Badly in need of a shot in the arm, the Lee’s Summit North football team instead took another punch to the gut Oct. 25.
Besides suffering yet another lop-sided loss, this time to Raymore-Peculiar 45-14 in its last home game of the season, Lee’s Summit North also lost starting quarterback Matt Brumfield and receiver Jalen Ford to serious knee injuries early in the game.
Brumfield was rolling out of the pocket and trying to make a pass when he took a hard hit during the Broncos’ first drive and had to be helped off the field. Ford’s night ended later in the quarter after he was leveled returning the kickoff after Ray-Pec’s first touchdown.
Afterward, LSN coach Ty Kohl said Brumfield appeared to have a torn ACL and Ford also had a torn knee ligament, bringing a premature ending to the season for both seniors.
“We lost some key guys who worked their tails off,” Kohl said. “It was just heartbreaking to finish that way for them.”
Lee’s Summit North, 2-8, was already missing it top offensive threat, running back Josh Caldwell, who Kohl said was suspended for disciplinary reasons. Now the Broncos were also without the quarterback who had taken practically every snap this season. Kohl turned to Brett Pierson, a senior that Kohl had enough confidence in to let him air out the Broncos’ normally ground-oriented attack.
But while Pierson showed an accurate arm, a slew of dropped several passes by the Broncos’ receivers limited him to 95 yards, most of which came during a fourth-quarter scoring drive.
“Our backup quarterback came and I tell you what, you can’t throw the ball much better,” Kohl said. “But we gotta catch it. I was proud of the kids and the way fought despite the adversity. I was proud of the effort.”
Pierson’s teammates also had confidence in him that they didn’t hang their heads for long after losing Brumfield, Broncos wide receiver Devon Hall said.
“We believed in Brett,” Hall said. “He’s a good quarterback. He knows the plays, he knows what to do. I just think they outplayed us.”
LSN did take its one and only lead after Brumfield was hurt. It came courtesy of the Broncos’ defense, which sacked Ray-Pec quarterback Blake Skeed for a big loss and forced a fumble, which linebacker Kellen Shockley pounced on at the Panthers’ 1-yard line. Running back Cornelius Dawson punched it in from there for a 7-0 LSN lead.
But that lead wouldn’t last long. Isaiah Truss, Ray-Pec’s speedy running back, returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the Broncos’ 37. Truss’s 2-yard run eight plays later tied the score, and the Panthers added three more touchdowns in the second quarter for a 28-7 lead by halftime.
Truss finished with four touchdowns and 204 yards rushing on 32 carries. He benefited from an offensive line that helped the Panthers, 4-5, grind out 394 total yards of offense, most of it on long, time-consuming drives.
“I really thought our size up front caused them some problems because we were really able to establish our running game,” Ray-Pec head coach Tom Kruse said. “Isaiah Truss for three quarters was probably as impressive as we’ve seen all year. He ran the ball really well.”
The Broncos, meanwhile, managed only 191 total yards and its only sustained scoring drive came in the fourth quarter, when Chase Overton capped an 80-yard march with a 4-yard touchdown run.
The game was well over by then, but Kohl still found it encouraging.
“I really liked the way we finished,” Kohl said. “I really felt good that the kids didn’t give up despite the two major injuries, and some other guys that were banged up still battled. That’s all you can ask for.”
Kohl has to ask his team, which has now lost eight straight games after winning its first two, to meet another tall challenge – a rematch Nov. 1 with undefeated Blue Springs in Class 6, District 4 play. The Broncos did play the Wildcats close in a weather-interrupted 27-3 loss three weeks ago, but that was with a much healthier team.
“We have some seniors who will step up and fill in some places and we have others who will fill up some holes,” Kohl said.