It’s a great feeling for football players to end their high school careers with one final victory. Even if they didn’t get a championship trophy in the regular season, the 22nd annual Country Mart Missouri vs. Kansas All-Star football game gives them one last chance to go out with a bang.
And that’s exactly what the Missouri all-stars did June 13, running past Kansas 36-8 at Lee’s Summit North.
“It gives me chills,” Raymore-Peculiar 2013 graduate Dylan Doss said. “It really doesn’t occur to you that you are done and this is the last time you are going to wear your high school colors. Everything is different, you may have a different number and everything. It gives you chills, all this change. But then you look at it that’s it a bright new future and it’s exciting. It’s four more years to do the game you love.”
Doss, a defensive end who will be attending William Jewell College to play football, was a key player on Missouri’s defense, along with Harrisonville defensive back Walter Eastwood.
“Defensively, you just line up and you have your responsibility,” Doss said. “If you do your job and the man next to you does his job, then defense clicks like that. It doesn’t matter what guys you are lined up with if you do your job, you are going to click, it doesn’t matter how long you have been together.”
Missouri scored first in the first quarter after the defense sacked the Kansas quarterback, which led to a fumble on the 31-yard line. Missouri recovered the ball and six plays later, Steven McBee (Fort Osage) ran in the touchdown from two yards out at the 2:33 minute mark. Griffin Bins (Rockhurst) made the point after kick, giving Missouri a 7-0 lead.
Missouri added to their lead with 2:10 minutes left in the first half as Cole Davis (Kearney) connected on a pass to Craig Scott (Park Hill South) for a 15-yard touchdown. With another good kick by Bins, Missouri led 14-0.
The Missouri defense kept Kansas close to their own end zone and a botched snap on the punt rolled into the end zone to give Missouri a safety and a 16-0 lead with less than a minute left to play in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Missouri kept up the scoring, starting with a fumble recovery on the 1-yard line by Eastwood. Marcus Jones (North Kansas City) snuck the ball into the end zone for the score. The point after kick was no good, but Missouri still led 22-0.
Kansas put some points on the board with just over a minute left in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by Aaron Ramsey (Blue Valley Southwest) to make the score 22-8.
But in the fourth quarter, Missouri’s Matt Zombo (Liberty) caught a pass from Davis for a 32-yard touchdown with just over six minutes left to play to put Missouri ahead 29-8. And for good measure, Missouri’s Davis connected with Scottie Wilson (Platte County) for a 8-yard catch and a touchdown, sealing the Missouri victory.
But Doss says the key was all of the players’ commitment to practice.
“People were coming from far away, two hours, three hours and the most we ever had miss in a day was two,” he said. “That’s what really made the difference was everyone being here. And they were coming down ready to play, they weren’t messing around. Attendance and showing up is really what’s going to make the difference in games like these. You only have a week and a half to get ready and so if you are missing three or four people in key positions, you are just going to fall apart. We didn’t have any of that, so that’s what led to our success.”
Even though this is Missouri’s third straight victory, Kansas still leads the series 11-10.
“We are making it a tradition here and we need to keep it alive,” Doss said. “We got win number 10 today and we just need to keep going until we are ahead. Kansas has got us, we are 11-10 right now. But hopefully next year we will keep with the same tradition and we can pull ahead.”