Gardner-Edgerton runs past Olathe West

By Andrew Robinson PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 7, 2018 - 8:57 PM

How quickly things can change.

On a windy, wet evening, Gardner-Edgerton proved with a 48-27 victory over Olathe West that the Blazers week one victory over Shawnee Mission East was no fluke.

Gardner-Edgerton (2-0, 2-0 Sunflower League) is now off to its best start since 2010 and there’s little question that first-year coach Ryan Cornelsen has the Blazers buying into his flexbone offense he brought from Hutchison.

“We had a good summer,” Cornelsen said. “It was a lot different with the expectations. They’ve been playing hard. I just told them to come out and execute and do the things we ask them to do and they’ll be successful. Give them credit. They’ve been earning it each and every day in practice.”

Olathe West (0-2, 0-2 Sunflower League) did open the game looking as though it would give itself a chance for the school’s first varsity win in the school’s second year of existence. Senior quarterback Zac Krause connected with junior wide receiver Connor Delong on the game’s opening play for a 71-yard touchdown pass.

But after that opening touchdown it was all Blazers behind a dominant rushing attack. Senior running back Baylor Maxwell started Gardner-Edgerton off with a 58-yard touchdown run followed by a 38-yard touchdown run. A few minutes later senior defensive back Taven Ewbank blocked an Olathe West punt in the end zone and recovered it. By mid-way through the second quarter, Gardner-Edgerton led 28-7. Maxwell left the game in the first half with an apparent ankle injury.

“We had several adversities,” Cornelsen said. “I was proud of our kids. When those things happen you just have to step up and play harder the next play and not worry about it. I felt like they did that.”

Gardner’s defensive pressure was too much, frequently forcing the Owls into third and long, or forcing Delong to hurry throws.

Gardner-Edgerton quarterback Teven McKelvey engineered the flexbone well all night and added three rushing touchdowns of his own.

“At first (the flexbone) was very difficult to run.” McKelvey said. “As the weeks go by it gets easier and you get the schemes down like the back of your hand.”

There will be some teaching moments for the Blazers this week. After a dominant first half, the Owls outscored the Blazers 13-7 in the second half.

“He’s got to make good reads and other than a couple he did a pretty good job,” Cornelsen said. “We have to learn how to win. It’s new to them and the second half, I didn’t think we played anywhere near what we should’ve.”

McKelvey said the Blazers definitely earned momentum from its week one victory, and that buy-in was evident this week.

“It showed we can actually win and if we stick together, we can beat teams,” McKelvey said.

Olathe West travels to Olathe East next week, while Gardner-Edgerton travels to Lawrence.