Top Games, No. 2 Blue Springs(1-0) at Ft. Osage(1-0)
The Indians opened with a road victory at Raytown South, 51-20. QB Skylar Thompson passed for 247 yards and a pair of touchdown strikes. Jesse McBee rushed for 81 yards and scored 4 Indian touchdowns on the ground. The Indians get a great challenge against the top ranked team in Missouri Class 6.
Blue Springs easily defeated Staley, the No. 3 ranked team in Missouri Class 5, 39-13 to open their season. Senior Ian Brown completed 72% of his passes, totaling 283 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Cobi Bissell led the team with 122 rushing yards scoring touchdowns rushing and receiving.
The Wildcats, winners of back-to-back Class 6 Show-Me Bowl titles enter with a 25 game winning streak and have won in 35 of their last 37 games.
Their last loss came at the hands of a then Class 5 team, Lee's Summit West.
Pre-Season look at the Wildcats:
"Excited about our team as we return 6 starters on offense and 5 starters on defense", commented head coach Kelly Donohoe. "We should be strong on our offensive line as four starters return there." Senior Ian Brown(6-1 200) returns at quarterback, a "special player" according to Donohoe, who completed 62% of his passes for 2,500 yards and 45 touchdowns in 2013.
"Cobi Bissell (5-9 185) will be a great tailback for us, however we need to develop a couple of receivers", added Donohoe. Bissell will fill the void with the departure of Dalvin Warmack, in limited duty he rushed for 233 yards, averaging nearly 7 yards-per-carry, and scored 4 touchdowns. Terrance Sanders and Tamarick Quinney performed well in the jamboree at wide receiver and are expected to produce quality results.
The defense will again be solid for the Wildcats and the line will be a strength with the return of Khalil Davis(6-3 270) and Carlos Davis(6-3 270) who have each committed to play at Nebraska and Trevon Warmack (6-0 270). The Davis twins combined for 125 tackles and 7 1/2 sacks in their junior seasons.
Donohoe adds that the linebacking corps will be "real strong" with Zach Robinson(6-0 205), Paul Cornish(5-11 213), Brennan Buford, Alex Dye, Dallas Bowen returning. "We have good secondary players that just need some experience", added Donohoe. "Kicker Ben Hellon will do a great job for us as will our punter Logan Chappell".
Pre-Season look at the Indians
Coach Ryan Shartz says:
"We are excited about the experience of our players as most have been tested for a full year or more. Our biggest challenge will be to develop many of our juniors as some could see some varsity time early. In order for us to reach our potential, we must eliminate careless mistakes and especially penalties, as both were a thorn in our side last year. Our kids are taught to play hard and when they make mistakes, they make them at full speed and I don't see that changing. One thing is for certain, when people play the Fort they will never question our work ethic, enthusiasm and toughness. "
Five offensive and five defensive starters return for the Indians. Junior quarterback Skylar Thompson (6-3 185) earned first-team all-conference honors and returns following a season in which he passed for 1,400 yards and 19 touchdowns also rushing for 300 yards and 9 scores. Newcomer Bailey Williamson(6-3 195) joins Jesse McBee(6-0 185) who moves to running back after earning all conference honors at wide receiver. Wide receivers Kevin Rush(6-0 175) and senior Willie Penamon(5-10 165) return after combining for nearly 400 receiving yards. The line will be new, but will be fortified with five seniors.
The defense will be solid with the return of first team all-conference defensive lineman Sima Thomas(5-11 195) who finished with 45 tackles a season ago. Senior Josh Tuimaseve(5-10 205) is a first-team all-conference linebacker, while Jonah Tuimaseve(6-3 185) earned second-team honors at linebacker the brothers combined for 90 sacks in 2013. MJ Savea(6-0 240) returns on the line and sophomore Bryce Richardson(5-9 165) returns at defensive back.
"One final thought', added Schartz. "I want to acknowledge the assistant football coaches with whom I work. I am very fortunate to have the quality coaches that I have. Brock Bult (Def Coordinator), Rick Ammons, Lance Barrett(Assistant Head Coach), Joel Mathews (Offensive Coordinator), JT Carlson, Joe Bedard, Mathew Dunnigan, Josh Terhune, Aaron Vaeao, Eric Holmes, Matt Showman (head 8th grade), and Jeff McMillen do a tremendous job of teaching and preparing our players. Their concerns for and rapport with our players is a strong foundation for our program. I have a lot to appreciate in my job and I, like our players, look forward to the start of a new season."