FRANKFORT — For a brief moment it looked like the meeting of two successful football teams wasn’t going to live up to the hype. After all, that will happen when the visiting team stuns the homecoming crowd with a three-score lead in the early goings of the second quarter.
That changed, though, and it changed in a hurry.
When the dust settled the game lived up to the hype in one of the highlight 8-man shootouts of the season.
The Blue Valley Rams outlasted the Frankfort Wildcats with a 70-52 win.
Rams’ quarterback Levi Peter had the Frankfort defense on its heels and rushed for 193 yards and five touchdowns on 24 carries. He also made big plays in the air and threw for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s been a shootout before and it was tonight,” Blue Valley head coach Matt Schreiber said. “Levi did some great things for us. I’ve said from day one when you have a guy like Levi you like to keep the ball in his hands, but it takes the other seven guys around Levi to really make things happen.
“Before you can even get the ground game going you have to look at the five big, ugly guys in the trenches, as I like to call them. Those guys blocked their butts off tonight.”
The Rams opened the game with a 5 yard touchdown run by junior Bill Sumerour and converted the two-point conversion with a run by senior Bobby O’Neill with 9:43 to go in the first quarter. While Frankfort answered with a 57 yard dash by senior quarterback Alex Surdez less than a minute later, Blue Valley continued to attack and had the Wildcats flustered.
On the next possession the Rams drove the field and capped off the drive with a 13 yard scoring run by Peter. As the Frankfort offense struggled, Blue Valley’s offense continued to thrive. Peter connected on a 32 yard pass to senior Quinten Ross for a touchdown and followed the score with an aggressive play on special teams. The Rams recovered an onside kick and with the excellent field position, continued to stay aggressive on offense. While the Wildcats were able to flush Peter out of the pocket, it ultimately didn’t matter. Peter scrambled toward the Frankfort sideline and needled a pass to senior Logan Redding for a 36 yard score.
Just like that, Blue Valley had a 28-6 lead early in the second quarter and it looked as if the previously undefeated Wildcats were staring down the possibility of a blow-out.
That moment was brief.
Frankfort senior running back Calahan Brown broke through tackles and sprinted down the Rams sideline for a 39 yard score that brought life back to the Wildcats. The two-point conversion failed and after a Blue Valley punt, junior running back Lucas Adams bettered his teammate’s run with a dash of his own — this time up the middle for a 44 yard touchdown run. The Wildcat defense came up big, too, next.
Peter — who had been flawless up to that point — had a pass tipped and Frankfort’s Brown intercepted the ball. Brown returned the interception for a 40 yard pick-six and Adams converted the two-point conversion with a run. The momentum continued for the Wildcats. After the Rams were forced to punt, Frankfort again drove down the field and took its first lead with a 15 yard run by Brown with 1:18 to go before half.
Trailing to the Wildcats 34-28, Blue Valley answered back with a 36 yard touchdown run by junior Marshall Carey with 34.1 seconds left before the break.
Obviously, that only meant there was plenty of time for both teams to score, and they did.
Frankfort returned the favor with a 14 yard touchdown pass from Surdez to Brown with 15.3 seconds left, and a big run by Peter on the Rams next possession brought Blue Valley to the Wildcat 10 yard line, where Peter again called his own number and ran it to the end zone as the half expired to tie the game 40-40.
The second half wasn’t as even, though.
The Rams came out of halftime with back-to-back unanswered scores and took a 54-40 lead with 4:38 to go in the third quarter.
Although Surdez found Brown in the middle on a slant route for a 14 yard passing touchdown to begin the fourth quarter, the Wildcats fumbled on the two-point try and the Rams offense didn’t slow down. Blue Valley scored again on back-to-back, unanswered possessions and led 70-46 with 5:05 left in the game.
Frankfort got back on the scoreboard with a 70 yard Adams kickoff return on the next play, but the scoring barrage would finally simmer for both teams, and the 70-56 lead stuck in advantage for the Rams.