Truman couldn’t catch a break.
After the Patriots scored on their opening possession of the game, everything fell apart. Raytown South scored on the ensuing drive, capitalized on a costly Truman turnover and benefited from a Patriot would-be go-ahead touchdown punt return that was called back on a holding penalty en route to a 33-7 victory Friday at Independence All-School Stadium.
“We thought we were the better team going into the game,” Truman coach Gregg Webb said. “We really thought we were going to be able to move the ball against them. We did in the first half, but our team is so fickle. We just had a couple of terrible breaks, putting the ball on the ground and having a score called back. I really feel bad for the guys.”
Patriots quarterback Dean Clemons capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive which lasted 7 minutes and 14 seconds, with a 13-yard scamper on a read option to give his team an early 7-0 lead.
It was nothing but problems from there.
South marched right down the field on its first possession, as quarterback Jabril Cox scored on a similar play from 16 yards out to bring the Cardinals within one after a missed extra point. A muffed snap on the ensuing possession set up Raytown South at the Truman 38, and after a couple of negative plays, Cox found Quentin Parks, who ran a fly route on a third-down fly route for a 42-yard score and a 12-7 edge at the 9:52 mark in the second.
Truman took the ball all the way to the Cardinal 23 on the following drive, but a fumble ended that threat. The home squad stopped the Cardinals on their next two drives, and early in the third, Jaquan Foster took a punt 89 yards to the end zone for what would have been the go-ahead score, but it was called back on a holding penalty.
“Using the analogy of golf, when you miss a couple of 3-footers, your whole game goes south,” Webb said. “We just don’t have any confidence. Our kids have been down so long, when something bad happens to them, they have trouble regrouping.”
Clemons’ 92 yards rushing on nine carries led a Truman offense which put up 178 yards in the first half. But once an hour-and-40-minute weather delay was over during halftime, the home team managed just 54 yards the rest of the way.
While the Truman offense sputtered, the Cardinals thrived. Reisjon Larimore punched it in from 5 yards out to make it 18-7 with 5:14 left in the third. Cox converted yet another third-and-14 early in the fourth on a screen pass to Isiah Hutchinson for a 17-yard score and 26-7 cushion.
“That was the ballgame right there,” Webb said.
Larimore capped the scoring with his second scoring run with 1:14 remaining in the game.
The loss dropped Truman to 0-2 and extended its losing streak to 16 games. South improved to 1-1 on the year.
“We don’t talk much about that,” Webb said of the losing skid. “I am not sure if it affects our guys. We just have to go back to the drawing board and watch film.”
Clemons led the team with 106 yards on 16 carries and added 26 yards through the air on 3-of-13 passing. Jordan Salima had 77 yards rushing and Tre'Von Sorrells added 21.