Everything Landan Ruff had heard about the Lee’s Summit West football team he found to be true on Monday night.
Entering Monday’s Class 5 District 6 final at West, the Parkview senior quarterback knew the Titans were Missouri’s top-ranked Class 5 team. And after the Titans had routed the Vikings 61-24, it was clear to him the Titans were “as advertised.”
“They are a great team,” Ruff said. “They take care of their assignments. Everything’s checked for, for them. They just played great, as always.”
Offensively, the Titans (11-0) “played great” — as Ruff put it — by scoring on seven of their eight first-half possessions to build a 47-0 halftime lead. The only possession to not produce a score was the final one. Taking possession after a punt, West took a kneel-down to end the half. Andrew Palmer’s 1-yard, third-quarter TD run and 41-yard, fourth-quarter TD run helped the Titans stretch their lead to 61-0.
Defensively, West held Parkview to negative yardage in total offense and without a first down through three quarters. The Vikings got their initial first down on a 36-yard pass from Ruff to Anthony Gilliland early in the fourth quarter.
The pass set up Ruff’s 28-yard TD pass to Danny Johnson and his two-point conversion pass to Gilliland with 9:47 to play. From there, the Vikings would pick up a few more first downs and 16 more points. Ruff added a 2-yard TD run and two-point conversion pass to Chris Cole with 5:56 remaining. His 23-yard TD run and Hunter Steinmetz’s two-point conversion run with 47.5 seconds left finished the scoring.
Parkview’s 24-point fourth quarter helped the Vikings accomplished a few goals, Vikings coach Anthony Hays suggested.
“We just wanted to play the second half with class,” Hays said. “We wanted to play the second half as hard as we could and get some points on the board.”
Ruff felt that the Vikings finished in classy fashion — and that the Titans did, too.
“I thought that was good,” he said.
For the Vikings (8-3), the loss capped a season in which they jumped out to a school-record 6-0 start. It also marked their first winning football season in years.
If Hays has a say, it won’t be the program’s last during his tenure, as he told his players during his postgame talk.
For the Vikings to build on 2012’s winning record, they must hit the weight room hard during the offseason, according to Hays. They also must believe in themselves, he said.
“We want sustained success at Parkview — and I think that we’re on the right track,” Hays said.
For the Titans, Monday’s victory will give them a chance to test their “maturity,” according to West coach Royce Boehm. When the Titans play host to Ozark on Saturday, they’ll have to do so without one of their key players, said Boehm, who preferred to not mention the player’s name.
The player in question was ejected following a first-quarter multiple-player brawl that also resulted in three Parkview players being ejected. With the ejection came a one-game suspension.
Boehm, however, wasn’t worried about how the Titans would handle that loss.
“We’ve got somebody else we’re going to put in his spot,” he said. “We keep moving on.”