Friday night gave Missouri schools all across the state a chance to test themselves against competition in jamboree formats. Some of the Missouri’s best teams and richest talent lined up at Raytown High School in Raytown, Mo.
6A teams Liberty and Blue Springs, 5A Lee's Summit West and 4A Raytown South had 12 offensive and defensive plays against one another.
Offensively Blue Springs' RB Dalvin Warmack didn't get to showcase his skills as he was dealt a shoulder injury by a swarming Liberty defense on the Wildcats first play from scrimmage. Enter Cobi Bissell who scored twice and proved ready to pick up where Warmack left off.
Coach Kelly Donohue was quoted as saying "They've worked really hard on comradery" and the team didn't flinch when the coaching staff chose to set Warmack with an arm bruise. The Blue Springs defense played big all night with Elijah Lee looking big, strong and fast on both sides of the ball. He was simply all over the field.
The Blue Springs jumbo package featured twins Khalil and Carlos Davis and they looked big. They did good work on the defensive side as expected. But putting both into the backfield for short yardage plays looked imposing and could prove dangerous for opposing defenses.
Ryan Williams on the other hand got a chance to show what the hype is about. He gained plenty of yards with many coming after first contact. He's speedy and strong and looks primed for a strong start to the season.
Offenses didn't show a lot so Blue Springs safety Kaleb Prewet and Lee's Summit West defensive back Logan Cheadle couldn't really showcase their skill set. Blue Springs quarterback Ian Brown threw several good underneath balls showing a quick and compact release. Liberty quarterback A.J. Cambric and Lee's Summit West qb Thomas Ganaden had the bulk of their success outside and over the top. Both looked big in the pocket during their offensive reps.
One player who really stood out as dominate was Lee's Summit West's Kevin Pendleton. He looks most natural at run blocking but also showed some skill at pass blocking.He stands out as massive. Look for big things from him as he leads the way for the Titans before making his move to the MU Tigers roster in 2014.
When you talk about leading the way offensive linemen Tyler Stiff and Jacob Francis were violent up front for the Liberty High offense. They seem to enjoy the hunt and ultimately the contact leaving holes for David Graves and Devon Bryant to run through against each opposing defense.
Marcel Minniefield of Lee’s Summit West is only a sophomore but he showed the strength to live inside on the defensive line. He was not easily moved around which can be critical when fields get sloppy late in the year with strange Missouri weather.
Raytown South stepped up classes and took on bigger teams. While they may have been a bit over matched based on size they competed well and perhaps stretched themselves more than any other team on this night. Once they step down into 4A territory during the regular season they’ll almost certainly be better for it.
Overall several players stood out. Defenses won the night but each offense showed glimpses of being able to move the chains and score from outside the red zone.
The 2013 preseason is in the books. Players will line up for real on the Missouri side beginning this Friday August 30th. You could see any of the four teams in the playoffs in 2013. Showmemizzou.com will be there to cover each athlete as they lead their teams and raise their stock. Stay tuned.