WEMO FB Week 7 by James Damon

damonLow scoring games provided the main story line for most of the WEMO this past weekend as three of the four games entertaining WEMO teams included two scores or less each!  The game of the week in the WEMO featured the Cass-Midway Vikings hosting the Rich Hill Tigers as the Vikes looked to bounce back from a loss to Class 2 Butler, and the Tigers looked to build on their first win of the season.  Each teams exchanged punts early in the contest until Midway’s third possession when they would string together a couple first downs and then watch junior RB Peyton Richardson ramble 29 yards for the score.  Luke Boyer kicked the PAT and Midway led 7-0 entering the second frame.  Rich Hill seemingly would get positive yardage to start every drive, then draw a penalty, take a sack, or another negative play, forcing consistent third and longs, and have to punt it away.  Midway would take their next possession down to a first and goal situation, watching the Tigers stone them three consecutive tries.  On a fourth down attempt from the two-yard line, senior Maverick Greer would bust across with solid second effort, and Boyer’s point after would provide all the game’s scoring!  The final would be 14-0 in favor of Midway, but the interesting stats were Midway offensively on fourth downs: 1-5, but the one they cashed in was huge for the TD.  The other stat line showed Midway’s defensive dominance, though it was not overwhelming, as Rich Hill seemingly could gain yards, but never first downs.  The Tigers amassed only two first downs on the night, one early in the third quarter and one very late in the game.  The Tigers fall to 1-6, Midway rebounds to 5-2 and claims a share of the WEMO regular season crown.
In a pivotal game determining a piece of the WEMO crown, Adrian hosted Osceola and the two battled scoreless until very late in the contest.  Osceola would punch one across resulting in the games’ only score to win 7-0, and also grab a piece of the WEMO crown.  The conference awards teams a conference title (or a piece of it) based on record alone, regardless of head-to-head, though the Indians get the slight nod handing Midway their lone conference loss of the season.  Osceola moves to 5-2 overall and Adrian falls to 4-3.  Drexel played out of conference visiting Sherwood, and the Bobcats would get back to their winning ways after consecutive losses, as they jumped out to a 14-0 halftime lead on the Marksmen and would see that hold up over the duration.  Drexel advances to 4-3 and Sherwood moves to 1-6.  The final WEMO game featured the Archie Whirlwinds hosting the Appleton City Bulldogs in what many expected to be a shoot-out.  Both teams scored with consistency throughout the night as the lead exchanged hands a couple times, but it was not the mass scoring affair we thought it might be.  Appleton City scored late to make it a one score game, but would fall short as the Whirlwinds nabbed their first WEMO win of the season, 29-26.  Both teams move to 2-5 now on the season.
The Butler Bears traveled to Stockton to meet the Tigers in an important non-conference tilt, and both teams left their defenses at home.  Butler jumped out early on the Tigers, but Stockton would muster multiple comeback efforts, never quite getting over the hump.  At one point, the Bears had amassed an absurd 400+ yards on less than 10 plays from scrimmage!  Bears win running away 55-35, pushing their record to 6-1 on the season.  Stockton falls to 2-5.
In the KC area game of the week, John Huber had the defending class 5 champs, the Battle Spartans, visiting the upstart Lee’s Summit North Broncos, and the Broncos jumped out to an early lead, taking it into the fourth quarter.  They would run out of gas, however, as the Spartans fourth quarter war cry proved strong with multiple scores to run away with a 31-18 win, despite the game being much closer all night long.  Battle remains undefeated at 7-0 and Lee’s Summit North stumbles to 5-2, as they look at a potential conference title this weekend.
WEMO Standings:
Osceola Indians 5-2, 5-1
Cass-Midway Vikings 5-2, 5-1
Adrian Blackhawks 4-3, 4-2
Drexel Bobcats 4-3, 3-3
Archie Whirlwinds 2-5, 1-4
Rich Hill Tigers 1-6, 1-4
Appleton City Bulldogs 2-5, 1-5 (*one win counted as 8-man; not accounted by MSHSAA)
Butler Bears 6-1, 2-0 (Crossroads Conference)

WEMO FB W6 by James Damon

damonIn the Game of the Week on Prepcasts-KCMW, the Appleton City Bulldogs hosted the Adrian Blackhawks in another fun and exciting shoot-out.  The Bulldogs would march the field on the opening drive punching in the only score from the first quarter on a 4th and long pass to Coleton Smith from Billy Prater.  Prater would connect again for the 2-point conversion, this time to Tyler Piepmeier, and lead 8-0.  The Blackhawks would answer with their first play from scrimmage in the second frame when QB Gage Steen zoomed 80 yards for a score; Adam Cochran’s PAT made the score 8-7.  After stopping the Dogs, the Hawks would take the lead on a Devin Darby score, coupled with Cochran’s point after to lead 14-8.  Prater would push the ball downfield on his next drive scoring from the one yard line to tie the game up after a failed two-point attempt.
The score would tilt back in favor of Adrian as the Hawks drove and Zak Dabney would zip in from 43 yards out.  The PAT gave Adrian a 21-14 halftime edge.  Dabney would score his second TD to open the third quarter and seemingly, give the Hawks a cushion as they went up 28-14.  But Appleton City responded late in the quarter when Prater connected down the sideline with Evan Mitts for a 61 yard score.  The conversion was no good, but the Dogs stopped Adrian, got the ball back, and scored again to open the fourth quarter, when Prater took the snap, rumbled up the middle 73 yards for the tying score.  The two point conversion ensured that as Prater found Mitts again.  Tied at 28, Adrian responded three minutes later when Steen scored his second rushing TD of the night.  Cochran’s kick gave the Hawks the 35-28 edge, but one minute later Prater would connect with his fourth TD of the night, as he hit Piepmeier for a 43 yard strike.  The conversion failed, leaving AC down one, but they would stop Adrian and get the ball back with a couple minutes remaining and all three timeouts.
With the drive beginning at their five-yard line, they got a first down pushing to the fifteen and then Prater saw a pass near the line get away as he scrambled to the right.  It found the arms of linebacker, Hunter Harris, who would cash pay dirt, and give Adrian the 42-34 lead.  Appleton City would drive down near Adrian’s twenty yard line before their drive stalled out on downs, and lost a heart breaker and dandy game.
The Midway Vikings hosted the Butler Bears in the only non-con game of the week and the Bears would lead throughout emerging victorious for the first time ever against the Vikings, one week removed from tornadic activity damaging their field.  The Bears would lead through mid-third quarter 36-20 and neither team would score again proving the final for the night.
Bryant Courter had a monster rushing game for the Rich Hill Tigers tallying over 200 yards on the ground and four TD’s as the Tigers nabbed their first win of the season, and continued Drexel’s free-fall after being tied for the league lead just two weeks ago.  The Tigers won their homecoming effort, 43-24.  Osceola hosted Archie in their homecoming game and were never threatened jumping out to a 35-0 lead before winning 35-7.
WEMO Standings:
Osceola Indians 4-2, 4-1
Cass-Midway Vikings 4-2, 4-1
Adrian Blackhawks 4-2, 4-1
Drexel Bobcats 3-3, 3-3
Rich Hill Tigers 1-5, 1-3
Appleton City Bulldogs 2-4, 1-4 (*one win not MSHSAA counted as an 8-man game)
Archie Whirlwinds 1-5, 0-4
Butler Bears 5-1, 2-0 (Crossroads Conference)

WEMO FB Week 5 by James Damon

damonTornadoes ripping through Cass County truncated scoreboards and bleachers at Cass-Midway, postponing their football game until Saturday evening, and thus, not allowing intended coverage, but the Vikings remained on a roll blasting the Bobcats at the neutral site, 40-0.  Other WEMO action from the week included Osceola bouncing back from back-to-back defeats and keeping Rich Hill win-less with a 42-3 cruising.  Appleton City was the lone non-conference slated game as they visited Greenfield and played some 8-man football.  As is typical, defenses only played for “video game style” as the Bulldogs walloped the Wildcats 68-44 in the pinball action.  The final WEMO game of the week featured an extended lightning delay, but it did not thwart the host Adrian Blackhawks from jumping to an early lead, extending after the delay, and running away with a 38-7 win.
The KC Area Game of the Week started over an hour late after a weather-related delay, and then saw one of the classics from around the state as Blue Springs jumped to an early lead, watched Lee’s Summit fight back and gain the lead, and then played back and forth until the Tigers would tie it up late and force OT.  The Wildcats would kick the field goal for the overtime’s lone points and grab their first win of 2015.  Click here for that REPlay …
In one of the premier games around the state, the undefeated Butler Bears hosted the undefeated and #1 ranked, Lamar Tigers, and Butler punched Lamar right in the mouth early.  Both teams would struggle to have any defensive stops giving up repeated big plays and trading leads until a lightning forced weather delay.  Lamar returned from the locker room and the Bears did not, as the Tigers would outscore the Bears, 5 TD’s to 1, following the break.  Butler drops their first game of the season the Brotherhood from Lamar remains undefeated.  Click here for that REPlay …
WEMO Standings:
Cass-Midway Vikings 4-1, 4-1
Adrian Blackhawks 3-2, 3-1
Osceola Indians 3-2, 3-1
Drexel Bobcats 3-2, 3-2
Appleton City Bulldogs 2-3, 1-3
Archie Whirlwinds 1-4, 0-3
Rich Hill Tigers 0-5, 0-3
Butler 4-1, 2-0 (Crossroads Conference)

WEMO FB Week 4 by James Damon

damonA wild and woolly fourth week ensued through the WEMO conference as one major upset opened the door for mayhem as the season continues.  In the covered game of the week, the Archie Whirlwinds hosted the Slater Wildcats in the only non-conference match-up and rolled to their first win of the season.  Both teams came in without a win, giving up well over 40 points a game, and Archie not only notched their first victory, but did in shutout, blow-out fashion.  The Winds recovered a fumble on the opening drive, punched in a score that was erased with a penalty, and then fumbled the ball back to Slater.  But the Wildcats would go three-and-out, pooch a punt, and Archie would cash in a short field as sophomore Gabe Fischer scored his first of two TD’s on the game.  The PAT put the Winds up 7-0.  After another defensive stop, Archie got the ball back and QB Caleb Schacher hoisted a 40-yarder down the left sideline to a wide open Kale Wheeler who would easily score.  The missed PAT saw Archie’s lead at 13-0 after one.  The second quarter provided more of the same as Wheeler broke loose on the first of his two TD runs, en route to player of the game honors for Archie.  After another stop, Fischer burst through the line and raced 62 yards to pay dirt for his second score of the game, followed by another score within the half’s final minute as Wheeler would punch in his third score of the day.  Archie led 32-0 at the half, and would see second half TD’s from senior Mikel Bailey, Schacher on the ground, and freshman Brandon Lindley with the final score.  A two point conversion from Schacher to an open Colbey Fenton would prove the final points of the night as the Winds ran away from the Cats, 54-0, grabbing their first win of the year and dropping Slater to 0-4.
The grand upset of the night happened just a few miles to the west as Drexel hosted #10 ranked Osceola.  The Indians would trail most of the night, keeping it close, but managing at tie at 18 apiece heading into the final quarter.  A back and forth affair would continue throughout the fourth quarter as well with each team scoring one more TD.  The Cats would steal away a two-point conversion as well, proving the difference in the game, to get the big home win, 26-24.  Drexel moves to 3-1 overall, and in conference play.  Osceola falls to 2-2, and garners their first conference loss, which opens up a four-way early tie atop the standings.
Cass-Midway quickly derailed the high octane Appleton City Bulldog offense after the Dogs got their first win of the season, as the Vikings rolled into AC, jumped out early by a couple scores, were never seriously threatened through the night, and cruised to a rather comfy win, 34-0.  The Vikes go to 3-1 overall and in conference and the Bulldogs are the inverse, at 1-3, in both conference play and for the season.  The final WEMO match of the night saw another near upset fall short as the Blackhawks traveled to Rich Hill and were back and forth for three quarters.  The Tigers had an early first quarter lead that Adrian would erase to lead in a tight one at the half.  A one point game into the fourth quarter was opened up with two late scores from Adrian to seal a 33-12 win that was closer all night long.  Adrian moves to .500 at 2-2 overall and now is also 2-1 in the WEMO, as Rich Hill remains without a win, at 0-4 and 0-2.
The Butler Bears remain a pleasant surprise in the region as they hosted the Van Horn Falcons for Homecoming, jumped out to an early 7-0 first quarter lead, and 14-7 halftime margin.  Both teams would trade scoring salvos for the entirety of the second half, but the Bears would find four Tate Bollweg TD’s enough to stave off the Falcons and win 40-27.  Bollweg was the Player of the Game for Butler, as the Bears move to 4-0 and stake a first place lead in the Crossroads Conference at 2-0.
The KC Area Game of the Week featured a dual set of games, as John Huber had the Staley Falcons and Liberty North Eagles tussle at William Jewell College on Thursday night.  Weather would hamper the outcome and force a Friday afternoon finish, that John was unable to bring the listeners, but the truncated game saw no big difference from Thursday to Friday.  Staley scored early for a 7-0 lead, got a crippling Eagle fumble they took to the house to lead 14-0 and that was where Thursday ended. 
Friday saw one more Falcon score to push the final to 21-0.  Staley remains undefeated and awaits a monster showdown with Fort Osage, as Liberty North falls to 2-2.  In the Friday night game, undefeated class 1 Wellington-Napolean visited class 2, and also undefeated, Lexington on the Missouri River, and Minutemen mauled the Tigers throughout the game.  Player of the Game Warren Sheppard scored early and often leading Lexington to a 37-0 rout of Well-Nap and handing the Tigers, 3-1, their first loss of 2015.  Lexington now sits at 4-0.
WEMO Standings:
Osceola Indians 2-2, 2-1
Midway Vikings 3-1, 3-1
Drexel Bobcats 3-1, 3-1
Adrian Blackhawks 2-2, 2-1
Appleton City Bulldogs 1-3, 1-3
Archie Whirlwinds 1-3,0-2
Rich Hill Tigers 0-4, 0-2
Butler 4-0, 2-0 (Crossroads Conference)

WEMO/Butler Football Week 2

damonIn one of the featured games of the week on Prepcasts-KCMW, the Midway Vikings visited the Archie Whirlwinds, with both teams seeking their first wins of the season.  The Vikings opened with a halfback pass covering forty-plus yards to set up their first rushing score of the season as Maverick Greer plunged in from one yard out.  Silent until the second quarter, the Vikings would toss two TD passes from the Player of the Game, junior QB Blake Mincks.  Both scores went to Jarrett Jurgeson, and Mincks added a two-point conversion to make the halftime score 21-0.  The Winds would break onto the scoreboard with a 39 yard scamper from sophomore fullback, Gabe Fisher, and then get a fumble returned 70 yards by Kale Wheeler to cut the score to one TD.  The Vikes would close strong the final eight minutes, though, with two rushing scores from Luke Boyer to ice the win, 33-14.  Midway moves to 1-1 in conference and on the season, as Archie remains winless after two affairs.  Click here for that game …
The KC area Game of the Week featured a team dismantled last week by the defending class 6 champs, making the long trek to the KC area, and showing strong against the home Tigers squad from Lee’s Summit.  The Hickman Kewpies found themselves locked up in a 7-7 tie at the half, but amidst threatening weather, the Tigers would rebound with two second half scores including a tide-turning huge punt return from Player of the Game, Trevor Fell, and get the 20-7 win and move to 2-0; long drive back to Columbia for the Kewpies who still are looking for the year’s first victory.  Click here for that game …
The Bears All Sports Network would see an absolute dismantling in a Crossroads Conference battle as the Butler Bears scored early and often, rolling to a 46-6 win over the visiting Sherwood Marksmen.  The game was never close, and the huge win for Butler pushes them already to double their win total from a year ago, and are poised to be a “surprise team” from the area and Class 2.  Junior QB Kaleb Kauffman was the Player of the Game for the Bears.  Click here to VIEW that game …
In other WEMO action, the Appleton City Bulldogs would sport an 8-7 lead over top dog, Osceola, but never lead again as the Indians would begin scoring early in the second frame and often, running away to a 54-22 victory to move to 2-0, as AC remains win-less.  In a similar game that was close early between Drexel and Adrian, the Blackhawks would run away as the game wore on, thumping the visiting Bobcats, 41-8.  The lone WEMO non-con battle featured the Rich Hill Tigers, thought pre-season to be a contender in the area, get crushed again under new coach Marcus Wolfe, this time to visiting Lockwood, 48-0.  The Tigers will visit Appleton City next week still trying to score their first points of the year!
WEMO Standings:
Osceola 2-0, 2-0
Adrian 1-1, 1-0
Drexel 1-1, 1-1
Cass-Midway 1-1, 1-1
Rich Hill, 0-2, 0-0
Archie 0-2, 0-1
Appleton City 0-2, 0-2
Butler 2-0, 1-0 (Crossroads Conference)

WEMO/Butler Football Week 1

damonA triad of games kicked off the new high school football season on the Prepcasts-KCMW network last weekend.  In the featured games of the week, the Butler Bears traveled to Adrian to meet their rivals, and rolled the Blackhawks, dominating throughout en route to a 32-14 victory.  The Bears scored first and often, allowing only a second quarter and third quarter Adrian score to make the game closer than it played out.  Senior RB Devan Loveall scored four touchdowns for the Bears, after switching back to the veer offense, following one year running the spread.  The Bears match their season win total from all last year with the win to start the year against a non-conference foe.

The de facto WEMO football title had been decided in week one the past several years as the Midway Vikings visited the Osceola Indians.  Osceola had not beaten Midway since 2006, and both teams found themselves in a pre-season publications’ top 15 Class 1 squads.  Midway would cash behind a traditionally strong defense and score the games’ first two TD’s, both passes from junior QB Blake Mincks, including one on a fourth-and-long play.  The Indians would fight back with two scores in the second frame to see the game tied at 14 by the half.  A third quarter Indian field goal would come off the board after penalty, and no more scores would occur until Osceola punched one in late in the game.  Drew Carney ran for two scores, threw another, and kicked all three PAT’s for the Indians who get the early jump start leading the WEMO at 1-0.
The shootout of all shootouts came from Drexel as the Bobcats hosted the Appleton City Bulldogs and the defenses apparently took the day off.  Both teams marched up and down the field, scoring offensively, defensively, and with special teams, on short and long plays.  When the final gun sounded, the Cats nipped the Dogs in a doozy, 58-56!  Two other non-con WEMO battles would see the visitors fall in both.  Rich Hill, talented and with expectations, got marauded by Lincoln as the Cardinals crushed the Tigers, 40-0.  An improved Archie team would zip up to Crest Ridge and keep it close all night long, but never be able to get over the hump and upend the Cougars, falling 23-40, despite being closer much of the evening.

The KC Area Game of the Week featured one of the favorites in Class 5 as the Fort Osage Indians hosted the upstart Raytown South Cardinals.  The Indians would start sluggish, lose multiple players to injury, including big recruit Skylar Thompson, but fight back to snatch the opening week win, 27-14, behind a strong 2 TD performance from wideout Donte Dodson.
WEMO Standings:
Osceola 1-0, 1-0
Drexel 1-0, 1-0
Rich Hill 0-1, 0-0
Archie 0-1, 0-0
Adrian 0-1, 0-0
Appleton City 0-1, 0-1
Cass-Midway 0-1, 0-1
Butler 1-0, 0-0 (Crossroads Conference)

Article about our own James Damon

Reprinted from Butler News X-Press

As December approaches, a local man furiously types away at his computer, preparing for yet another round of games to broadcast and travel plans to make across the state. Butler graduate and current Rockville resident James Damon has turned his years of broadcast experience into a business opportunity as he is one of three owners within the Prepcasts Broadcasting Network. Blessed to begin broadcasting at the Butler radio station in junior high and high school, he sought one of his two degrees in Broadcast Communications in college, while continuing his career covering high school and collegiate sports. In 25 years of broadcasting, he has covered numerous state championships in football, girls and boys basketball, softball, and baseball, as well as Final Fours in college men’s basketball, while providing coverage for over 2000 games.

The Prepcasts Network began in St. Louis 11 years ago as a platform for coverage of high school sports for the Metro Catholic League. Through the years, the network has grown and continued to provide the premier high school coverage in the state. An affiliate launched in Ste. Genevieve several years ago providing exclusive coverage for both Ste. Genevieve High School and Valle Catholic High School. The STL affiliate provides coverage on an on-going basis for St. Louis area schools via private school contracts. Listenership continues to grow with each passing year for the entirety of the network.

Three years ago, Damon was moonlighting doing Warsaw basketball games for the Clinton radio station, and infuriating his wife for such long drives with such little pay, as often tends to be the bane of regional radio broadcasters. He stumbled onto the PBN and made contact with then owner Bob Ryan, to see about future options to provide additional broadcasts for the network. After a dinner meeting with Ryan, Damon embarked on the process of amassing the necessary equipment and funding to launch a Prepcasts affiliate on the western side of the state.

He officially serves as Director of the western side of the state of Missouri for PBN, and is the founder/owner of his affiliate, Prepcasts-KCMW (Kansas City-Mo West), which launched in August of 2013. With the ever-growing surge of internet options available for individuals, along with growing smart phone applications, and additional availability for a variety of products (games) to choose from, the Prepcasts Network is filling a previous void in the broadcasting industry, especially towards the high school and small college market. Damon began tentatively with the hopes of broadcasting 100 games during year one, but saw the total swell to 228 by the end of the school season (2013-2014), and already launched his own network providing multiple crews each week for broadcasts.

Year two projections included the launching of the Bear Network (providing outstanding coverage for Butler Bear sports, including never before broadcasted volleyball, softball, wrestling, track, and golf, as well as commonly broadcast football, and girls and boys basketball), plans to cover nearly 400 games this school year, and branching out into the aforementioned rarely covered sports. Through the fall campaign, concluding with the seven state championship games over the weekend, the KCMW affiliate has broadcast 59 games already with listenership already over 12 thousand for the short season. Extrapolating those numbers has the brand poised to shatter the projections of nearly 50 K listeners for the year, and move towards 100 K listeners! Those are astounding numbers considering the mostly rural coverage base KCMW provides access to, as in addition to the Bear Network, Damon provides coverage for the WEMO area schools (Adrian, Appleton City, Archie, Cass-Midway, Drexel, Osceola, and Rich Hill), as well as smaller school coverage in smaller sports (Ballard, Hume, Northeast Vernon County, etc.).

The beauty of the network lies in part in its’ simplicity as listeners can simply click off links to access the games via their home computer systems, laptops, or even mobile devices. The PBN is currently working on the process of building an application for mobile devices to allow users to listen to games while continuing to access other phone applications, as well. To listen to any game, one simply needs to visit the website (www.prepcasts-kcmw.com). Upon arrival, one notices the area businesses helping provide underwriting support for the coverage for area schools, and can click on their advertising buttons for more information regarding their individual businesses. People can directly clink on the hyperlinked links (showing in “blue”) for the game they want, which then re-directs in a newly opened window explaining details about the game. Users then click on the wording “click here for the game” and the webcast opens up in their browser to listen to (and watch as some video-casts are also available, which is another great feature that radio cannot compete with). The game loads and individuals can listen to the games live, or later, as we guarantee archived footage for at least two years. PBN has yet to lose a broadcast that was completed and archived, allowing listeners to go through 1000’s of archived games if they so choose.

Such manner allows PBN to offer services at no cost to listeners and minimizing our price point for local advertisers/underwriters and schools. With such an outstanding model, it’s easy to see why and how Damon has already provided coverage for over 110 regional schools through the first 16 months of existence. The network is poised to continue expansion as basketball season will also feature a Kansas City area based Game of the Week, which will continue into next year’s fall football schedule, and increased area coverage for both the WEMO and the Bear Network. Underwriters that participate in the network will continue to be blessed as the network continues to grow, and in addition to the satisfaction of providing coverage for many schools that get no coverage or poor coverage, Damon is able to work the business around his pastorate at River of Life Fellowship in Rockville, along with his family.

He is also pleased to have been able to continue broadcasting with his father, Jim, who broke him into the industry during a district Rich Hill basketball game some 26 years ago. The typing will continue as Damon continues to develop the underwriting and advertising base throughout the entire region and western side of the state, and make plans necessary for consistent travel (already logging over 12,000 miles in travel for 2014) to provide such coverage. It’s the way it should be done, providing the schools and fan bases with what they deserve in coverage. Look for ads weekly in the Butler newspaper providing planned schedules of upcoming games on the Prepcasts-KCMW network and visit the website often for updates, scores, and more information.

WEMO FB in the Playoffs

damonIn the WEMO game of the week as district play began, the Rich Hill Tigers faced off against the McAuley Catholic Warriors at Rich Hill.  An early turnover produced a short field for the Tigers, but several penalties elongated the drive until QB Jacob Thompson ran in from 2 yards out, a harbinger of a career night for the senior.  The PAT was no good and the Tigers would hold a 6-0 lead after one quarter, despite immediately getting an onside kick, but failing to score on the drive.  Penalties would pull three TD scores off the board for Rich Hill, but a huge second quarter would put them in cruise control.
McAuley never got a first down until very late in the half, and Thompson would toss three touchdown passes in the quarter along with two 2-point conversions to push a halftime lead up to 34-0.  Another TD pass, coupled with a conversion run by Thompson would put Rich Hill up 42-0 and start the running clock which would quickly wind down the game.  Bryant Courter had an interception return for a TD, and Thompson also grabbed an INT late to preserve the shutout.  Aiden Humble caught two scores and a two-point conversion.  Shawn Walton and Trevor Delozier each added a TD catch.  Thompson’s career night included four passing TD’s, one rushing touchdown, two passing 2-point conversions, one rushing 2-point conversion, over 250 passing yards, multiple tackles and pass breakups along with the interception.  He easily qualified as the player of the game!
Other WEMO district action saw few close games as Jasper easily handled Archie at home 55-0 to end the Whirlwind season at 1-9.  Rich Hill will travel south for district semi-final action at Jasper this coming week.  In other district four action, the Midway Vikings got off to a slow start but rolled easily to keep the Liberal Bulldogs win-less on the season and solidify their own #2 state ranking, 46-6.  They improve to 10-0 and host the district semis against a scrappy Adrian Blackhawk squad that rebounded from two scores down at the half to tie, fall behind again, tie it up once more, and then score last and hold on against a physical Drexel Bobcat team.  Final score was Adrian 26, Drexel 18.  The Bobcats season concludes at 3-7.  The other WEMO teams in action played one another in District 3 of class 1 as the Osceola Indians hosted the Appleton City Bulldogs.  Osceola scored early and often getting a running clock by the half and ending the Dogs season, 42-12.  Appleton City closes out at 2-8.  Osceola moves on to host the district semi-finals against the Tipton Cardinals who upended the Lincoln Cardinals 30-8.  Other games from the district saw the two seed, Skyline roll past Sacred Heart 70-8, and a close one between Crest Ridge and Windsor with the Cougars taking it 26-20 over the Greyhounds.  Crest Ridge visits Skyline in the other district semi-final.
The Bear Network featured three time defending state champion, Lamar, rebounding from a last second loss at undefeated Class 4 Carl Junction, as the Bears journeyed to Lamar for a second time this season.  The score was closer but the outcome no different as the Tigers rolled 56-0 over Butler to end Butler’s season at 1-9. 
Next week’s games on the KCMW network feature Midway hosting Adrian and Tipton visiting Osceola, both in district semi-final action.

WEMO into Week 10

damonThe WEMO game of the week featured the Drexel Bobcats hosting the Christ Prep Academy Patriots in an odd contest on Senior Night.  Click here for the REPlay … The Bobcats took the opening kick and marched down the field to score and lead 6-0 as senior Tyler Allen scored from five yards out.  The conversion failed and the Cats led 6-0.  Christ Prep would strike back immediately (even beating the commercial return) with a 79 yard kick return for a touchdown by Gabe Jones.  He would add the PAT to put the Pats up 7-6.  After a forced punt, CPA took the short field and scored on a one yard plunge from junior QB Tanner Metzdorf (a harbinger of much more to come).  The point after pushed the lead to 14-6.  Drexel would tie late in the quarter on Allen’s second TD run and a conversion run in by senior Josh Wheeler.
Four minutes into the second frame, senior Jacob Antley would scamper 24 yards to put Drexel on top 20-14 after the missed conversion.  Despite a back-and-forth start, Drexel would not score again, meanwhile surrendering 47 consecutive points in the game.  The first answer came as Metzdorf tossed a 25 yard strike over a leaping defender to Jones for the score.  Coupled with the extra point, CPA would take a lead for good.  The Pats would march quickly in before the half as Metzdorf scored from 9 yards out with the PAT pushing CPA up 28-20; then the wheels came off for Drexel.  Gambling on fourth and short deep in their own territory and failing would set up a quick Patriot score with only 34 seconds remaining, another Metzdorf run (sense the theme here).  But that was not the half, as what appeared to be the final play was tipped and intercepted by the Patriots for the game’s first turnover.  The Pats would fail on their first end zone toss, but Metzdorf would strike on his second, connecting to Ethan Moran, and along with conversions, Christ Prep turned a one score game into a laugher at the half in just over three minutes of game time.
No scores would occur in the third quarter before an early run by Will Cook pushed the lead to 48-20 early in the fourth quarter.  Two more Bobcat turnovers would lead to short fields and shorter scores as Cook scored again, as did senior Isaac Smith, as the Patriots rolled it up for a huge 61-20 win.  Drexel falls to 3-6 heading into districts; Christ Prep, from Lenexa and playing in a private/home school based playoff in Florida in November moved to 5-1 on the season.
Other WEMO teams saw mostly blowouts in their games.  Osceola traveled to Pleasant Hope to take on the Class 2 Pirates and scored early and often pushing out to a 42-0 lead in the third quarter.  Two late Pirate TD’s against the JV would stop the running clock, but the Indians won going away to solidify a top seed in their district, 42-7.  They finish the regular season at 8-1.  Rich Hill hosted win-less Liberal and rolled the Bulldogs 41-0 in the game hoping for a chance to jump Adrian for the three seed in their district.  The win pushed the Tigers back above .500 to 5-4, but a stunning comeback would net Adrian a huge road victory against Class 2 El Dorado Springs after trailing the Bulldogs much of the game.  The Blackhaws would fight back to win 39-36 and move to 6-3 on the season.  Cass-Midway, undefeated and #2 state ranked, marched on winning easily at Sherwood, 34-0.  The Class 2 Marksmen were never in the game, and Midway finishes the regular season giving up only 61 points (6.777) defensively, tossing four shutouts and only twice giving up 20 or more points.  Can they match up with powerhouse and top ranked Valle?  Only the semi-finals will answer that, which is still a month away.  Archie visited Lone Jack and despite staying close for lengthy portions of the game fell short 42-20 to the Mules to finish at 1-8.  Appleton City hosted Orrick and smothered the Bearcats early to jump to a 52-0 halftime edge and garner a 64-6 win.

In other network action, the Bears of Butler hosted the Summit Christian Eagles and fell to 1-8 on the season despite trailing by only one score at the half.  SCA would easily cruise to a 34-6 win in the Crossroads Conference Showdown.  Click here for the REPlay … Districts begin next week, and here are likely district seeds and match-ups for next Friday (to be confirmed over the weekend) for WEMO teams, along with Butler.
Butler (C2, D4, #8 visiting Lamar)
Cass-Midway (C1, D3, #1 hosting Liberal)
Adrian (C1, D3, #3 hosting McAuley Catholic)
Rich Hill (C1, D3, #4 hosting Drexel)
Drexel (C1, D3, #5 visiting Rich Hill)
Archie (C1, D3, #7 visiting Jasper)
Osceola (C1, D4, #1 hosting either Sacred Heart or Appleton City; most likely Sacred Heart)
Appleton City (C1, D4, #7 or #8 visiting either Osceola or Skyline; most likely Skyline)

WEMO FB – Week 8

damonThe WEMO game of the week was the only game featuring two WEMO teams battling out on a sloppy, water slogged field, as the Rich Hill Tigers visited the Archie Whirlwinds.  The Tigers would take the opening kick and march down inside scoring range before fumbling forward into the end zone.  The Winds would recover for a touch back and begin their own march.  The drive ended with a punt, though, and the Tigers would trade another two turnovers for one in a scoreless first quarter.  Switching ends was all Rich Hill needed though as they would not punt again, nor would they turn it over again, nor would they lose it on downs again, as they marched up and down the field for the duration of the night en route to a 42-0 whipping of the Whirlwinds, who were playing their third varsity game in eight days.  The win propelled the Tigers into sole possession of third in the WEMO as well as moving up into third in the district positioning.  Bryant Courter and Jacob Thompson shared co-Player of the Game honors after Courter’s three ground TD’s, and JT’s rushing TD, rushing 2 point conversion, passing TD, and passing 2 pt conversion.  Click here for the REPlay …
Every other WEMO team played non-con games, most finishing with wins.  Drexel traveled out of state to battle the Jayhawk-Linn Jayhawks and pulled a shutout victory, 34-0; oddly enough, the exact score they lost by the previous week.  Cass Midway, ranked #2 in the state, jumped to an early 12-0 lead against visiting Lighthouse Christian Academy from Ozark, and watched it barely hold up for the win, 12-7.  Adrian hosted the Sherwood Marksmen, from class 2, and tromped them early and often via a 33-0 win.  Osceola might have met the premier foe of the week, however, hosting unbeaten class 2 Cole Camp.  The Bluebirds were physical and strong, but another solid Driston Self game (3 first half TD’s) led the Indians to a 34-18 victory; coupled with a Skyline loss likely means the Indians vault to the top spot in their district.  The only WEMO squad to not play and win (other than Archie playing in-league) was the Appleton City Bulldogs, who visited Windsor, and were never in the game.  The Greyhounds wing T offense scored often in running to a 48-8 win over the Dogs.
The Bear Network featured a bear of a battle between Butler and Sarcoxie in another mudder.  Two early scores from Butler gave them their first lead of the season, but Sarcoxie would cut the lead to 12-7 midway through the third quarter and only a game saving tackle from Tanner Diehl, the Player of the Game, would secure the victory for the Butler Bears, their first of the season.  Click here for the REPlay …
Final WEMO Standings (conference record first)
Cass-Midway (6-0, 8-0)
Osceola (5-1, 7-1)
Rich Hill (4-2, 4-4)
Adrian (3-3, 4-4)
Drexel (2-4, 3-5)
Appleton City (1-5, 1-7)
Archie (0-6, 1-7)