For each of the last few weeks of the playoffs, Mill Valley High School’s football team has etched farther and farther into the school’s list of milestones.
Now, the Jaguars have the opportunity to bring home the ultimate prize — the school’s first football state championship. Mill Valley will battle Bishop Carroll at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the Kansas Class 5A state title game. Pittsburg State University’s Carnie Smith Stadium will be the site of the game and it will be streamed live on the 810varsity.com website.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Mill Valley defensive back Spencer Clayborn said. “That’s always been the goal, but to actually be here now is pretty great.”
Mill Valley and Bishop Carroll enter with game with identical 11-1 records, but Bishop Carroll has far more experience in the spotlight.
The Bishop Carroll Golden Eagles are going for their third state title in four years, all coming under coach Alan Schuckman. They defeated St. Thomas Aquinas to win the program’s third state title last year.
Mill Valley, which aims to dethrone Bishop Carroll, is led by versatile quarterback Logan Koch, who has 41 touchdowns this season. He has passed for 2,292 yards and 31 touchdowns and has rushed for 692 yards and 10 touchdowns. Teammate Christian Jegen is a spark in the running game, with 721 yards and 13 touchdowns in 90 carries. He also has 1,199 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.
Bishop Carroll quarterback Jake Allen has led the way for the Golden Eagles. He’s passed for 1,570 yards and rushed for 641 yards. The team’s top rusher is Adam Theis, who has 1,165 yards in 183 carries. Four Bishop Carroll players also have 224 or more receiving yards.
“There is a reason why they have been in the state championship three of the last four years,” Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee said. “They have the experience with 34 seniors and we fully expect them to be a great team. We are the underdogs going into this game.”
Bishop Miege seeks second straight state title
Bishop Miege left little doubt last Friday night that it was ready to defend its Kansas Class 4A Division I state title.
The Stags topped Eudora 52-20 on the road and now have won nine consecutive games. They have held all but two opponents to 20 or fewer points and, offensively, have averaged 56.2 points in 12 games.
“It’s tough to do what they’ve done,” Bishop Miege coach Jon Holmes said. “When your kids are ranked pre-season No. 1, they read that and other teams you play see it. We’ve got to go in each week with a new game plan and try to win each week. That is what our kids have been able to do so far.”
Miege is 11-1 entering Saturday’s matchup with Andover Central, which is 10-2. The teams collide at 1 p.m. at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka. The game will be streamed live on the 810varsity.com website.
Bishop Miege quarterback Carter Putz will be a key for the Stags. He has completed 170 passes for 3,056 passing yards and 35 touchdowns. Dawson Downing leads the rushing attack with 182 carries for 1,673 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Andover Central presents a slightly more balanced attack, with quarterback Peyton Huslig passing for 2,029 yards and teammate Jordan Birch pacing the ground game with 1,700 rushing yards. Huslig’s favorite receiving target is Darraja Parnell, who has 1,273 yards in 47 receptions.
Andover Central is making its first state championship game appearance and is on a five-game winning streak.