By Ryan McCarthy
Bonner Springs wanted to open up the season with a balance of physical football along with effectiveness on offense.
The Braves showed signs of both these qualities as they defeated the Turner Bears 51-40 in the Friday season opener at David Jaynes Stadium.
Bonner Springs was led by senior quarterback Jordan Jackson who helped his team to victory thanks to facilitating the team’s option rushing attack.
“We worked on it all summer and showed up every day to weights, but it’s our offensive line up front. Just blocking and moving people,” Jackson said.
From the beginning of the game, Braves coach Lucas Aslin wanted to show the teams toughness on either side of the line of scrimmage.
“We were trying to be physical on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Trevon Mason did a great job punishing and going downhill.”
The physical line allowed not only Jackson, but senior running backs Jared Knernschield and Mason to be successful on the ground. The two combined for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns.
“When you’re on the field you play to the best of your ability and get as many yards and touchdowns as you can,” Mason said.
Bonner Springs established this early with its opening drive when Knernschield scored on a six-yard run.
Mason managed to continue to pound two scores in from close range with an eight-yard run and a one-yard run.
Later on, Jackson showed off some running skill of his own breaking runs of 37 and 44 yards that moved the Braves into scoring territory.
However, a more balanced attack led Bonner Springs a chance to air it out more.
“If we can run the football he can be even more dangerous,” Aslin said.
Jackson connected with junior wide receiver Jonah Freese on a 23-yard pass with 7:46 remaining to help put the Bears farther out of reach.
Although Bonner Springs dominated much of the possession on the night, Turner managed to keep the game close with two kickoff returns by junior Royriecus Williams in the first half.
After seeing those two kickoff returns, Aslin said that his team would work on special thoroughly throughout the next week.
The other important factor for the Bears was senior quarterback Paul Berry.
Berry ran 25 yards for a score in Turner’s opening drive of the second half. Berry’s determination helped keep the Bears within striking distance.
“He’s an absolute warrior and I love coaching him,” Turner coach Jeremy Milne said. “He’s a special kid and he’s become a leader.”
Even Bonner Springs knew it needed a tight parameter around Berry to make sure he did not escape the defense.
“We had to bring edges and up the middle because he’s athletic. He’s an athletic kid,” Aslin said. “He got away with some things that most quarterbacks wouldn’t get away with.”
The Braves managed to contain Barry enough to keep the Bears out of reach. They also managed to sack him several times in the second half.
Still what keyed the Braves to victory remained Jackson and the rest of the offense keeping this rhythm throughout the season.
“It makes you a dangerous team if you can throw the ball and spread some people out,” Aslin said. “We’re going take what they can give us depending on the matchup each week.”
Turner 6 6 6 22 40
Bonner Springs 14 9 14 14 51
BS: 8:30, Jared Knernschield 6 yard run (Luciano Fasani kick good).
TR: 8:17, Royriecus Williams 93 kickoff return (PAT No Good).
BS: 3:46, Trevon Mason 1 yard run (Fasani kick).
BS: 4:25, Hayden Hoffine 32 yard pass from Jordan Jackson (Fasani kick).
TR: 4:13, Royriecus Williams 81 yard kick off return (2 point conversion no good).
TR: 2:28, Safety.
TR: 8:55, Paul Berry 25 yard run (2 point conversion no good).
BS: 6:44, Trevon Mason 10 yard run (Fasani kick).
BS: 2:07, Jordan Jackson 5 yard run (Fasani kick).
TR: 11:53, Sirr Green 37 yard pass from Paul Berry (2 point conversion no good).
BS: 7:46, Jonah Freese 23 yards pass from Jordan Jackson (Fasani kick).
BS: 2:48, Marcel Holmes 3 yard run (Fasani kick).
TR: 1:41, Nick Bejarano 40 yard run ( 2 point conversion good).
TR: :43, Vincent John 27 yard fumble recovery for touchdown (2 point conversion no good).