Another first step

Suzette Klepac/PrepsKC

By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: November 21, 2015 - 12:05 AM

St. Thomas Aquinas came into Friday night’s contest with Mill Valley as the defending class 5A runner-up, and the Jaguars didn’t care.

Mill Valley (11-1) took control of the game after falling behind by a touchdown, midway through the first quarter, with 28-straight points in its 45-28 victory.

After scoring seven touchdowns a week ago against Pittsburg, Christian Jegen followed that performance up with three touchdowns helping lead Mill Valley to its first championship berth in program history.

He tied the game up at a touchdown a piece on a 10-yard run. He made a catch over a defender on a 10-yard fade route, and then capped off his scoring with a 60-yard catch and run.

He sealed the game by intercepting St. Thomas Aquinas’s (9-3) Karter Odermann with 4:46 left in the game.

Odermann was being rushed, and tried throwing a jump pass off his back foot. The ball was floated up for Jegen, who caught it and fell to the ground.

“It was awesome,” Jegen said of the team making it to state. “Senior year, this is the best way to go out. State championship, all these award nominations, I couldn’t do it without my teammates.”

Earlier in the week, Jegen was nominated for the Simone Award, given to the top player in Kansas City, and the Otis Taylor Award given to the best receiver in the area.

Logan Koch said that last season, in which Mill Valley went 5-5, set the Jaguars up for success this season.

Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee said the defense propelled the team to victory by not allowing Odermann, James Cosentino and Duron Lowe not to find holes.

“We will take (next week) as the next game,” Applebee said when asked how important the championship game is for the program going forward.

The Saints, who are no strangers to championship games, especially head coach Randy Dreiling, who won title after title at Hutchinson, took an early lead on an Odermann to Lowe 24-yard pass.

The drive was set up by a Koch pass that was picked off by Chris Schilling, who returned it to the MVHS 41. A personal foul after the play gave the Saints a shorter field.

Aquinas didn’t score again until the second half when Odermann hit Cosentino for a 69-yard catch and run.

On their next drive Cosentino took a reverse 78 yards.

Dreiling said right now, this loss hurts.

He was confident in his team and thought they played hard, but he agreed with Applebee saying the Mill Valley defensive line made it difficult.

“I felt like we could get some points on the board in the second half,” Dreiling said. “But we needed to stop them. We got some stops, but not enough.”

Mill Valley will play Bishop Carroll in Pittsburg next Saturday at 1 p.m. Carroll is the defending state champion.