Jaguars rally again but Titans hold on for win
Three times Friday, Blue Springs South converted a Lee's Summit West turnover into points, as they erased a three-touchdown deficit from the first half.
But for the second straight week, the visiting Jaguars rallied only to fall just short.
Chase Taylor's 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter after a South turnover lifted West to a 28-21 Suburban Big Eight (Gold) Conference victory at Titan Stadium.
West (2-0, 2-0 conference) tallied four interceptions, two of them pick-sixes. And their one fumble set up another Blue Springs South (0-2, 0-2) score.
That’s how a 21-0 Titan lead before halftime turned into a 21-21 nail-biter that wasn’t decided until quarterback Chase Taylor’s 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“Our offense was very good at times, but when you turn the ball over … it makes it tough to pull away,” West coach Vinny Careswell said.
West pulled away early with touchdowns on its first two possessions. Trysten Keeney, who shares quarterbacking duties with Taylor, ended the Titans’ first possession with a 19-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Colby Baggett.
One play after West held the Jaguars to a three-and-out, Keeney tossed a 52-yarder Grant McAtee for another TD.
West’s defense, which kept South bottled up most of the game, made it 21-0 when linebacker Chase Hammond stepped in front of a pass from Jaguars quarterback Luke Sellers and streaked down the sideline 73 yards to the end zone.
Keeney threw the second of his three interceptions just before halftime, which Sonny McCreary ran back 14 yards for South’s first score. West’s first possession of the second half ended with South’s Ben Bryan scooping up a fumble and returning it 65 yards, setting up a 5-yard TD by quarterback Luke Fellers.
When South’s Luke Watson ran back another Keeney pick from 26 yards out in the fourth quarter, the Titans found themselves in a 21-21 deadlock.
“They ran a lot of man coverage,” Taylor said. “We schemed around man coverage. On the picks they would drop into zone and we weren’t ready for it. We’d make the wrong read and bad decisions.”
“We’ve just got to make sure that when we throw the ball that we’re throwing it where we need to throw it,” Careswell said. “I think the turnovers kept Blue Springs South in the game, obviously.”
Taylor, whose running sparked West’s offense in the second half, took advantage after linebacker Logan Boenker scooped up a fumbled handoff deep in the Jaguars’ territory. The Titans needed only three plays before Taylor burst up the middle from 17 yards out for the final score.
“When you turn the ball over it’s all about picking each other up and making the next play,” Taylor said. “We turned it over a lot more than we should have, but in the end we picked each other up and made plays.”