As much as William Chrisman got its rushing game in gear at Raytown, the Bears still found themselves forced to fight an uphill battle Friday.
Three first-half fumbles and a costly defensive penalty set the stage for Raytown's first four touchdowns, and the Blue Jays built a 34-6 lead in first half en route to the 49-21 win over the Bears in a Suburban Middle Seven game at Ted Chittwood Stadium.
“We have no margin for error,” Chrisman coach Matthew Perry said after his team fell to 1-3 overall an 1-2 in league play. “We couldn't get a sudden stop, and sometimes we'd have a penalty. That happens.
“I talked to them at halftime about winning the second half – winning every play really. Until they ran it down late, we were pretty much doing that. Our offensive line did a good job of dominating them and opening some lanes.”
Chrisman rushed for more than 300 yards led by Osi Nauer (21 carries, 156 yards) and Bryan Cox (7 for 112), but too much of that came with a big deficit to make up.
Raytown has displayed a potentially explosive offense this season, and the Blue Jays (3-1, 2-1) showed that well enough Friday, led by D'Vontae Key's three touchdown receptions from Joe Campbell and Messiah Miller's 120 yards on 13 carries.
But the Bears found themselves trailing just three snaps into the game, as a backward lateral on third down from the Raytown 40 went awry and Aubrey Martin scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown.
“We tried to make something happen that we shouldn't have,” Perry said. “Maybe not a smart play, but it is what it is.”
Nauer's 2-yard plunge capped a short drive to get Chrisman back within 7-6 right away. But Raytown needed less than two minutes to respond. Following an illegal hands to the face penalty by the Bears on a third-down incompletion, Campbell lofted a 38-yard touchdown to Key.
Later in the quarter, the Bears then squandered a possession starting at midfield with another fumble. Faced with fourth down from the 28, Campbell (11-of-18 passing, 181 yards) fired another touchdown strike to Key.
The third lost fumble set up Raytown at the Chrisman 31, and Campbell's 1-yard TD run made it 26-6 with 8:59 left in the second quarter. Key's third TD, a 36-yard catch-and-run after juking the defender, pushed the margin to 34-6.
“We've got some good athletes, and if when we can get the ball to them in space, with timing, we're tough,” Raytown coach Logan Minnick said. “I thought our blocking on the edge was outstanding, and our young kids up front dominated at times.”
Raytown limited Chrisman quarterback Dawson Herl to 4-of-11 passing for 33 yards, but Minnick acknowledged his team had some issues dealing with Chrisman's ground game.
“They do a good job offensively; they're big and physical up front, and you've got to give credit to their backs,” he said. “They do a good job off the back side of their motion stuff, and the backs are big and physical when they run downhill.”
Campbell (16 carries, 47 yards) added another score before halftime, from 2 yards out, after Cox's 50-yard TD burst gave Chrisman a brief reprieve, leaving the score 42-14 at halftime
Cox added a 45-yard run to start the second half, setting up Tre’Vaughn Sisco's 40-yard TD jaunt off a counter play. The Bears managed two defensive stands near their goal line, including a Kelvyn Mason stuff of Isaiah Mims on fourth down from the 2, but the Bears punted both times after that.
Mims (9 carries, 58 yards) had a 6-yard touchdown with 5:06 left to cap the scoring.