Blue Valley North handles Blue Valley Southwest
By Nic Reese PrepsKC staff writer
They say it's not how you start, it's how you finish. In the case of Blue Valley North on Friday night, "they" would be correct.
The clash between Blue Valley Southwest and the Mustangs got off to a very ugly start for both teams. Through 20 minutes of action, the score stood at 7-0, without much separating the two. Their similarities, however, ran rampant: Missed receivers, six turnovers and penalties galore.
"Sometimes when you have that many penalties, it just puts a sour taste in your mouth as far as coaching," explained of Blue Valley Head Coach North Andy Sims.
The difference on Friday night was that one team was able to recover.
It was a three play sequence that really swung the floodgates open. Mustangs' QB Joey Dolan shook off his early game jitters by completing a series of short passes that seemed to get his confidence going. He capped that drive with a 19 yard touchdown strike to WR Charlie Brock, late in the second quarter. 14-0 Mustangs.
Blue Valley Southwest's first play of the subsequent drive resulted in a fumble, scooped up by the defense. That's when the real magic occurred.
Sims dialed up a trick play, with the quarterback throwing a backwards pass to WR Josh Pederson, who had caught a touchdown earlier in the game, who then rifled the ball 46 yards downfield to his receiving mate, Alex Blake, to make the score 21-0.
With all due respect to Dolan, it was the best pass of the evening.
Opening the second half with a three score lead, it was time for RB Cooper Lantefield and the Mustangs defense to take over the game. Without much production from the running game in the opening stanza, Lantefield ripped off chunk after chunk in the second half, picking up a couple rushing touchdowns, as the Timberwolves defense began to wear down.
It was all a part of five straight touchdown drives for a North offense that couldn't get out of its own way while the sun was still shining on the Blue Valley Athletic Complex.
The Mustangs' defense, on the other hand, was stifling from start to finish. They made Timberwolves' QB Collin Gallery's night miserable, hitting him repeatedly, until he finally left the game, battered and bruised, early in the 4th quarter.
They held Blue Valley Southwest's read-option, pistol offense to a mere 165 yards on the night, most of which came in the three yards and a cloud of dust variety. They also forced five turnovers. Their deepest penetration allowed came on the opening drive of the night, which was thwarted with a fourth and one stop that sent the Mustangs crowd into a frenzy. The Timberwolves would never threaten again.
Sims seemed satisfied, but not content, when I caught up with him as he emerged from an uproarious locker room following the game.
"Teams make their biggest improvement between week one and two, and that's what we gotta try to do next week."
After Friday night's revenge from last season's defeat to the Timberwolves, and with all 11 starters back on offense, this doesn't seem like a team that will repeat its 2-7 record from 2014.
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