Archie survies rain, University Academy
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
The rain started around 3 in the afternoon, the wind soon followed and then the temperature took a nosedive.
Yep, by the time Archie and University Academy kicked off the Missouri Class 1 playoff opener at Center High School, it felt like winter and Archie was walking in a winter wonderland all night.
The Whirlwinds scored 20 unanswered points on their way to a 20-6 win over University Academy to advance to the second round Monday against Osceola, an old conference nemesis.
University Academy scored the games’ first points when Brian Smith went 53 yards on the fourth play from scrimmage for the score to put the Gryphons up 6-0.
For the next five minutes, University Academy looked like they would be able to exact a bit of revenge on Archie, who had beat them in the exact same game last year.
But Archie evened the score with fine minutes left in the first quarter and never looked back.
The Whirlwinds made the most out of the foul weather, running for 157 yards on a sloppy field, but most importantly, they only lost one fumble, winning the turnover battle 7-1.
“That ball was so wet and slippery,” said Archie quarterback Paul McAlexander, who led all rushers with 92 yards on 27 carries. “It was something we just had to deal with. It’s definitely game I will never forget.”
Tribio Cota scored the first two touchdowns for Archie. The first came form three yards out with 5:02 left in the first quarter. The second came from one yard out just seconds into the second quarter.
McAlexander capped the scoring with a 9-yard run with 9:43 left in the third quarter.
“We are a running team,” said Archie head coach Michael Toschi, “so we really didn’t have to make that many changes to our game plan.”
While Archie only outgained University Academy by 46 yards (156-110), the fact that University Academy lost five fumbles and threw two interceptions was the back breaker.
“We just had to make sure e kept the ball in our hands and try not to do anything fancy,” McAlexander said. “We have a great offensive line, so we just had to let them to the work for us.”
The going was tough on the field. Neither team really got much going. The two teams combined for 53 plays that went for less than two yards and 30 went for negative yards.
The one person that might have suffered the most through the miserable conditions was University Academy’s dynamic quarterback Dimonic McKinzy, who came into the game averaging more than 350 yards of total offense. He was the team’s leading passer and rusher. The Gryphon offense went through McKinzy, but all he was able to muster on Wednesday night was 33 yards rushing on 18 carries and just seven yards passing.
Lawrence Free State Firebirds
Rich Hill Tigers
Lees Summit Tigers
University Academy Gryphons
North Platte Panthers
Olathe South Falcons
St. Joseph Central Indians