When Blue Springs High School used a 56-yard scoring strike from Dom Harkness to Cooper Willich early in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead at Lee’s Summit North Friday night, Broncos coach Jamar Mozee wondered how his young team would respond.
“They’ve been jittery this season, like they didn’t have a lot of confidence in themselves,” said Mozee, who watched his team respond in dramatic fashion as the Broncos downed Blue Springs 31-21, earning their second win in the past two seasons against a team that had won the previous 18 encounters.
“This is the team I’ve been waiting to see all season. They responded, they dominated on the offensive and defensive lines, our quarterback and running back did a great job – it was just a great team win. I’m proud of the guys.”
Mozee had been using a rotating system at quarterback, but junior Carlton Perkins had a breakout game, completing 17 of 26 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown.
With the line giving him plenty of time to pass, Perkins was nearly flawless in running an offense that totaled 294 yards and owned the ball for 34 minutes, 28 seconds compared to the Wildcats’ 12:32.
But the member of the Broncos who attracted the most post-game attention was senior running back Myles Shaw, who was the only back to carry the ball in the big Suburban Big Six Conference win.
Shaw carried the ball 34 times for 90 yards and one touchdown.
The Broncos also recorded two safeties, something Mozee said he had never seen.
“We got after it offensively and defensively,” Mozee said, after his Broncos improved to 2-1. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen two safeties in one game. Offensively, defensively and special teams – we came to play tonight.”
The Broncos tied the score 7-7 with just 49 seconds left in the first quarter on a 3-yard run by Shaw, who replaced the injured Keyon Mozee (ankle).
Devin DeRousse then kicked a 35-yard field goal at 5:16 of the second quarter to give North a 10-7 lead. But the Wildcats roared back to grab a 14-10 advantage on an 80-yard run by Quentin Fontenot.
It was Fontenot’s first carry of the season as he had been sidelined the first two games with some minor leg issues.
The rest of the night belonged to the Broncos as they scored on a 1-yard run by Perkins, a 36-yard field goal by DeRousse, a 19-yard touchdown pass from Perkins to Jaden Moore and the two safeties.
The Wildcats’ final score came on an 18-yard scoring pass from Harkness to Willich with just one minute left in the game.
“Tonight was a footprint in the legacy of our program,” Perkins said. “So many people thought our win against Blue Springs was just a fluke last year, and winning tonight might be more impactful than our win was last year because we played so well tonight.
“We have shirts that say ‘WE’RE HERE TO STAY’ and that is how we played tonight. We are here to stay and we are going to keep working hard to be a successful team.”
Shaw nodded in agreement and added, “We poured our souls into the game, we gave it everything we had. But we are not satisfied. No sir, when the game was over, all I thought about was our next opponent.
“I’m proud of my offensive line, but I’m not going to tell them that because I don’t want them to get complacent. I love those guys, but they have to keep working hard to help us get more wins like this.”
When asked about making every carry in the Broncos backfield, Shaw just smiled and said, “Whatever it takes to win.”
Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe praised the Broncos after his team fell to 2-1.
“They played a great game. They dominated on the offensive and defensive lines, their quarterback did a great job and they played without a premier back in Keyon Mozee and No. 6 (Shaw) came in and did a great job,” Donohoe said. “We have a lot of things to work on to get ready for our next game.”
Harkness completed 7 of 16 of his passes for 88 yards and two touchdown passes to Willich and Fontenot carried the ball four times for 88 yards.