Kickapoo may have gotten into the end zone first, but it was Lee’s Summit West that saw it more often in a 51-14 Class 5 quarterfinal romp Nov. 16 at Kickapoo.
The tone of the game was set early in the first quarter. The Titans were set to receive the first kickoff and fumbled the ball on the 14-yard line to Kickapoo.
But, the Lee’s Summit West defense stood up, keeping the Chiefs from scoring, holding them back from the 1-yard line three times.
“We really came together in that first goal line stop,” senior linebacker Zach Rasmussen said. “As soon as we got their receivers locked down, they couldn’t run the ball or anything.”
“I think our kids stepped up in the face of adversity,” Lee’s Summit West head coach Royce Boehm added. “The first play, we fumbled the ball and then had a heck of a goal line stand. That was the mark of the game. I was so proud of our offensive and defensive sides of the ball.”
The Chiefs did score first on a 17-yard pass from Anthony Cooper to John Fuchs, but the Titans saw the end zone just over a minute later on a 6-yard pass from senior quarterback Thomas Ganaden to junior wide receiver Brenner Clemons. The point after kick failed due to the high winds, making the score 7-6.
But Lee’s Summit West forced Kickapoo to punt and took advantage of the possession, scoring two plays later on a 75-yard pass from Ganaden to Clemons. The point after kick was knocked out of the way by the wind again, making the score 12-7.
In the second quarter, the Titans scored on a 1-yard run by Clemons. And with the 2-point conversion carry by senior wide receiver Monte Harrison, the score stood at 20-7.
Lee’s Summit West put in one more score before halftime, on a 46-yard field goal by senior kicker Tanner Martin to lead 23-7.
The Titans continued in the third quarter with a 9-yard pass from Ganaden to senior wide receiver Grayson Handel for a touchdown, a 17-yard carry by Clemons and an 18-yard pass from Ganaden to Harrison to lead 44-7.
The Lee’s Summit West defense kept Kickapoo on their own side of the field most of the second half, helped by two sacks from Rasmussen.
“It was really good,” Rasmussen said. “How the team set up and how the defensive coordinator puts everything together puts me in a good spot.”
The Titans had one more touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by senior tight end Andrew Zimmer as did the Chiefs on a 26-yard run by Cooper.
“It was a business trip for us,” Boehm said. “We talked about that, coming into a hostile environment. They were undefeated and they were undefeated for a reason. They have a great ball club.”
Ganaden completed nine of 13 passes for 156 yards. Clemons had two catches for 81 yards and Harrison had five receptions for 60 yards.
Clemons also had 77 carries on 12 attempts and Ryan Williams had seven carries for 75 yards.
Marcel Minniefield had five total tackles and one sack and Austin Workman had five tackles. Rasmussen had three tackles and two sacks.
The Titans, 11-1, host Kearney, 11-1, in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Nov. 22.
“We are just going to go out there and prepare and do our best,” Rasmussen said. “Hopefully we will make our way to a state championship.”