Late take off

Toriano Porter/PrepsKC

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: August 26, 2017 - 2:17 PM

Things started slowly for Kansas City Central in its Interscholastic League opener against East Saturday at IL Stadium.

Offensively, the Blue Eagles were out of synch and head coach Allen Supplee and his squad knew it.

The Blue Eagles and Bears were in a 0-0 dogfight midway through the second quarter before Central broke loose for touchdowns on three straight possessions.

The offensive surge was enough to jumpstart the Blue Eagles to a 46-0 win, the team’s first after a season-opening loss against Hogan Prep.

“We just executed really well today,” Supplee said. “Especially in the second half. First half, I was a little upset it was only 18-0, but we got in at halftime and got it corrected.”

East, untimely besieged by turnovers and a stagnant offense, fell to 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in IL play.

Bears head coach Greg Smith said his young squad competed hard, but came up short in the execution category. He credited the Blue Eagles for some of that.

“Those 18 points in the second quarter would kill any team.” Smith said. “That kind of broke our spirit.”

One bright spot for the Bears was the work of running back David Wilson, a 5-foot-9 230 pound junior.

Wilson bulldozed and bruised his way to several big runs only to be kept out of the end zone during the Bears’ only two trips into the red zone.

“He’s a beast,” Smith said, “but, if we can’t pass their gonna stuff the box to stop him.”

Senior quarterback Javion Shelby dazzled for the Blue Eagles, tossing four touchdown passes and rushing for another.

Shelby opened scoring on a 20-yard keeper with 7 minutes, 19 seconds left in the second quarter.

The score came after both teams traded turnovers.

Central muffed a punt return, but East fumbled the quarterback-running back exchange one play before Shelby found paydirt.

East fumbled again on the ensuing possession. Two plays later Shelby connected with wide receiver ReJuan Campbell for a 30-yard touchdown pass.

A failed two point conversion left the score at 12- 0 with 6:31 left in the second quarter.

Central forced East to punt on the Bears’ next possession.

A 53-yard bomb from Shelby to a wide open Dre’Shaun Sanders put the Blue Eagles on top 18-0 with 4:45 remaining in the second quarter.

The score remained that way after the Bears stymied another conversion attempt.

A 45-yard run by Wilson set up a first and 10 from the Central 15-yard line with 2:35 before halftime.

The Blue Eagles held firm, or so it seemed, stopping the Bears on a fourth down run from the 17.

However, a five-yard facemask penalty gave East new life and a fourth and 6 from the Central 12 with 43 seconds remaining.

The Bears’ fourth-down pass attempt was broken up, sending Central into the locker room with an 18-0 lead.

The Blue Eagles were just getting started.

Facing a third and 28 from the 1-yard, Shelby decided to go up top to Sanders, a standout on the school’s track team.

Sanders corralled the ball in stride at the Blue Eagles’ 30-yard line and sprinted the rest of the way for a school-record 99-yard touchdown reception.

The jaunt came with 6:59 remaining in the third quarter.

The score, which put Central up 24-0, came on the same drive a 67-yard scoring strike from Shelby to Sanders was nullified because of a penalty.

Sanders was more than happy to own the record.

“You know what makes it even more special? This is my best friend,” Sanders said of Shelby. “We got that connection.”

Sanders, a senior, also snagged an interception that he returned 60 yards late in the third quarter. The pick set up another scoring opportunity for the Blue Eagles.

Sanders capped a magnificent afternoon, returning a fumble 55 yards for a score to help the Blue Eagles extend the lead to 40-0.

The tally forced officials to use a mercy-rule running clock with 5:40 left in the third.

“It’s great to win this one,” Shelby said. “It’s a huge win since we lost to Hogan. We had to overcome some mistakes that we made on our own and we did it.”

The 28-point second-half splurge came after Supplee issued a challenge to his team at halftime.

“I asked them to give me 28 points in the second half and they did that,” Supplee said, adding the team was stout defensively as well. “Our defense really played out of their mind.”