Burning up the field

Special to the JournalOctober 2, 2013 

By now anyone who follows high school football knows Lee’s Summit West can throw the ball. What the Titans wanted to prove Sept. 27 was that they could run with it, too.

Mission accomplished.

Lee’s Summit West does have a ground game, and they used it to churn out 319 yards in a 35-3 homecoming victory over Lee’s Summit North on the Titans’ home field.

Most of Lee’s Summit West’s yardage came on four methodical scoring drives, three of which came in the first half. There were no big plays, save for DeMarcus Edwards’ 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Edwards finished with 123 yards and four other Titans had more than 40 yards each.

Compare that to last week’s loss to Blue Springs, when Titans quarterback Thomas Ganaden threw for 417 yards. One week later, he put up only 11 passes (and completed nine of them) for 85 yards and a touchdown.

“The game plan was to take the ball and drive it down the field every play and just show teams around the state that we can run the ball,” Edwards said.

There was another plan, too, according to Lee’s Summit West coach Royce Boehm: Bring some balance back to the stat sheet. He saw the opportunity to do that against Lee’s Summit North.

“You look at the stats of our first four games, we were real lop-sided,” Boehm said. “We were 1,164 (yards) passing and we were 490 rushing. So we wanted to build that stat back up on the other side.”

Lee’s Summit West (4-1) wasted no time in doing so. The Titans scored on their first three possessions in rolling to a 21-3 lead by halftime. Monte Harris scored the first TD on a 3-yard run that capped a 9-play, 50-yard drive.

The Titans went 65 yards on nine plays on their next possession, which resulted in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ganaden to Ryan Williams. Williams scored again on a 4-yard run after the Titans went 84 yards on nine plays. Their last touchdown, a 6-yard run by Thomas Palmer early in the fourth quarter, capped a nine-play 80-yard march.

“That first half we had three possessions and three scores and that’s exactly what we wanted,” Boehm said. “Our running game isn’t that flashy. You’re gonna get what you’re gonna get from us. But I was proud of the way they played tonight.”

Lee’s Summit North, meanwhile, couldn’t get its usually potent ground game going. The Broncos (2-3) managed only 43 rushing yards and 114 total yards of offense. Broncos running back Josh Caldwell, who had 274 yards on 32 carries in last week’s loss to Winnetonka, managed only 62 yards on 16 carries against the Titans.

Lee’s Summit North did get a 30-yard field goal from James Harris before halftime, and the Broncos got a chance to pull back in the game when Chase Overton recovered Titan punter Luke Theis’ fumble on the Lee’s Summit West 31. But the Broncos couldn’t capitalize on the mistake.

“We were out-physicaled in the first half,” Lee’s Summit North coach Ty Kohl said. “We let them do whatever they wanted and it wasn’t like we didn’t know it was coming.”

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