The Cats are back
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Senior Writer
If impressive wins in the first two weeks of the season didn’t send a message to teams throughout Missouri’s Class 6 that Blue Springs is a focused and determined team in 2012, then Friday night’s 38-24 decisive victory over Rockhurst should have done the trick.
It just may have taken a quarter or so for things to kick in for the Wildcats.
“This was a great win for us,” Blue Springs head coach Kelly Donohoe said. “They’re inexperienced and I understand that, but man, they’ve got some good football players. They always do.”
After taking a 7-0 lead on the third play from scrimmage when DeShaughn Terry bolted 59 yards, it immediately looked like this Blue Springs-Rockhurst matchup was going to be a little different from recent ones.
It was 10-0 after a Blane Howell 31-yard field goal.
The Hawklets quickly answered with a touchdown (Ahmad Tyler to Harrison Lanning for 19 yards) and field goal of their own, to knot the ballgame up at 10-10.
But then it all swung in the Wildcats’ favor.
Running back Dalvin Warmack put Blue Springs up for good with a 28-yard run early in the second quarter.
On Rockhurst’s next drive that started on its own 20, the Wildcats’ defense took over, sacking Tyler twice and making the Hawklets punt from their own 5-yard line. This set up a short field for Blue Springs as the Wildcats started at the Rockhurst 47. On fourth and one from the 24, it was Warmack again. He ran up the middle leaping both offensive and defensive linemen, dashing untouched to the end zone.
But the play that might have sealed the victory for the Wildcats was Terry’s interception with 2:28 to play in the third quarter when Rockhurst was driving trailing by only two touchdowns.
“I really proud of the way our defense played in the second half,” Donohoe said. “I thought DeShaughn’s interception when they were driving down there was probably the play of the game.”
Coming into the game, the Hawklets, 1-2, owned a three-game winning streak over Blue Springs as well as a 9-4 advantage over the last eight years.
Remember, the Wildcats, 3-0, won the Suburban Big Six Conference last year. They even finished in a three-way tie for first in their district with Blue Springs South and Columbia Rock Bridge, but because of head-to-head matchups and tiebreakers, the Wildcats missed playing in the postseason.
“We knew we wanted to get this one, so we all focused up during practiced and did what we had to do and came out here and did it,” Warmack said who finished the night with 166 yards and three scores. “Every time we hear Rockhurst, we all focus up. It’s a whole entirely different practice environment. We know what we had to do.”
Rockhurst has had a tough go of it early on having to play its first four games of the season against teams from four different states. How many teams can say that?
Even with the loss Friday night, Hawklets head coach Tony Severino found many positives to take away.
“In a way, it really wasn’t disappointing,” Severino said. “There were so many good things I saw us do tonight. We didn’t tackle well, and they were more physical than us, they were a little bit more skilled at running back, but that’s okay, we knew that going in. I was so pleased with the way our kids competed. Not to take away anything from them, but we did things tonight offensively that we haven’t done, and that’s why I feel better. Right now, they’re the best team in the state, and all we’re doing is trying to get better.”
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