we didn’t take advantage and we didn’t make plays when we had to. We made some crazy mistakes and that’s what happens.”
    After Blue Springs quarterback Kyle Brown’s 1-yard touchdown sneak with 9:13 left in the first quarter, the game looked as if it would be all Wildcats with the Jaguars failing to convert a first down on three first quarter possessions.
    The second quarter was a different story altogether.
    The Jaguars’ Donnell Alexander got things started just 14 seconds into the second, darting off on a 91-yard touchdown run highlighted by a crushing block at mid-field by running mate Chris Gilyard.
    Connor Harris’ extra point made it 7-6.
    Blue Springs fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and Jacobson found Gilyard on a 15-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 14-6 after the successful PAT and took the eight-point advantage into halftime.
    The Jaguars came out on fire in the third quarter with Jacobson hitting running back Steven Sullivan on a 58-yard touchdown pass 4 1/2 minutes into the quarter. An interception by Leland Anderson of Blue Springs South set up another Jacobson touchdown pass, this time 17 yards to Alexander with 3:35 left in the third.
    The score and extra point made it 28-6 Blue Springs South.
    “It’s the same way it would be if we were up,” said Blue Springs’ Miller, the top-rated running back recruit in the state of Missouri who finished the game with 274 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns on 35 carries. “I’m telling my guys – I’m looking ‘em in the eyes and I’m saying ‘If there’s anything on your mind right now it better be how you’re going to feel when we win this because it’s not over.’ I wasn’t going to let it go until that clock said zero.”
    Page 2 of 3 - True to his word, Miller and the Wildcats came through.
    First, it was a 48-yard touchdown run by Miller with less than a minute left in the third quarter that could be described as nothing short of mystifying.
    A successful two-point conversion pass made it 28-14.
    Then came an eight-play, 63-yard scoring drive topped off by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Brown to wide receiver Deiondre Hall.
    “I had to make plays,” said Brown, who was also active on defense sticking his nose in on two tackles behind the line of scrimmage. “Receivers are playmakers.”
    Nick Waite’s extra point kick made it 28-21, before Blue Springs South stopped the bleeding with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jacobson to Anderson with 6:06 left in the game.
    One play and 65 yards later, Miller was in the end zone with another amazing run that cut the South lead to 35-28 after another successful PAT.
    “The team was telling me to put them on my back,” Miller said. “I can’t really say I did that because it was a team effort, but when the going got tough, I feel like I really needed to step up and say “I got you guys, don’t worry about anything because I’m going to take care of you.’”
     Thanks to a tough 35-yard diving catch by wide receiver Blake Webb, Blue Springs scored on another 1-yard sneak by Brown with 3:20 left in the game. Waite’s extra point tied the game at 35-35 and sent the Wildcat faithful into a frenzy and the game into overtime.
    Both teams failed to score in the first overtime, but Miller found pay dirt from 1-yard out in the second overtime to give the Wildcats their first lead since the opening quarter.
    The successful PAT made it 42-35 in favor of Blue Springs and after a brief scare on a 10-yard touchdown run from the Jaguars’ Gilyard that was called back because of an illegal block, the Wildcats comeback was complete.
    “Honestly, I’m lost for words right now,” said the Jaguars’ Jacobson, who completed 13 of 26 passes for 215 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. “I have no idea. I know we were on a high and then I don’t know what happened. I know (Miller) made some huge plays that I don’t know if anybody else could. I don’t know, man. It was a heck of a game, though.”
    It was indeed a heck of a game that saw Donohoe and Blue Springs extend its winning streak to six games and left them with a 6-2 record overall, a 4-0 mark in Big Six play and 1-0 in districts.
    Donohoe said the gritty win was one of the best he’s seen in years.
    Page 3 of 3 - “What a game,” Donohoe said. “This has got to be the most classic game played in Kansas City in years tonight. Just thank God we were able to be on top of it.”
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