Their shouts blasted through the closed steel locker room door.

“T-I-G-E-R-S,” they screamed.

Their shouts blasted through the closed steel locker room door.
“T-I-G-E-R-S,” they screamed.
The Lee’s Summit Tigers defeated the Lee’s Summit North Broncos 24-21 on Friday night and in the process punched its first ticket to the playoffs since 1988.
“I’m very excited for our school,” Lee’s Summit coach Mike Spiegel said. “I’m really excited for our players because this is the first time in 21 years that we’ve made the playoffs. And I know we’ve got a tough battle ahead of us against Blue Springs. But we’re in there. And anything can happen when you’re in the playoffs.”
Spiegel said his team didn’t ignore the playoff-less streak during the week but it wasn’t something they were constantly discussing either.
“It was something that was mentioned in practice on Sunday,” he said. “It was not mentioned again until Wednesday. We didn’t harp on it. What we were harping on was our preparation and our mental attitude toward this game.”
In a game that featured more than a few hits and words exchanged after the referee’s whistle, the Tigers were actually outgained by the Broncos in total yardage. Lee’s Summit North finished with 417 yards compared to the Tigers’ 256. The Tigers also committed more penalties than the Broncos.
But while Lee’s Summit gained large chunks of yards they also fumbled five times and committed four turnovers with two of them coming early in the third quarter when they appeared to be swinging the game’s momentum.
Meanwhile, the Tigers made their big plays count with touchdowns coming off of a 42-yard run by junior quarterback Corbin Berkstresser, a 26-yard pass from Berkstresser to junior wide receiver Sam Sealer and a final 51-yard touchdown run by senior running back Darren Nelson.
“They played fired up and they played emotionally,” Spiegel said of his players. “You have to, it’s a rivalry. Both sides were doing their fair share of talking. That’s not what we’re about and that’s not what Lee’s Summit North is about. But it happened. It’s a rivalry.”
The Tigers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the third quarter before the Broncos got back into the game off of touchdown runs by senior quarterback Caleb Cole and junior running back Montereal Robinson.
But the Tigers were able to milk enough time off the clock before Nelson’s touchdown sealed the outcome and the Tigers’ playoff berth.
“I felt like the clock just wouldn’t move,” Berkstresser said. “Ten minutes seemed like 30 minutes. But we toughed it out until the end and there at the very end it felt like two seconds.”
Sealer downplayed the game’s intensity before conceding that it was not only impressive what the Tigers had accomplished, but how they had done it.
“Yeah … it’s a little bit sweeter,” he said. “Beating your crosstown rival to go to the playoffs. It really doesn’t get better than that.”
Berkstresser struggled to find the words to describe the game’s atmosphere. The stands were close to capacity on both sides of the stadium with the students of both schools cheering boisterously throughout the night.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s amazing just the feeling of it. I would play in that every day.”
Spiegel refused to do anything to downplay the game’s significance. He said his team will soon be focused on its playoff game against Blue Springs but added that this was a victory that deserved to be enjoyed. 
“The town of Lee’s Summit lights up for this game,” he said. And rightfully so. It’s neat to see your kids play each other. It’s just a wonderful for our kids to play in. It’s a real big game for everybody. To the victor goes 365 days that you beat your rivals and to the loser goes 365 days to get a shot at your rival again. It’s a long year.”
As Spiegel wrapped up his post-game speech to his team a Lee’s Summit fan walked toward his car with a sly smile on his face.
“Playoffs,” he muttered to no one in particular before chuckling to himself.
And then a final shout came from behind the locker room door.
“Playoffs! T-I-G-E-R-S!”