St. James football team falls to Blue Valley North in regular season finale
Overland Park The St. James Academy football team wrapped up its regular season Friday, as it traveled to the Blue Valley District Activity Complex to face Blue Valley North. St. James (1-7) couldn't keep up with Blue Valley North (5-3), as it lost by a score of 28-61.
St. James went three-and-out on its first possession of the game. Blue Valley North immediately went to work, as it went on a quick six-play drive to take a 0-7 lead on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 8:45 left in the first quarter.
St. James responded to the score. On third down, junior quarterback Brady Feldman hit junior wide receiver J.J. Tylicki for a 21-yard catch. Four plays later, St. James evened the score. Tylicki threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver William Sharpton to make it a 7-7 game with 5:11 left in the first quarter.
Blue Valley North immediately regained the lead, as it marched on a five-play drive that was capped with a 38-yard touchdown pass. St. James trailed Blue Valley North by a score of 7-14 with four minutes remaining in the quarter.
Three plays later, Blue Valley North scored again. On third down deep in its own territory, St. James fumbled the ball. Blue Valley North recovered it in the end zone to take a 7-21 lead with 2:26 remaining in the quarter.
On the eighth play of St. James' next drive, a bad snap resulted in a 23-yard loss. St. James was forced to punt two plays later.
St. James head coach Tom Radke talked about his team's early snap issues Friday.
"That was super frustrating. We've been working on that all year. We're trying to find the right guys to get it done. It kills drives. (Fumbled snaps) have set us back this year. We've got to get it fixed," Radke said.
It only took four plays for Blue Valley North to score again. It increased its lead on a 23-yard touchdown pass to make it a 7-28 game with 9:46 remaining in the half.
St. James only took one play to respond. Feldman hit Tylicki for a 70-yard touchdown pass to make it a 14-28 game with 9:30 remaining in the half.
Once again, St. James could not find a way to stop Blue Valley North. It went on a 12-play drive to add another score on a one-yard touchdown run to make it a 14-34 game with 6:27 remaining in the half.
St. James turned the ball over on downs on its next possession. Blue Valley North marched down the field on five plays to add another score on a 21-yard touchdown pass to make it a 14-40 game with 2:53 remaining in the half.
St. James went on a six-play drive on its next possession, but Feldman threw an interception to give Blue Valley North the ball back with 59 seconds remaining in the half.
At halftime, St. James trailed Blue Valley North by a score of 14-40.
St. James' defense finally came up big on the first possession of the second half. On the third play from scrimmage, junior defensive back Jake Holton grabbed an interception to give his team the ball back with 10:57 remaining in the third quarter.
St. James marched on a 10-play drive on its next possession. On 4th and 12, Feldman hit senior Hudson Manning for a 36-yard touchdown pass to make it a 21-40 game with 7:35 remaining in the third quarter.
Blue Valley North went on a 15-play drive on its next possession. It scored on a two-yard touchdown pass to make it a 21-47 game with 2:41 remaining in the quarter.
St. James went three-and-out on its next possession. Blue Valley North went on a 10-play drive that ended in a nine-yard touchdown pass to make it a 21-54 game with 11:37 left in regulation.
On the third play of St. James' next possession, senior running back Cody Schmidt fumbled the ball to give a possession back to Blue Valley North.
St. James' defense stepped up on the next possession, as it forced a turnover-on-downs.
On the fifth play of St. James' next drive, Schmidt ripped off a 43-yard run to get his team in the red zone. Schmidt got into the end zone three plays later on a five-yard touchdown run to make it a 28-54 game with 4:58 remaining in regulation.
Blue Valley North marched on a nine-play drive following St. James' touchdown. It added a final score on a 33-yard touchdown pass to make it a 28-61 game with 56 seconds remaining in the game.
That would be the final score, as St. James ran the clock out on its next drive.
Feldman completed five-of-13 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw one interception. Feldman also rushed six times for 32 yards.
"I love him. He's our third-string guy, but he's been kicking butt on (junior varsity) all year. He knows the system. He doesn't throw the prettiest ball all the time, but he knows where it's supposed to go. He was on the money a lot (Friday)," Radke said.
Tylicki caught three passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed the ball five times for 13 yards and completed one pass for 33 yards and a touchdown.
"He's great. He's always fun to be around. He keeps the guys loose. When it's time to play football, he plays some good football. He's played a lot of positions for us this year. He did some good things on offense," Radke said.
Schmidt rushed the ball 15 times for 94 yards and a touchdown. He fumbled the ball one time.
"It was great to have (Schmidt) back. He had two hip surgeries in the offseason. He dislocated his shoulder, so (Friday) was his second game back. We wanted to give him the ball a whole bunch. I'm happy for him," Radke said.
St. James will start playoff action Oct. 26, when it will face Lansing High School on the road.