Gardner-Edgerton tops SM Northwest

By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC columnist
Posted: October 12, 2018 - 10:23 PM

Things went from OK to good to great for Gardner-Edgerton in a matter of three minutes as the Trailblazers routed Shawnee Mission Northwest 49-27 on Thursday evening.

It all started on a fourth and goal at the Gardner-Edgerton six-yard line. The Trailblazers brought pressure and forced Cougars quarterback Ty Black to get rid of the ball early. A Gardner-Edgerton defensive back was all over the receiver and the officials threw a flag on the play.

After a brief conference amongst the referees, the flag was picked up and the Trailblazers took over on downs. After the game, Cougars coach Bo Black was told the receiver was behind the line of scrimmage, however, upon further review, he was in fact past the line.

Six plays later, Luke Jennings went 59 yards untouched to give Gardner-Edgerton a 14-7 lead. On the play, the Trailblazers were flagged for taunting and the Cougars elected to have the penalty assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

On the return, Shawnee Mission Northwest returned the ball into Trailblazers territory, but it was called back on a hold.

Two plays later, Gage Gulley picked off a Ty Black screen and rumbled in for a pick six. The Trailblazers were in control.

“It was (a) big (swing) until we let them score right there and they got back a little momentum there,” Gardner-Edgerton Ryan Cornelson said of the three-minute stretch at the end of the first half. “I told the kids they’re going to come out and they’re going to be extremely hyped up. Any time you’re undefeated, people are going to try and come at you.

“I knew we weren’t prepared when we came out on the field, but that’s not the way we usually come out. I was a little bit worried – it wasn’t very good, but in the second half we kind of relaxed and got back to doing what we do. We made a few adjustments, but not a lot – we just started playing our style of football.”

The Cougars did get six back right at the end of the first half as Ty Black was hit as he threw, but was able to complete the pass to Devin Talley, who went over a defender, bobbled the ball and then stretched out across the goal line before being brought down for a 35-yard touchdown.

In the second half, Gardner-Edgerton rattled off 28 straight points to make it 49-13 as they got two touchdowns from Jennings and a score each from Anthony Rodriguez and Jacob Hunsperger.

“I thought we played tooth and nail with them, and in a lot of ways outplayed them in the first half,” Bo Black said. “The breaks that we got, breaks that we didn’t take advantage of and not being able to score inside the 10 twice in the first half really bit us. And then second half, our first possession offensively come out and shoot craps. They drive it down our throat and then you’re trying to big time catch up the rest of the game and they just wore us out at the end.”

Both teams have high-stakes to play for next week. For the Cougars, they’re trying to guarantee a winning season. They’ll face Shawnee Mission South.

“Every year in the offseason we sit down with our kids and it’s been a long time since Shawnee Mission Northwest has had any serious success. The No. 1 goal they talked about is they want to end with a winning season. So, we’re sitting here at 4-3 and so first things first – a big momentum push to finish 5-3 and realize we’ve played a pretty decent schedule and got beat by Shawnee Mission East and Gardner-Edgerton, who will probably be at the top of the eastern bracket.”

For the Trailblazers, they’re looking to finish off an undefeated season and capture at least a share of the Sunflower League title when they take on Shawnee Mission West. It could be an outright title if Shawnee Mission East knocks off Free State on Friday night.

 The Trailblazers haven’t looked ahead to Week 8, but now they can.

 “I tell our kids we’re worried about the next play, we’re worried about the next game,” Cornelson said. “We can’t ‘eat the cheese.’ There’s a mouse trap if you eat the cheese, you’re going to get snapped.”

 The Trailblazers have a chance to get the cheese.