More of the same

Nick Smith/PrepsKC

By Kyle Palmer PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 20, 2017 - 11:46 PM

Something had to give Friday night as two undefeated teams met at Dixon Doll Stadium on the campus of Bishop Miege High School. Turns out, it wasn’t going to be the Stags’ winning streak.

The three-time defending state champions passed one of their biggest tests of the season, pulling away from DeSoto in the second half in a 31-0 win. It was the Stags’ 20th straight victory, dating back to last season’s opener.

“I told our guys: this time of year, you’re going to see some good football teams. That’s what championship football is all about,” said Bishop Miege coach John Holmes. “Hopefully, if things go right these next few weeks, we’ll see those guys again.”

On the other side, the Wildcats suffered their first loss of the season, stymied all night offensively and hurt by big plays on defense.  

“Quite honestly, we didn’t win the trenches tonight with our O-line. With our [option-read] offense, you’ve got to win the trenches, and we didn’t do that,” said DeSoto coach Brian King.

Bishop Miege opened the scoring on their first possession, which came after a DeSoto interception on the initial drive of the game. Stags’ senior quarterback Carter Putz found Daniel Jackson for a 17-yard score, the first of three trips to the end zone for the sophomore receiver.

“[Daniel] comes in each and every week and works really hard. I’m very happy to see him improve so much,” Putz said.

The Stags later in the first quarter added a 29-yeard field goal from kicker A.J. Brady to go up 10-0.

Then, late in the second quarter, Bishop Miege earned some breathing room with an electrifying 73-yard touchdown run by Putz. It was a designed play.

“We had originally run that play earlier,” Putz said. “I saw their linebackers were blitzing pretty hard, and I told coach, and it worked out.”

Holmes concurred.

“He came off the field one time and said, ‘Let’s run it again. I’m going to pull it and score a touchdown.’ And I was like, ‘If you pull it, you got to score,’” Holmes said.

Putz’s jaunt put the Stags up 17-0.

After a scoreless, sometimes sloppy third quarter, another big moment—in Holmes’ estimation—came on a play not normally seen as a game changer.

“The play of the game, I thought, was not stopping the clock at the end of the third quarter and then punting with the wind to start the fourth,” he said. “That flipped the whole field.”

Indeed, DeSoto started the fourth quarter inside their own 10 and never clawed out of bad field position. The Stags continued to halt the Wildcats’ offense and then took advantage of short fields twice to score two late touchdowns to pull away.

Both of the fourth quarter scores were passes to Jackson: one by Putz, and the other an option halfback-pass from Brison Cobbins.

Jackson, who wears No. 3 like his cousin former Stag great Jafar Armstrong, said Friday’s effort was one of his “better games.”

“I run every route hard, and try my best to get open and beat the defender and get up field,” he said.

Jackson finished with the three scores and 97 yards receiving. Cobbins, in addition to the touchdown pass, ran for more than 130 yards. Putz totaled nearly 200 yards from scrimmage and accounted for three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Stag’s defense held DeSoto to less than 100 yards of total offense The Wildcats struggled all night to get any kind of momentum, going 0-for-10 on third down.

Still, King—the DeSoto coach—sees opportunity, echoing his counterpart Holmes.

“If we take care of business, I sure do hope we see them again in four weeks,” King said.

That would be in the sub-state round of the Kansas Class 4A-I playoffs.

Bishop Miege (8-0) wraps up the regular season next week on the road at Spring Hill. DeSoto (7-1) hosts Frontier League rival Eudora.