BV North rolls past SM South

By Andrew Robinson PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: November 2, 2018 - 5:51 PM

Blue Valley North senior running back Amauri Pesek-Hickson wasn’t planning to even play football this season. But his father and fellow senior Graham Mertz convinced him he could be another playmaker the Mustangs needed to defend their Kansas 6A State title.

“I didn’t know if I was still good at football,” Pesek-Hickson said.

After a 56-21 victory over Shawnee Mission South in the second round of the Kansas 6A playoffs on Friday night, Mertz, Pesek-Hickson and the Mustangs are one step closer to defending their state title.

And that question as to whether or not Pesek-Hickson was still good at football after not playing since his freshman year?

Well, Friday night once again proved he’s good at football.

Pesek-Hickson had over 150 yards on the ground, including three touchdowns of 60, 45 and 14 yards, respectively.

Mertz was business as usual throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for one.

The Mustangs (7-3) capitalized on two early fumbles by Shawnee Mission South (7-3) deep in Raiders territory in the first quarter to create a 14-0 lead.

“If you’re able to get some takeaways, you’ve got to come away with points and that’s what I was most proud of with our guys,” said Blue Valley North coach Andy Sims. “Our defense stepped up, played fantastic, our offense capitalized and that’s what you saw in the score.”

Shawnee Mission South coach Brett Oberzan knew the Raiders couldn’t afford turnovers in order to keep the game close. The Raiders also came up empty on two red zone trips in the first half.

“I told our guys, ‘we’re going to have to play a darn near perfect game and be rock solid,’” Oberzan said. “A lot of that stuff was us making mistakes. But they’re a good football team and you can’t make little mistakes or you’re gonna get burned.”

At halftime it was 28-7 as Blue Valley North used Mertz, Pesek-Hickson and a variety of receivers to attack the Raiders.

“Defense balled out,” said Mertz, who has made a verbal commitment to play at Wisconsin next season. “We needed that. They bailed us out a couple times. We knew we had to execute, and score and we came out and did that.”

With Friday’s win, Blue Valley North remains the only 6A member of the Eastern Kansas League in the playoffs. And despite an 0-3 start, there’s little surprise around the Mustangs that Blue Valley North is once again making a deep playoff run. It was the second week in a row the Mustangs scored at least 56 points.

Sims said the team’s offseason summer regiment is typically lighter than what he believes other schools go through. But on a chilly night in Overland Park, it showed that Sims knows how to time his team’s peak performance.

“I want them fresh and this is a big reason why,” Sims said. “If you’re going to play in November, you want your guys to be fresh.”

Now, the No. 5 seeded Blue Valley North gets ready for a trip to top seeded Gardner-Edgerton, which is undefeated and beat Shawnee Mission Northwest on Friday night.