Friday night started out promising for William Chrisman. Just halfway through the first quarter of its Class 5 District 7 semifinal against Raytown, the Bears already had a defensive stand and a touchdown to their credit.
It all went downhill from there.
Chrisman’s offense started going backward, and its defense couldn’t stop Raytown dual-threat quarterback Joe Campbell. And that brought the Bears’ season to an end with a 26-7 loss on a chilly night at Ted Chittwood Stadium in Raytown.
Chrisman (3-7) had a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and stood tied 7-7 with the Blue Jays going into the fourth quarter. And this was against a Raytown team that whipped the Bears 28-0 back in September.
But once Campbell and Raytown got rolling, the Bears had no answer. The Blue Jays senior quarterback finished with 182 passing yards and three touchdowns, all to wide receiver D’Vontae Key. He also had 140 yards rushing on 15 carries and intercepted a pass that set up one of his scores.
“They have some prime-time players, and that’s just what happens,” William Chrisman coach Matt Perry said. “They were just a little better than us this year.”
But not so much as the game began. Raytown (8-2) took the opening kickoff and marched to the Chrisman 10, but the Blue Jays turned it over on downs when the Bears stuffed Campbell on a fourth-and-one.
Four plays later, Chrisman quarterback Osi Nauer broke loose for a 64-yard run, setting up a 20-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Ralph Covington.
“We had a really good first half,” Perry said. “Then we had a couple of mistakes that really kicked us in the butt. And then they started bringing everybody and running through our gaps and we didn’t have something that could counter that.”
Penalties (seven for 50 yards), bad snaps and two interceptions would take their toll on Chrisman’s offense along with Raytowns’ stiffened defense. Nauer still had 103 rushing yards, but the Bears managed only 148 total yards of offense.
Still, Chrisman clung to its lead until the final two minutes of the second quarter. Campbell picked off a Nauer pass and returned it to the Chrisman 49, and on the next play he found Key streaking down the right sideline for the game-tying score.
Chrisman had one sustained drive in the third quarter thanks to Raytown penalties, but it ended with a punt at midfield.
Raytown took the lead with a 14-yard run by Dontae Manning on the first play of the fourth quarter. Key, who had 133 yards on seven catches, snared a 31-yard TD from Campbell after the Blue Jays held the Bears to minus-5 yards on a three-and-out.
The Bears’ next possession ended with an interception, and that set up a 28-yard Campbell-to-Key TD that iced it.
The win puts Raytown in the district final against Fort Osage next Friday.
Perry, meanwhile, will say goodbye to a special group of seniors and look forward to the promise his young team holds.
“My hat’s off to these seniors,” Perry said. “They’ve spent four years here working hard. We were really young, so hopefully that bodes well for us in the future.”