Lee’s Summit West has so many ways to hurt a football team. With so many options in its offensive arsenal, one of them is bound to get away.
That one on Aug. 22 was Brenner Clemons.
Clemons, the Titans’ “wildcat” quarterback and wide receiver, was free to score five touchdowns and throw for another in West’s season-opening 44-14 victory over Liberty in front of a large crowd at the Titans’ home field.
“We’ve got weapons again,” West coach Royce Boehm said. “And when you have a lot of weapons, other teams have a hard time keying on them.”
With running backs like future-Mizzou Tiger Ryan Williams and capable wide receivers like Cooper Abrahamson, West once again has an abundance of offensive talent. But this night would belong to Clemons.
Three of his touchdowns came on 1-yard plunges. Another came on a 56-yard catch from quarterback Bryce Kreikemeier. He threw a 90-yard TD pass to Abrahamson and burst up the middle on an 81-yard TD sprint for good measure.
“We have such a great team,” Clemons said. “We have so many guys. Tonight was just my night and other guys it’s going to be their night.”
This versatility is nothing new for Clemons. As a junior he directed the “wildcat” formation and caught passes. But he didn’t throw much, which made his TD pass, where he hit Abrahamson about midfield and let him sprint it in from there, was kind of a novelty.
“The one thing he didn’t do last year was throw the football and now we’ve added that wrinkle, too.” Boehm said.
Even with the big-play scores, Clemons’ most impressive TD had to be the third of his 1-yarders, which came early in the third quarter. Fumbling the snap, he found himself pushed back as he tried to leap over the Bluejays’ line. He then scrambled backwards seven yards as he slipped out of two tackles before sprinting into the end zone.
“I was so sweaty, I was slippery,” Clemons said. “That helped.”
Clemons ended his night with a team-high 104 yards rushing and four touchdowns, two catches for 60 yards and another score and that 90-yard TD pass. Abrahamson wound up with 124 yards receiving and a score.
And the Titans did all that behind a makeshift offensive line. With Jacob Williamson still recuperating after passing out from the heat in practice last week and Boe Wilson nursing a hamstring injury, Boehm had to make some quick repairs to the Titans’ front. Three of the starters were sophomores and two of them were taken from the other side of the ball.
“For us to move two defensive players just in a week over to the offensive line to play our two guard spots … they stepped up and played ball for us,” Boehm said. “I’m very proud of them for overcoming a lot of obstacles.”
Boehm expects Wilson to be back Aug. 29 when the Titans travel to Park Hill for their next game. Park Hill, which won only three games last season, surprised Blue Springs South 43-18 in its opener.
It will be the Trojans’ turn to decide which of the Titans offensive weapons to stop.
“We had a lot of weapons last year, and we have a lot of weapons this year,” Clemons said. “That’s just the way it came out tonight.”