Mill Valley can't find the heights
By Adam Sullivan PrepsKC staff writer
On a chilly night at Shawnee Heights High School Mill Valley tried to avenge a playoff loss to Shawnee Heights last season.
The T-Birds came in with a 4-5 record, and winners of there last three games by an average of 41 points. Even though they had a losing record, the T-Birds had played some great competition including a seven point loss to ranked Class 6A Manhattan. The Jaguars were brought an impressive record of its own sporting a 7-2 record with losses to Bishop Miege, and Basehor-Linwood.
In a game where defense came up big, Shawnee Heights was able to fend off Mill Valley 15-7 in front of a sold out crowd at Shawnee Heights. The T-Birds managed to shut down a Jaguar offense that averaged 38 points a game.
“Our defense really stepped up tonight, they did a really great job.” Said head coach of the T-Birds Jason Swift. “Mill Valley has a great offense, and we managed to give up no big plays and make a few of our own.”
Heights came out ready to jump on the Jaguars. After the T-Birds capitalized on a Mill Valley fumble with a 52 yard touchdown run by Cole Foster. Heights added to the lead from a 21 yard field goal by Dakota Weaver putting the T-Birds ahead 9-0.
Even though Foster had a great game, he was quick to give the credit elsewhere
“My receivers really stepped up and made plays, I wasn’t on my game tonight but give them credit for winning this one,” Foster said.
Mill Valley wouldn’t go away though, as they struck before half on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Skyler Windmiller to Ethan Rice. Heights took a slight lead of 9-7 into the half.
In the third quarter a huge momentum change for Heights. Mill Valley had forced a Heights punt, but on the return a Jaguar touched it and Heights recovered at Mill Valleys 23 yard line leading to a five-yard touchdown run by T-Bird running back Tyler Willis.
After a Heights punt pushed the Jaguars all the way to their own eight yard line, and Mill Valleys season was down to 92 yards. Windmiller was able to make a few great plays on the drive with passes to Staton Rebek, and Wade Hanna. The Jaguars made it all the way down to the T-Bird 39, and had it 4th and 5. Windmiller dropped back and threw a pass intended for Hanna, but Heights was too much and tipped it away ending Mill Valley’s season.
With the win Shawnee Heights improves to (5-5) and will meet Gardner-Edgerton (7-3) next Friday in the second round of the Kansas 5A state playoffs. This makes the 3rd straight season that the T-Birds have advanced past the first round in the playoffs, and the second straight season with a playoff win over Mill Valley.
“We play in the toughest league in the State in my opinion.” Swift said about next week’s game with the Trailblazers, “The great thing about football is anyone can beat anyone on any given night. We really respect them and their program.”
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