Blue Valley had no answer for Conley Wilkins, who helped BV West put on exclamation point on the Kansas 5A, District 4 championship with 282 yards and four touchdowns during a 45-21 rout Friday night at the BV District Activity Complex.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Wilkins, a senior running back, scored on runs of 35, 75 and 73 yards among his first six carries as the Jaguars, 7-2, opened a 24-0 lead by the 10-minute, 59-second mark in the second quarter.
“Our offensive line did an outstanding job and the coaches called the correct plays,” Wilkins said. “I couldn’t credit my offensive line anymore, because they set the holes for me and I just ran through that.”
Following a touchback on the opening kickoff, the Tigers, 5-4, got off to an ominous start with an offside penalty before the first play.
BV West quarterback Ryan Ralston moved the chains twice through the air on an 11-yard completion to Luke Curtis and a 22-yard hookup with Spencer Johannesman before Wilkins capped the five-play drive with his first touchdown, an untouched 35-yard gallop on a sweep around the left end.
Blue Valley quarterback Logan Brettell fumbled a handoff two plays into the ensuing drive, which defensive end Troy Burgett pounced on at the Tigers’ 34-yard line.
Six plays later, Burgett booted a 37-yard field goal for 10-0 lead, but the teams exchanged punts after that before a lengthy Blue Valley march sputtered at BV West’s 25.
From there, Wilkins took over. His next two carries, which were 1:13 apart thanks to another three-and-out from the Jaguars’ defense, netted 148 yards and bumped the lead to 24-0 – effectively, game, set and match.
“We really like our offense,” Jags coach Scott Wright said. “We can do a lot of things. We can run it and we can throw it. … They made the decision to stop Ralston tonight, and did a decent job, but we’ve still got Conley.”
Brettell rallied the Tigers briefly, connecting with tight end Andrew Reinkemeyer for a 15-yard touchdown on a skinny post.
But it was a temporary reprieve as BV West, which hadn’t beaten Blue Valley or won a district title since 2007, closed the first half strong.
Ralston lobbed a 59-yard touchdown to Curtis on the next possession against a Blue Valley defense that sold out to stop Wilkins.
Jags junior linebacker Cale McMakin picked off Brettell two plays later, diving to snare a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
Five plays later, Wilkins added his fourth touchdown of the first half on a 4-yard run, putting BV West comfortably in front 38-7 at halftime.
“We made too many mistakes in the first half and they capitalized on all of them,” Blue Valley coach Eric Driskell said. “That’s what great teams do. We came out and did a couple things (in the second half), but not enough to get back into the game.”
Blue Valley actually outscored BV West in the second half with Brettell scoring on a 33-yard run to cap the opening drive of the third quarter and Reinkemeyer hauling in an 8-yard TD from Brettell on the opening drive in the fourth period.
Of course, sandwiched around a 1-yard QB plunge by Ralston that scarcely dented the Jaguars’ big lead.
Still, the Tigers, 5-4, reached the playoffs and remain alive in the quest for a third straight appearance in the Kansas 5A title game.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.