Five important things for Blue Springs South in the state title game
The job Blue Springs South has done to get to the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl state championship has been nothing short of amazing.
But there is still one game left to play. And no matter how far the Jags have come this year, there will be some disappointment for a bit if South walks out of the Edward Jones Dome without a win Saturday night.
Here are the five primary keys to the success for the Jaguars:
1. STOP THE RUN: Hazelwood Central comes into tonight averaging nearly 200 yards a game on the ground. Maurice Scott and quarterback Kerry Gibson both average more than 6 yards a carry each.
South had a little bit of trouble late in the game against Jefferson City stopping the run, and it made the game a little too close for comfort for South fans. In fact, South has had a propensity to give up big plays on the ground this season. Case in point: Lee’s Summit North’s Quincy Williams.
If South can control the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball and force Hazelwood to pass, it will be a good first step.
2. EXECUTE: The last two weeks, the Jaguars have been able to get up two touchdowns early and hold on for tight victories.
You can guarantee head coach Greg Oder and offensive coordinator Kelly Groom have been discussing that this week.
South needs to get on top and keep the foot on the throat of the Hawks.
3. KEEP THE CHIP: South came into the playoffs with a giant chip on its shoulder. After the win over Jefferson City, all the Jaguar players kept talking about was how “no one thought we’d be here.”
Now you are here. And here is a good accomplishment.
However, if the Jaguars – particularly the defense – continue to play with that fire of proving everyone wrong who counted them out after week one, then things should be fine.
4. ERASE THE PENALTIES: A lot of the problems for South offensively last week had to do with penalties.
The Jaguars would make a big play of 30-40 yards only to have the play called back because of a holding penalty or illegal block penalty.
Having known Oder for a while now, those penalties stood out to him more than most of the good things South did Friday. And in a big game like this, South can’t afford to give the Hawks any sort of help if the Jaguars expect to walk out with the trophy.
5. FOND FAREWELL: Earlier in the season, Blaine Dalton – arguably the best quarterback in South history – predicted South would win its last game this year.
This is his chance to fulfill that prophesy.
Dalton has come a long ways from struggling against Rockhurst in week one to playing in his second championship game in three years.
A sophomore gunslinger along for the ride two years ago, Dalton has a chance to do something few quarterbacks in Class 6 get to do – win two titles.
While this win would mean a lot for all the seniors, you can bet Dalton was the one who felt the most pressure from those two losses in the first three weeks of the season.
It’s been a remarkable run for the Jaguars and has been amazing to watch this team come together this year.
Good luck Jags and bring home another state title.