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Examiner
  • Cats make quick work of state title game

  • Winning the Class 6 state title took a while to sink in for Blue Springs quarterback Wylson Lamb.


    It didn’t take Lamb and the offense long to score, though.

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  • Winning the Class 6 state title took a while to sink in for Blue Springs quarterback Wylson Lamb.
    It didn’t take Lamb and the offense long to score, though.
    After the Blue Springs High School defense shut down Francis Howell on a three-and-out opening series in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl championship game at the Edward Jones Dome Saturday night, Lamb led the Wildcats offense onto the field.
    Five plays and 51 yards later, Dalvin Warmack scored on a 5-yard run and before you could say “This looks like a blowout,” the Wildcats had a 7-0 lead on the way to a 42-3 blowout.
    “That first drive was so easy, we couldn’t believe it,” said Lamb, who completed 11 of 14 passes for 122 yards and a score and ran for 31 yards and two TDs. “All we heard about was how good the Howell defense was – and it looked great on film – and we just went out and marched down the field and scored.”
    It took longer to sink in for Lamb that he was a state champion. The senior said it finally hit him late Sunday night.
    “I was in my bedroom, and I just started doing this goofy dance,” Lamb said, chuckling. “It hit me – we’re state champions. It was an amazing feeling.”
    The Wildcats enjoyed a relatively easy time against the Vikings from St. Charles to help head coach Kelly Donohoe win his third state title. It was the fourth state championship in Blue Springs history and it came on the 20th anniversary of coach Wayne McGinnis’ and the Wildcats’ first state crown back in 1992.
    Francis Howell had allowed just more than seven points a game heading into the title matchup, but at the end of the running-clock rout, it was the Blue Springs defense that was earning the accolades.
    “We heard about Francis Howell’s defense all week, and I think that just fired us up even more,” senior defensive back Donte Watkins said. “When we stopped them that first series, we knew our offense was going to go out and do something special – and they did.”
    The Wildcats added three second-period touchdowns as Lamb scored on a 6-yard run, Darrius Shepherd caught a 28-yard scoring strike from Lamb and the senior quarterback bulled his way into the end zone from the 1-yard line to make it 28-0.
    Two pass interference penalties against the Wildcats allowed the Vikings to march down the field and Zac Perkins’ 35-yard field goal as time ran out made the halftime scored 28-3.
    “We wanted the shutout,” Watkins admitted. “We weren’t too happy when they scored. That just made us that much more determined to come out strong in the second half.”
    The Francis Howell offense didn’t come close to the end zone in the second half and the Wildcats put two more touchdowns on the scoreboard as Warmack scored on a breathtaking 47-yard run and Cobi Bissell added a 6-yard score late in the game as Warmack cheered from the sidelines.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Our defense heard about Howell’s defense and it wore on them,” Donohoe said after his Wildcats wrapped up a 13-1 season. “They came here to make a statement, and I think they did.”
    Watkins and junior defensive lineman Elijah Lee led the Wildcats with seven tackles each. Lee had a sack and two tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The Wildcats held the Vikings to just 250 total yards while gaining 394 themselves.
    “I’m so proud of our defense,” said Lee, who transferred to Blue Springs from St. Joseph Central before the season. “I could never imagine being on a team that was this successful. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that we’re state champions.”
    Warmack capped a junior year with the type of performance Wildcat fans have witnessed all season. He finished with 186 yards rushing and the two touchdowns on 23 carries.
    “I wanted to play a role in the victory,” Warmack said. “I wanted to have a good game, so our line would get more recognition. I think they are the best offensive line in the state. I know I wouldn’t have had this kind of success without them.”
    Warmack finished the season with 2,279 yards rushing and 46 total touchdowns.
    “On Thanksgiving, we had to talk about a player we were thankful for, and I thanked Dalvin,” Lamb said. “I thanked him for making my job easier and for being the best running back in the state.”
    As the final seconds ticked off the clock Saturday, the massive Blue Springs student cheering section began to chant, “Donohoe! Donohoe!”
    The coach gave them a smile and a wave as he walked onto the field to take part in the postgame awards ceremony after getting doused with a Gatorade shower from his players.
    “This one is special because it’s been nine years since we’ve won it,” Donohoe said. “We’ve had some years where we felt like we had a chance, but we haven’t gotten it done. It’s made this one more special because it’s been a while.”
     
     

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