West Platte put forth a spirited effort despite entering as a decided underdog.
East Buchanan advanced to the Class 1 District 7 title game for a second straight season with a 26-10 victory Friday, Oct. 27 in Gower, Mo., but fourth-seeded West Platte never relented. The Bluejays were outclassed 36-6 in an earlier matchup between the two teams during an eight-game losing streak.
This time around, West Platte trailed just 6-3 at halftime before a calculated gamble came up short.
East Buchanan’s big-play passing game broke through out of the break on a 40-yard completion from quarterback Tyler Schottel to Seth Kenagy. West Platte then attempted a fake punt deep in its own territory, and after coming up short, the Bulldogs added another score on the next play.
West Platte fell behind 26-3 before senior wide receiver Grant Eagen answered the final touchdown with a 69-yard kickoff return. He finished with two catches for 34 yards in addition to the special teams score in his final game.
East Buchanan didn’t score in the second quarter, and a completion to Eagen set up junior Gavin Davis’ 23-yard field goal right before halftime to slice the deficit to 6-3.
The start looked positive for West Platte (2-9), which entered off of a first round win over Orrick that ended an eight-game losing streak. The Bluejays opened the season with a win over Class 3 Lincoln Prep but didn’t win again in the regular season, including an 0-7 run through KCI Conference play.
Despite a second straight winless season in league, West Platte’s strength of schedule helped garner the No. 4 seed and a home Class 1 District 7 game. The Bluejays then blew out Orrick 57-12 to surpass the 2016 win total of one.
West Platte couldn’t spring an upset in the rematch with East Buchanan (9-2), which entered the regular season finale with a shot at winning the KCI title.
West Platte junior quarterback Noah Johnson completed just 2 of 11 passes, while rushing for a team-high 56 yards. Davis — the Bluejays’ biggest all-around threat — added 55 on 18 carries, while undersized senior running back Brayan Rodriguez had 43 yards on the ground.
Three turnovers — an interception for senior Aidan Sullivan and fumble recoveries for senior Cole Whalen and sophomore Mason Taylor — helped West Platte stay close.