Welcome back, playoff drama.
No. 7-seed Bonner Springs’ 10-7 victory over No. 10-seed Blue Valley Southwest wasn’t the prettiest of football games at times. For example, the Timberwolves had four lost fumbles in the first half, and the Braves’ pass-game seemed to struggle to find a rhythm for much of a game.
In the end, Blue Valley Southwest ran its field goal team on as the time ticked away, but its 39-yard attempt to force overtime as time expired fell short ending a wild final four minutes of the game.
The Timberwolves (3-6) took possession on its own 16-yard line with just over four minutes remaining, and got as close as Bonner Springs’ 22-yard line. The final series even included a play that brought back images of Franco Harris’ and the Pittsburg Steelers’ Immaculate reception. On 4th and 15 on the Bonner Springs 49, Timberwolves quaterback Jason Wilmes rolled to his left and fired a pass. It bounced off two Braves defenders and found the hands of a Blue Valley Southwest receiver extending the series and the season. But a few plays later, it would all come to an end with the missed field goal.
“We made it a bit more eventful than it needed to be,” said Bonner Springs coach Chad Eaddy. “Not good football, not Bonner football, we’re gonna go back to the drawing board and get ready for a very good opponent next week.”
In the end, Bonner Springs (5-4) just needed one big play to take the lead. Quarterback Coleton Oakes connected with wide receiver Nasjon Porter for a 47-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to take the lead for good.
“We’re going to have to be a lot sharper,” Eaddy said. “But it’s good for these kids to get these playoff wins. I don’t want to sound too negative but we have to work to do.”
Freshman Jadon Freese experienced playoff football for the first time Friday evening, and what a welcome it was.
“We get another chance in the playoffs to keep going. We’ve reached our goal of being 1-0.”
The game’s low score certainly wasn’t what Eaddy expected coming into the game. Bonner Springs’ 10 points were the fewest it had scored this season since being shutout by DeSoto in week two. The Timberwolves were without junior quarterback Will Eldridge and split the duties between Billy Bartlett and Wilmes.
“When I watched them without film (Eldridge) threw the ball around a whole lot,” Eaddy said. “I expected a lot of passing. We came out and they were ground and pound and we adjusted the fly. Our defense stood and answered the call time and time again.”
Bartlett played quarterback much of the first half. He scored the TImberwolves only touchdown on a five-yard keeper just a few plays after a big collision with Braves defenders which resulted in members of the two teams exchanging words.
Bonner Springs then got on the board with a 32-yard field goal from Porter in the second quarter.
The Braves will play St. Thomas Aquinas in the second round of the playoffs next Friday.