Ray-Pec knew they would be in for a fight last Friday night. The Panthers’ 2013 schedule has been no walk in the park to this point in the season, but last Friday it got that much harder.
The Class 6 non-ranked Raymore-Peculiar Panthers (3-4) traveled to Class 5 first-in-State Lee’s Summit West to take on the Titans (6-1). The game would start off in the home team’s favor and West never looked back.
After scoring the game’s first 21 points in just under six minutes, it was clear that the Panthers were overmatched in a game that nobody expected the visitors to win.
“We knew these games were coming,” said head coach Tom Kruse last week in preparation for the game.
As for the Titans being seated at the top of the rankings, Kruse said, “[West] is right where they need to be.”
Already playing without their senior running back, Steve Brown, Ray-Pec would also lose their starting quarterback, senior Reed Davis, on Friday night. Brown left the game against St. Joseph Central last week due to a high ankle sprain and is still questionable for Week 8. Davis was hit very hard by two West defensive linemen in the third quarter Friday night, giving him a concussion.
According to MSHSAA rules, Davis must sit out for the next game. It is possible that he could play in Week 9, Kruse said on Monday.
Blake Skeed came in for Davis in the second half last Friday and played fairly well under the circumstances. Skeed went four-for-nine, racking up 62 yards. Davis was four-for-seven for 51 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game. Neither quarterback threw an interception.
Junior running back Isaiah Truss was the lone standout for the Panthers in the game. The quick halfback has made a name for himself all season long, averaging 6.9 yards per carry all season long.
The playing time that Truss was able to get last Friday due to Brown’s injury has made him the team’s rushing leader so far this season. Truss has rushed for 557 yards in Ray-Pec’s seven games, and in the last two games he has averaged 117 yards per game — compared to just 65 yards per game through the first five games of the year. The junior is getting better with each game and, consequently, defenses are paying more attention to him.
The other offensive weapon for Raymore-Peculiar, senior wide receiver Scotty Schaffner, has been relatively shut down since the first two games of the year. After starting the season off with 202 yards for four touchdowns through two games, the future Iowa State Cyclone has only caught two touchdowns since, averaging just 56.4 yards a game.
Depending on the severity of Davis’ injury, those numbers could continue to decrease for Schaffner, as he may not see as many catchable passes.
The Panthers finished the game against West with no sacks on the Titan quarterback, senior Thomas Ganaden. The play-caller went eight-for-12 for 101 yards and a touchdown in the contest.
Junior Dallas Hille collected 5.5 tackles and caused a fumble in the game for Ray-Pec, though his team would go on to lose 49-13.
Now the Panthers are gearing up to face an even bigger challenge this season, the undefeated Blue Springs Wildcats.