This game was one Blue Springs football coach Kelly Donohoe a little worried.
Friday’s game against Lee’s Summit North was sandwiched between two contests longtime rivals, Rockhurst and Blue Springs South.
It was a game Donohoe said his team had struggled with in the past, but not this time. Blue Springs made sure not to overlook the Suburban Big Seven foe and it was apparent it didn’t when the team rolled to a 52-21 victory at Peve Stadium.
The Broncos (1-7, 0-5 conference) came into Friday with just one win, but the Wildcats weren’t about to take them lightly even with a huge rivalry game coming up next week.
“I thought we focused on Lee’s Summit North really well,” Donohoe said. “We didn’t want to be deceived by their record because we knew they have really good football players and coaches over there. The other thing we peached was not looking ahead and getting better every week. We were worried (about North) all week.”
And for good reason as the team had to defend two future Division I receivers Cameron Hairston (four catches, 49 yards) and Da’Ron Davis (eight catches, 71 yards) and a top notch running back in Tori Hicks Jr. (19 carries, 168 yards).
“We knew they have good athletes, especially on offense like Da’Ron and Cameron,” Wildcats quarterback Chase Donohoe said. “We had to lock in on them and focus in on this game because you never know what could happen.”
Blue Springs never left any doubt about that would happen after a first half in which they dominated and took a 38-7 halftime lead.
“We need to put a whole game together and that’s what I am looking for,” Broncos coach Jamar Mozee said. “We haven’t done that. We played a good second half. What if we play a good second half? What happens? We just had no intensity. We were just waiting for someone to do something.”
The Wildcats (6-1, 5-0 Big Seven) spread the ball around and had eight different players receive touches, including five skilled position players who tallied 40 or more yards from scrimmage. Running back Jaylen Ivey did what he normally does, carrying the ball 14 times for 129 yards and three scores, which included a 1-yard plunge and a 58-yard jaunt in which he sidestepped two would-be tacklers on his way to a 58-yard score.
Fellow backfield mate Michael Warmack performed admirably behind him as he gained 62 yards on 13 carries and scored on a 7-yard run in the fourth.
Chase Donohoe connected with five different receivers on his way to 14-for-19 passing for 194 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Wide receiver Tyree King caught four balls for 67 yards and score which came on a screen pass in which his stiff-armed a defender and galloped along the right sideline for 28 yards on the team’s second drive.
He got a lot of help from fullback Caleb Marquez who had a pair of impressive touchdown catches. The first one came with 5:37 left in the first half when he caught a ball in the flat broke two leg tackles and dove over the pylon for a 12-yard catch-and-run. The second one game with 1:14 remaining in the half on a play which has become his speciality. Chase Donohoe threw a back-shoulder fade toward the left corner of the end zone and the 6-foot-3, 235-pound bruiser leaped higher than the North cornerback to pluck the ball out of the air.
“Usually when I get one in the corner, that is my favorite play,” Marquez said.
Kelly Donohoe was certainly impressed with Marquez and his offense.
“”He’s got such amazing hands,” Kelly said of Marquez. “We always brag about how big of a kid he is but people don’t realize how great of a receiver he is. Then we Tanner (Taula), Joey (Janes), Tre (Wheaton) and Tyree and those guys. I always say to Chase, ‘You are so blessed to have all these great weapons around you.’”
That’s something Chase was quick to agree with.
“Having all those guys around me makes my job easy,” Chase said. “I just try to get the ball to them. And our running backs are great. We are deep everywhere. It’s fun. We feel like we should put up more than that (52 points). We feel like we can score every drive.”
And it’s the versatility which makes this offense dangerous.
“It makes it easy (have multiple weapons) especially when it comes to situational tuff,” Marquez said. “When we have a slant route we always go to Tyree. Then when we need an iso, we throw it to Joey. It’s just makes things a lot easier.”
The Blue Springs defense also forced three turnovers – a pair of interceptions from Azaiah Bello and Mason Dunn. Jackson Blauw also recovered a Hicks’ fumble in the endzone for a touchback. North scored a 1-yard run from Hicks, a Caleb Aston 3-yard run and a 16 pass from Saul Villar-Medina to Elijah Farr.