West Platte opened KCI Conference play on the wrong side of a 50-36 score last Friday at East Buchanan High School. The Bluejays’ ground attack matched the high-flying Bulldogs offense score for score through the first quarter, but East Buchanan kept airing the ball out to build a lead not relinquished. “I thought the physical nature of the game is what stood out the most,” West Platte coach Nate Danneman said. “There were two teams out there flat getting with it. It made for a very exciting game. I was proud of our offense going score for score with East Buch the majority of the first half but defensively is where we have to get better right now.” The effort intensified when Bluejays’ senior quarterback Cody Guthrie injured his non-throwing shoulder, forcing him to miss some snaps. The first-year starter finished with 103 yards passing going 9-for-23 on pass attempts, while racking up 140 yards on the ground. Wide receiver Ben Heili moved under center to replace an injured Guthrie. West Platte (2-1, 0-1 KCI) kicked off the scoring on a 32-yard pass from Guthrie to Henry Bartee — the first of two scoring tosses for Guthrie, the other coming in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard strike to tight end Conner Salmons. The teams traded scores throughout the first half with East Buchanan taking a 28-20 advantage after the opening quarter. Bulldogs quarterback Colby Rapp ended up with more than 400 yards passing on 27-of-36 accuracy. His three first-half touchdowns helped the Bulldogs to a 44-28 halftime lead. West Platte’s Michael Devers recorded a safety in the third quarter to bring the Blue Jays’ deficit to 44-30 but they came no closer during a slower second half. West Platte travels’ to Lathrop, Mo. on Friday to face the Mules, who are still looking for their first win of 2014 after back-to-back strong seasons in 2012 and 2013. “Our expectations this week are to win,” Danneman said. “We know that it is going to be a very physical game once again. But, we are going to have to push through it. We must stop the run this week and put Lathrop in second and third and long situations.” East Buchanan won the fifth straight meeting between the rivals, including a 48-45 win a season ago.