BV West's gamble tops BV Southwest
By Cole Young PrepsKC staff writer
The math was simple for Blue Valley West. Get a victory against Blue Valley Southwest and the Jaguars were in the playoffs.
What wasn’t so simple for the Jaguars was achieving that result. West staged a furious comeback in the final six minutes of the game to win 29-28 in the Kansas 5A District 4 matchup.
“That is why you never give up,” Blue Valley West coach Scott Wright told his squad following the emotional win. “We knew we’d have to play every play if we were going to win and we did.”
The Jaguars trailed 28-14 when the defense was able to stop Southwest on fourth down in Jaguar territory.
From the time the Jaguar defense made the stop, the momentum started to swing in the home team’s favor. Led by quarterback Ryan Ralston, West quickly moved down the field. The drive was capped off by a 10-yard run by Ralston, his third rushing touchdown of the game.
With 4:55 left in the game, the Jaguars attempted an onside kick and recovered the ball but were ruled out of bounds.
That gave the Timberwolves the ball at midfield, but for the second straight trip the Jaguar defense stiffened and forced a punt – the first by either team in the game.
This time, Ralston used his arm instead of his legs to find the end zone. After moving the ball to the Jaguar 43, Ralston hit Luke Curtis for a 57-yard touchdown pass to bring the Jaguars within a point with 2:04 left in the game.
“We ran a play action and they bit hard on it,” Ralston said. “That opened him up.”
Trailing by a point, Wright called a timeout and lined the Jaguars up for a two-point conversion.
“The momentum was clearly on our side at that point,” Wright said. “When we were driving down the field I told our coaches we needed to have a play ready. There was no question we were going for two.”
The play was one Ralston said they had worked on all week in practice.
Ralston, who finished with 105 yards on 18 carries, faked a dive up the middle before pulling back and throwing to tight end Davis Clark in the end zone.
Trailing 29-28, the Timberwolves had one last chance to drive make a comeback. Faced with a fourth and long Southwest tried to set up a hook and ladder but the pass was ruled incomplete.
It was a bitter finish for the Timberwolves who at 4-4 are eliminated from the playoffs with a game left in the season.
“I just don’t even know what to say,” Southwest coach Bill Lowe said. “I just feel so bad for our seniors. They’ve worked so hard to get to where we are. There’s really no words to describe how bad I feel for our kids.”
Southwest came out like a team desperately needing a win to stay alive. After scoring a touchdown on the opening drive, they went for an onside kick. Later after giving up a touchdown, the Timberwolves went to trickery again, running a reverse on a kick return.
The reverse did work, with Luke Wilmes taking a handoff from Ben Lewis and going 92 yards to the end zone. Wilmes also scored on a 22-yard run.
Southwest led 21-14 at the half and 28-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We knew we had to weather the storm,” Wright said. “We told them they were like a bunch of caged animals over there. They are a strong team and a very, very well coached team.”
Blue Valley West faces Blue Valley, who is also undefeated in district play, in the final week of the regular season. Both teams have already sealed up playoff bids.
Southwest finishes the season when it hosts Pittsburg.
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