Raytown had a reputation for being somewhat one-dimensional in relying on the strong arm of quarterback Joe Campbell. Not anymore.
Raytown has lots of other weapons now, and the Blue Jays put them all on display in a convincing 33-7 victory over Grain Valley Friday night at Raytown’s Ted Chittwood Stadium.
Campbell’s arm is still one of those weapons, which he showed with two long touchdown passes to wide receiver D’Vontae Key. Now there’s a running game to go with that arm. Campbell rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown, and senior Dontae Manning tallied 116 yards and two TDs.
And let’s not forget the Blue Jays’ defense, which manhandled Grain Valley at the line of scrimmage most of the game. The Eagles could muster only 216 yards of total offense.
“We’ve got weapons,” Campbell said. “Running our pro-style offense now and our wildcat a lot I think that exposes our guys. Everybody knew we have a lot of talent, I don’t think anybody knew we could run the ball as well as we did tonight.”
A productive summer in the weight room, Raytown head coach Logan Minnick said, made the Blue Jays bigger and more physical. Necessity produced more running weapons. When injuries and illness sideline Campbell for a couple of games, Minnick had to find some other ball carriers. He found that Manning could flourish in a wildcat formation.
“Joe got banged up in a game early, so we started experimenting a little with that,” Minnick said. “That’s helped open up our passing game a little bit. What we’re currently doing is giving teams fits because you’ve got to try to stop both and it’s been pretty effective for us.”
It proved pretty effective from the start, when Raytown (5-1) covered 77 yards on 12 plays on its second possession. Every play was a run except for the last one – a 43 yard touchdown pass from Campbell to a streaking Key after penalties backed up the Blue Jays. A missed extra point left the Blue Jays up 6-0.
Manning’s first TD, a 1-yard run out of the wildcat formation shortly after a shanked Grain Valley punt put the Blue Jays at midfield at the start of the second quarter, made it 13-0.
Grain Valley (3-3), meanwhile, struggled to get any offense against Raytown’s physical line. The Eagles’ lone scoring drive came at the start of the third quarter an 11-play, 42-yard march that ended with a 1-yard TD run from quarterback Cole Keller.
Raytown needed only three plays to respond. Campbell hooked up with Key again, this time for a 47-yard TD bomb, and the Blue Jays were up 19-7.
Grain Valley then put together another drive late in the third quarter, with a 39-yard pass from Keller to Gavin Oyler setting the Eagle with first and goal at the Raytown 7-yard line. The Eagles got to the 5 but no closer: Raytown swarmed running back Seth Dankenbring for a 6-yard loss, Parker Bosserman got flattened by Raytown lineman Donald Brown for a 4-yard loss and Keller couldn’t connect as he scrambled out of the pocket on fourth down.
“That was huge,” Grain Valley coach David Allie said. “If we put the ball in there … we’re feeling much better about ourselves.”
Manning’s second TD, a 65-yard sprint that started the fourth quarter, put Raytown up 26-7. Campbell capped off his big night with a 22-yard TD run in the final minutes.
“They had some big plays,” Allie said. “They drove it a couple times, but what killed us the most were when they got their athletes in space and we couldn’t catch them.”