Last week, the William Chrisman football team took pride in spoiling Oak Park’s homecoming with a 26-6 win.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they were on the receiving end Friday.
A missed extra point, three turnovers and a failed two-point conversion doomed the Bears in a 14-12 homecoming loss to North Kansas City at Independence All-School Stadium.
After the game, the players went into the locker room, as head coach Scorpio Horn put his right foot on the pylon in the back of the end zone, while staring at the door of the locker room in deep thought.
“We didn’t do what we needed to do as a coaching staff,” said Horn, whose team dropped to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the Suburban Middle Six. “It’s on us. Our kids did everything they needed to do.”
Down by two points, quarterback James Bailey was put in a situation he’s never been put in before, having to air it out in the two-minute drill.
A Hornet punt pinned Chrisman at their own 1-yard line with 2:22 left in the game. The team marched down the field aided by Bailey passes to D’Vontae Brown for 25, Kyron Mason for 8 and DaVonte Porter for 16. It got the ball to the NKC 36 with 34 seconds left. Bailey lofted a wobbly pass down the left sideline intended for Chris Anderson. Chris Elizondo picked off the pass to seal the win for the Hornets.
“Our team is not a Hail Mary team,” Horn said. “We’re just not a team that can do that in two minutes. We didn’t execute, do the right things and didn’t make the right plays.”
Both teams fumbled the ball once in the first half, which was recovered by the other team. Brown fumbled in Hornet territory and Nathan Shook made the recovery at the 22. NKC got the ball all the way to the Chrisman 13 before Grady Ogle recovered Clyde Price’s fumble to give the ball back to the Bears the ball at their own 5.
Aftera stalled drive, Chrisman stopped the Hornets after a muffed punt, setting the team up with a short field at the 37. It got the ball all the way to the 6 but a penalty and a negative run from Bailey gave NKC a turnover on downs, blowing up a golden opportunity.
The game was scoreless at halftime, and the Hornets came out swinging. Damon Whitmill, who had 214 yards on 24 carries, broke a 49-yard TD run on a draw play on the opening possession of the third to make it 7-0.
The Bears immediately countered. Assisted by a Hornets personal foul on a second-and-long, Chrisman drove 80 yards, capped by runs of 22, 8 and 1 for Brown, who broke several tackles. On the last run, he just broke the plane for the score. However, the extra point proved crucial as Shook came in unblocked and swatted the kick backward to keep his team up 7-6.
“Our edge guys would have got it if he didn’t,” Hornets coach Leon Douglas said. “Those are some plays we have taken for granted. We were saying last week, that we weren’t doing our job on that minuscule of a play like an extra point. But they took care of business today.”
The Hornets then punched it in on the next drive. On a fourth-and-2, quarterback John Sanchez got the left edge on a read-option and made it to the Bears 12 after a 40-yard jaunt. Whitmill then took over. He ran the ball and appeared to be stopped at the 8, but he kept the legs churning, pushed back the Chrisman defense and busted through for a 12-yard score to extended the lead to 14-6 at the 3:51 mark in the third.
“I felt they were trying to stop me and they weren’t wrapping up good enough,” Whitmill said. “I just kept running by feet and kept going.”
After two stalled drives by both teams, the Hornets punted to Brown who ran it for about 12 yards before Whitmill knocked the ball out of his hands and was recovered by the Hornets.
“When we put the ball in D’Vontae Brown’s hands, that’s the man,” Horn said. “I don’t care what we do, we want it in his hands. He was just unlucky.”
The Bears reached into their bag of tricks to score on their next drive. On a fourth-and-6 at their own 49, they went into punt formation. The ball was snapped to Jordan Brewer, who was slightly to the right of the long-snapper, he handed the ball to Emori Thomas, who was split out wide right and he got the left edge on a reverse for a 51-yard score. Bailey attempted a pass to tie the game on a two-point conversion, but the ball was batted down by a Hornet, making it 14-12 with 5:50 left in the game.
A drive which last a little over three minutes for the Hornets set up the final possession for the Bears, which came up short.
Brown had 93 yards on 10 carries to lead Chrisman. Bailey had 89 yards on 18 totes and was 4-for-8 passing with 76 yards through the air.