Ian Brown wants to be a part of history.
But the Blue Springs High School quarterback is not going to let that chance to etch his name in the record books serve as a distraction as he prepares for the marquee matchup of Friday night’s postseason football games.
Brown, a longtime former resident of Raymore, Mo., and his Wildcat teammates ended the Raymore-Peculiar football team's postseason dreams last Friday with a dominating 42-17 win at Panther Stadium.
This Friday, they can accomplish the same goal against a Rockhurst High School team that included a sophomore quarterback named Ian Brown when the Wildcats marched to a Class 6 state championship in 2012.
“We're looking at history, becoming the first team to win three straight big class state championships since 1965,” Brown said Wednesday afternoon in coach Kelly Donohoe's office. “But you can't think like that or you're not going to be focused on the job at hand Friday, and that's beating a very good Rockhurst team.”
Brown paused for a moment, flashed that smile that can light up a room, and added, “I'd be going for my third straight state title if it wasn't for these guys (the Wildcats), because they beat me when I was at Rockhurst my sophomore year.
“The guys here at Blue Springs are going for their third straight title. I came over to Blue Springs when I was a junior, so I'm going for No, 2, and you bet I want to help them get it.
“Last year was Dalvin's and Elijah's and the seniors’ team (referring to Dalvin Warmack and Elijah Lee, who are now part of Kansas State's football team). This year it's our team – the seniors. And we want to be a part of history. But to be a part of history, we have to win Friday night at Rockhurst and we know that's not going to be an easy feat to accomplish.”
Brown lived in Raymore until his family moved to Blue Springs before his junior year at Blue Springs. He played football at Rockhurst his freshman and sophomore years, so last Friday's win and this Friday's game have added importance to the quarterback who has verbally committed to Holy Cross University.
“Ian just handles himself so well in any situation,” Donohoe said, as his 8-3 Wildcats prepare for the Class 6 District 4 championship aganinst the 10-1 Hawklets, who own a 14-13 regular-season win over Blue Springs this season. “This is a big game for Ian, it's a big game for all of us. Ian faced a lot of pressure last week, playing against all those kids he knew growing up in Raymore, and this week, he's going to be playing against Rockhurst for the second time this season.
“I'm a firm believer in handling different games, different opponents, in different ways. This is a big, big game. It's a state quarterfinal game, and the winner keeps playing and the loser goes home.
“We've played in so many games like this – and gosh, it seems like so many of them have been against Rockhurst. We're all excited, and we know how important every minute of practice is this week. You coach a little bit differently this week, you don't want the kids to be uptight and nervous – you want them to be focused and ready.”
That's why Donohoe and Brown were going over a few fine points of the Wildcats' offense that put 13 points on the scoreboard in the first quarter at Rockhurst earlier this season, but failed to find the end zone the remainder of the game (although two field goal attempts were blocked).
“We have to control the ball, have a lot of long drives and keep them off the field,” Brown said when asked about keys to the game. “We can't afford any turnovers, and we have to get it done offensively, defensively and on special teams. It's an exciting time to still be playing football. I know how hard Rockhurst is working this week, because I was a part of that football program, and I know how hard we're working, because we want to play better than we did during the regular season.
“I think anyone who follows high school football either knows about the game or plans on going. It's going to be a monster, and I can't wait for Friday night.”