It’s been six years since tradition-rich Blue Springs last lay claim to a state championship in football.

Tonight, the Wildcats go for the program’s fourth overall title in school history against Hazelwood Central in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

It’s been six years since tradition-rich Blue Springs last lay claim to a state championship in football.
Tonight, the Wildcats go for the program’s fourth overall title in school history against Hazelwood Central in the Class 6 Show-Me Bowl at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
The Wildcats (12-1) will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. against the defending state champion Hawks (12-1), who defeated Blue Springs South last season in route to that program’s fourth-ever title. In a twist of irony, Blue Springs’ last championship game win was a 53-0 shellacking of Hazelwood Central back in ‘03.
Here are the five keys that could help the Wildcats bring the Class 6 championship back to the west side of the state.
1. MILLER TIME: Wildcats junior running back Darrian Miller is following up a sophomore campaign that saw him land as first team all-state with one of the greatest single seasons in program history. Miller has rushed for an astounding 2,617 yards and 36 touchdowns on 273 carries, an average of 9.6 yards per carry and 201.3 yards per game.
More amazing is the fact that Miller has had games this season where he never touched the field after the first series of the third quarter and the entire fourth quarter. If Miller gets anywhere near his season averages, the Wildcats could be looking at title No. 4.
2. BIG TIME PLAYER, BIG TIME GAME: If nothing else, wide receiver Keeston Terry is the Wildcats’ best pound-for-pound athlete. The senior Division I commit has caught 68 passes this season for 889 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 340 yards and three touchdowns on 46 carries. He’s added 279 yards on kickoff returns and 111 yards on punt returns. Terry’s big-play ability will be crucial against a speed-driven Hazelwood Central team.
3. QUARTERBACK PLAY: Jared Lanpher has orchestrated an offense that averages 407.5 yards and 41.7 points per game by passing for 1, 840 yards and 23 touchdowns. Lanpher has completed 125 passes out of 203 attempts and thrown just eight interceptions. He will need to be on target again and avoid turnovers.
4. DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE: Can defensive end Jordan Chrisman continue his dominating play at the point of attack against the Hawks? The Wildcats menacing defensive lineman’s play up front this season has been impressive.
Will speedy outside linebacker Josh Padley continue wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks? Padley has recorded a team-leading 19 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and eight sacks this season, including four sacks against Rockhurst in the Wildcats’ 23-21 state quarterfinal win over the Hawklets. Padley’s teammate in the linebacker corps Derrick Potter has a team-leading 104 total tackles on the season, including 10 for loss.
What does Jordan Brown have in store? The ball-hawking, hard-hitting Brown has emerged as a force in the Wildcats’ secondary. He leads the team in interceptions with four and has tallied 51 total tackles, good for fourth on the team.
5. COACHING: Is there any doubt about the coaching ability of Kelly Donohoe and his staff? Donohoe, with two state championships to his credit, has proven time and time again this season that the Wildcats are on a mission to win it all. Expect the Wildcats to be well-prepared and ready to play against the Hawks.