Fort Osage football coach Ryan Schartz’s decision to give his players a week off after Week 9 paid dividends on Friday against visiting Raytown.
The rested, undefeated Indians bolted to a 27-0 first quarter lead and cruised to a 44-12 Class 5 District 7 Halloween night win.
“I thought they came out with a little energy tonight,” Schartz said.
Fort Osage senior defensive back Sean Burke and freshman running back Isaiah Iloilo also said that the week off was helpful.
“It meant a lot,” said Burke, who contributed a first-quarter pick-six to the victory. “We got to rest our bodies. We got (time to) get right mentally. We watched a lot of film.”
Iloilo, who contributed a third-quarter TD run, agreed.
“We came back with a lot of energy – more energy than normal,” he said.
The Blue Jays, who advanced to face Fort Osage by defeating William Chrisman 35-8 in last week’s district opener, would’ve taken a week off, if they’d had the opportunity to do so, Raytown coach Kevin Page said.
“Rest is always good,” Page said.
Despite having one less week to prepare, “emotionally, our kids were ready at the start of the game,” Page said. However, Fort Osage “just came out and executed on both sides of the ball.”
“Hats off to them for that.”
Offensively, the Indians executed well enough on their first three possessions to score three touchdowns. Fort Osage was leading 20-0 when Burke returned his interception 42 yards for a touchdown to help make it a 27-point advantage.
“Early in the season, I had a few that I dropped, so ... (I had) been waiting for it,” Burke said.
Skylar Thompson’s 12-yard run and Kegan Lammering’s extra-point kick made it 34-0 with 9:43 left in the second quarter. Lammering’s 35-yard field goal with 2:06 remaining gave Fort Osage a 37-0 halftime lead.
Joe Straws’ 56-yard TD run gave the Blue Jays their first touchdown with 11:03 left in the third quarter. Iloilo then gave the Indians their last touchdown with a 3-yard run, followed by Lammering’s extra point, with 5:53 remaining.
“I got through on that part untouched because my line did everything for me,” Iloilo said.
Straws’ 16-yard TD pass to Montel Jones with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter provided the final points for the Blue Jays, who finished 3-8.
Top-seeded Fort Osage (10-0), ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 5, will face Winnetonka for the district title next Friday at Fort Osage.
“It’ll be nice to play here again at home,” Schartz said. “It’s always good to win – even on Halloween.”