The constant streaks of lightning that lit up the sky over Peve Stadium weren't the only things that crackled with electricity Friday night at Blue Springs High School.
Fort Osage quarterback Skylar Thompson did it all for the Indians, who scored 15 unanswered second-half points to claim a 30-16 victory over the host Wildcats.
Thompson, who was 9-of-10 for 156 yards passing, carried the ball 19 times for 43 yards and four touchdowns to keep the No. 1-ranked Class 5 team in the state undefeated going into the third week of the season.
“Winner. The young man is a winner,” Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe said of the Fort Osage quarterback. “He's been a big part of two Fort Osage wins over our team the past two years, and he did everything tonight to help his team get a win.”
Fort Osage coach Ryan Schartz backed Donohoe's comments.
“Every day at practice, every snap, I see Skylar get better,” Schartz said of the senior quarterback who is 22-0 over the past three seasons in regular-season starts. “Then he goes out and does the same thing in games. Tonight, he was just about perfect in executing our offense. The line did a great job, and when we got close to the end zone, he made sure we got the touchdowns instead of field goals.”
Thompson scored on runs of 10 and 16 yards and had two 1-yard touchdown plunges. He also had a two-point pass play.
“It all starts with our line,” said Thompson, who conducts every postgame interview surrounded by his offensive linemen. “They did a great job protecting me tonight. Blue Springs is such a great team, and I didn't get sacked once. And when we needed to get the ball in the end zone they opened up some huge holes. They deserve all the credit tonight.”
In a 27-14 win over Raytown South in the season opener, Thompson was harassed the entire game. He was hit out of bounds on one play, was the victim of a horse-collar tackle and ran for his life until backup Caleb Jonas replaced him late in the fourth quarter.
“I saw my line grow up tonight,” Thompson added. “They were great. Last week was a tough game for all of us. Every inch of my body was sore after last week's game. Tonight, I feel great – and it's all because of these guys.”
While Thompson was the star offensively, an Indians defense allowed some yardage but just two scores and a field goal, despite missing three starters due to suspension (they were involved in a sideline skirmish against the Cardinals last week and were ejected from the game) and one to illness.
“Give Coach (Brock) Bult all the credit for a great defensive scheme and performance tonight,” Schartz said, as Wildcats quarterback Dylan Cowling was 19 of 44 for 325 yards, but saw many drives stall near the end zone. “We were missing four guys, and the guys who played did a great job. And the guys who were suspended this week did a great job on our scout teams last week to get their backups ready to play. From the first day of practice to tonight, this was a team win. I couldn't be any prouder of these guys. That's a tough Blue Springs team that is going to beat a lot of other teams before this season is over.”
One of the biggest defensive plays came late in the fourth quarter – following an hour and five-minute lightning delay – when linebacker Alec Chavez picked off a Cowling pass to end a Wildcat drive on the Fort 22.
“We needed to make a big defensive stand and we did,” said Chavez, the lone starting linebacker for the Indians who played in the game. “I'm so proud of our defense tonight. We were missing some of our brothers, but they worked hard in practice this week to make us all better.”
Cowling said the Wildcats can take plenty of positives away from their second loss of the young season.
“We were much better than we were last week against Staley,” Cowling said. “Fort Osage is a very good team. We've played two very good teams, and we were able to move the ball offensively tonight, but we weren't able to finish a lot of our drives. That's something we need to work on.”
Cowling had an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Taula and a 32-yard scoring strike to Tyree King. Tristan Williams kicked a 25-yard field goal for the Wildcats. King finished with six receptions for 134 yards.
• Before the game, Blue Springs High School honored Daisy Crone, the 91-year-old mother of former football coach and activities director Tim Crone. The high school introduced the Crone’s Zone Legacy Seats, two seats at the 50-yard line in Peve Stadium to honor her and her late husband Jim, who were mainstays at all Wildcats home and away games.