The lightning that crackled and streaked across the sky high above Peve Stadium Friday night had to take a back seat to the fireworks going on down on the field.
Host Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit combined for 53 points in a season-opening first half of a Suburban Big Seven matchup that was postponed by rain and lightning at the intermission and will be continued at 11 a.m. Saturday.
A dramatic 30-yard touchdown pass from Chase Donohoe to Tyree King, with no time showing on the first-half clock, helped the Wildcats go into the locker room trailing 30-23 as the Tigers put on an offensive clinic the first 24 minutes.
Moments after it was announced that the game would be resumed on Saturday, Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe brought the offense to the Wildcat room, while the defense gathered in defensive coordinator Derek Wilson’s classroom to try and figure out how to stop the Tigers’ spread offense.
“We have to play better football tomorrow,” said Donohoe, whose son Chase is the Wildcats starting quarterback. “We’re going to watch some film and work on some things tonight. We don’t want to send the guys out in this weather and we can get a lot done tonight by watching film of the first half.”
The score was 7-7 after one period, but the Tigers scored 23 points in an explosive second half that saw quarterback Dalton Hill turn in a solid performance as he executed the no-huddle offense to near perfection.
He finished the first half completing 16 of 19 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Two of his passes set up 3- and 1-yard touchdown runs by Zavian Hill and Preston Whitworth, respectively. Hill capped a big first half with an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown with just 17 seconds left in the half.
That’s when Chase Donohoe drove the Wildcats to the Tigers’ 30-yard line, with just four seconds left in the half.
The drive was aided by a nasty hit at midfield. As Donohoe was sliding to the ground, he was hit in the helmet – which flew off his head – and the late hit penalty gave the Wildcats an additional 15 yards, placing the ball on the 30-yard line.
As time expired, Donohoe found Tyree King in the near corner of the end zone. He threaded the pass between two defenders and King caught the ball to make the score 30-21. Jaylen Ivey, who enjoyed a monster first half, scored on a two-point conversion run to make it 30-23.
“I take it a play at a time,” said Chase, who was 7 for 13 for 91 yards passing in the first half. “I wasn’t thinking about the interception on that last series. I was just trying to find a way to score a touchdown to give us some momentum going into the second half.”
When asked about the late score, the Wildcats coach said, “That’s Chase. He overcame the interception – he’s just an even-keel kid, never too high and never too low. We needed that score, and helped us get it.”
Ivey, who had 14 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns, praised Chase’s grit and determination.
“Chase is our leader out there,” Ivey said. “When we needed the big score, he came up with the big throw and Tyree came up with the big catch.”
Ivey scored on runs of 3 and 4 yards, averaged nearly nine yards per carry.
“My line was great and our coaches did a great job putting the ball in my hands,” Ivey said. “We have some time tonight to watch film of what happened in the first half and I think we will play much better tomorrow.”
So does defensive lineman Daniel Parker, who had the Wildcats’ lone sack of the first half.
“Lee’s Summit came over here all hyped up and maybe was more intense than us the first half,” said Parker, who has made a verbal commitment to the University of Missouri. “But I think things will be different tomorrow.
“They have a lot of speed, and their quarterback did a good job, but the real Wildcats are going to show up tomorrow. We’re going to play a much better second half tomorrow after we watch this film and find out what we need to improve on.”