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Run of 32 straight points allows Missouri to defeat Kansas in Greater Kansas City Football Coaches All-Star Game

Missouri breaks three-year losing streak with 32-15 win
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By Cody Thorn 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Missouri defense got off to a rough start in the annual Greater Kansas City Football Coaches All-Star game on Thursday night. 

Thursday's game, which pits the top seniors from Missouri and Kansas in the area, started with Kansas getting the ball.

The team from the Sunflower State put together a long drive that ended in a touchdown and an early lead.

Missouri's defense got a stop on the second possession and forced a punt, but the returner fumbled the punt. Kansas took over at the 4-yard line with a lead.

The outcome of the game then shifted in favor of the Missourians, who kept Kansas out of the end zone and off the scoreboard.

Missouri needed only three plays to answer and momentum shifted in favor of the Show-Me State stars, who rolled to a 32-15 victory at Turner High School.

Missouri scored 32 unanswered points after the defensive stop and in the process snapped a three-game losing streak. Missouri also took a 15-14 lead in the series that started in 1992.

“That fumble punt return and then the stop after it was huge man, because they had a little bit momentum early,” said Missouri coach Justin Hamilton, the head coach at Pleasant Hill. “It was huge. I mean, we knew our defense was good, just that first drive. ... After that, we played well.”

The Missouri team had only eight days of practice leading up to the game and Hamilton noted it took a few days to see what each player could do, merging players from Class 2 to Class 6 schools together.

Kansas had the ball at the Missouri 4-yard line after the fumble, but didn't do much on the first play.

Missouri linebacker David Jacquez, from Fort Osage and a Northwest Missouri State signee, stopped Tyzhaun Cole for a 1-yard gain. An incomplete pass followed, but then Missouri jumped offsides for the third time in the game.

With the ball near the 1-yard line, Lincoln College Prep’s Jahaun Stuckey stopped Jaylen Burch for a 5-yard loss.

Back at the 7, Kansas went for a field goal but missed wide right.

“Team morale on the sideline wasn’t great, but we persevered and we came outside and our captains got everybody hyped up,” said Park Hill South defensive end James Williams, named the team’s MVP following the game. “We knew we had to make a stand and that was important because this could end up being a very different game, but that didn't happen.”

Missouri answered on a third-and-6 from the 24, when Oak Park quarterback Ty Clemens hit Lee’s Summit North’s Devin Blayney, a Northeastern State signee, for a 76-yard touchdown on a slant route that turned into a dash toward the end zone up the Missouri sidelines with 23 seconds left in the first quarter.

Richmond’s Tadan McCoy, who signed with Ottawa University, scored on the two-point conversion to give Missouri its first and last lead of the game, 8-7.

The defense forced a three-and-out and Missouri got the ball back early in the second quarter, eventually getting another long touchdown pass.

Clemens, who will play at Dordt University, hit Pleasant Hill’s Zach Redwine for an 82-yard touchdown with 9:30 left in the second quarter. Clemens was 4-for-7 passing for 179 yards and a pair of scores.

A point-after attempt by Kyzer Gann-Vega, from Lafayette County, made it 15-7.

Missouri tried to extend the lead to 18-7 at the close of the first half, but Kansas blocked a 32-yard field goal as time expired.

However, the Show-Me State squad expanded that lead on the second possession of the second half.

Taking over at its own 31, Lucas Oitker had a 13-yard run to move the ball to midfield and then the Park Hill South running back added a 12-yard run to the Kansas 35-yard line.

The future Washburn Ichabod then came up with a big play on third down, though it didn’t go as originally scripted.

A snap was fumbled, but Oitker picked it up and the running back rolled to his right and then threw across the field and hit fellow running back K.J. Smith, of Kearney, for a 31-yard touchdown.

“We had that drawn up all week, not the fumble part, but the throw and me releasing from the backfield,” said Smith, who will compete in track and field at Northwest Missouri State. “We had it drawn out all week and it worked out perfectly.”

Missouri took a 22-7 lead into the fourth quarter, aided by a late defensive stand.

Kansas went for it on fourth-and-4 at the 36-yard line, but a bad snap led to a 9-yard loss with a tackle by Liberty North linebacker A.J. Delgado. The Avila signee got an assist from Raytown’s Zahmari Gary on the stop.

Gann-Vega hit a 29-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. A four-time Class 2 all-stater, he is a football and track and field signee for Missouri Southern.

Missouri got another fourth-down stop on defense, this one from Williams, who signed to play at Iowa Central College. Kansas faced a fourth-and-4 from the Missouri 30, when Williams sacked Lawrence’s Truman Juelsgaard for a 4-yard loss.

Seven plays later, Missouri scored to run the streak to 32 unanswered points and secure the win.

Gary had a 39-yard touchdown run - though he was flagged for celebrating going into the end zone - with 7:10 left. Gann-Vega’s PAT made it 32-7.

“There's gonna be a ton of mistakes by both teams, but who is gonna make plays when things don't go their way and our kids did that tonight,” said Hamilton, who played in the game in 2003 - though it ended early due to weather issues.

Kansas got on the board late with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Juelsgaard to Ethan Schultze, but the final Kansas drive ended with a fumble. Smithville’s Mason Crim, a Missouri S&T signee, hit Juelsgaard and forced a fumble.

Williams picked it up at midfield and made it to the 23-yard line before getting tackled. He finished with three tackles, two and a half tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery.

“It was very, very different,” Williams said of the all-star game makeup. “You have guys with different mindsets and they don’t play the same guys as us. So you can’t talk about, 'Oh, we beat this team and you guys beat this team.'

"So it took us a little bit longer, I think, to connect but once we got it, we were rolling and obviously the scoreboard reflected it.”