'Night and day' KC Central looks to rebound

By Toriano Porter
Posted: September 16, 2016 - 2:43 PM

A week after losing their second non-league game of the season Kansas City Central will try to reverse the trend when the Blue Eagles host University Academy Saturday at Interscholastic League Stadium.

Central, 2-2 overall on the year, leads the IL with a 2-0 mark. They went on the road last Friday against undefeated Schlagle (2-0) but were outmanned by the Class 5A Kansas school 36-8.

The Blue Eagles led 8-6 at halftime but were outscored 30-0 the rest of the way. Central was down only 12-8 in the third quarter when lighting caused a one-day delay.

Head coach Alan Supplee is anxious to see how his team responds to the loss.

“We prepared really well for Schlagle and came out and gave them a hell of a game for the first half,” Supplee said. “Our kids came back Saturday morning and couldn’t get back in the right mindset. It was night and day.”

The delay was Central’s second weather-challenged game of the season.

“I told them before we started Friday night that we are going to open up a can of ‘What’s going on in the IL’ with a win over Schlagle and I thought we had it Friday night,” Supplee said. “These rain delay games are hard to overcome for us right now. The kids are coming together really well but adversity is still an issue.”

Supplee said the team has a solid game plan in place for University Academy. Toppling Mother Nature is another topic.

“This should be a good game,” Supplee said, “if the weather cooperates.”

In other IL news, Northeast (1-3, 1-1 IL) beat East (0-5, 0-2) 24-14 for the Vikings’ first win of the season. The Bears were downed 42-9 Thursday night against Pembroke Hill (3-2).

Pembroke also escaped with a 14-13 win over Lincoln Prep (1-3, 0-0) in a Week 4 contest.

“The Pembroke loss was difficult to handle,” Lincoln Prep head coach Henry Newell said. “We had nearly 400 yards of offense but nine major penalties killed us. I have never seen so many illegal blocks/holding/hits in the back. Our defense played very well. The offense moved the ball but just couldn’t score enough.

“We never quit and we hung together.”

The Blue Tigers open IL play tonight against Southeast (1-3, 0-0), which hung tough against undefeated Hogan Prep (4-0) last week before faltering in the fourth quarter.

The Knights, playing at home for the first time this season, are confident heading into league play. Southeast has traveled to Van Horn, Jefferson City Helas, Schlagle and Hogan Prep so far in 2016.

“My kids are excited about (being) home and playing in front of our fans,” Knights head coach Leon McElrath said.

That excitement is not lost on Lincoln Prep’s Newell, nor is the fight Southeast has shown four weeks into the season.

“Southeast is a good football team,” Newell said. “I don’t think we will have a problem being motivated since it is a IL game. Everyone is saying that Central and Southeast are the favorites in the IL, but I think we will show up.”