Two of the top teams on the Kansas side of the state line provided all the entertainment expected on Friday Night, especially in the first half.
However, Blue Valley, the established guard of the Eastern Kansas League, left no doubt in its game against Mill Valley as to who’s in charge of the league for now.
The Tigers used its potent, balanced offense, to cruise by the Jaguars in the second half for a 45-28 victory.
A big reason for that was the execution of quarterback Matthew Dercher dissecting the Mill Valley defense for four touchdown passes with the help of his receivers. Having big targets, like 6-foot-5 Harrison Van Dyne snag touchdowns out of the air gave Blue Valley, 4-0, a significant advantage.
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Dercher did spread the ball around as well, hitting Cade Green, Ben Dezube and Blake Brown on several occasions.
“We’re excited to have (Gus) Gomez back in a few weeks, but it’s been great for (Ben) Dezube to step in,” Blue Valley coach Eric Driskell said. “It’s nice to have that balance.”
Still the engine behind Blue Valley’s success is William Evans. His ability to run hard out of the backfield and catch the ball in space makes him one of the most dangerous backs in Kansas and keeps the opposing defenses off guard.
“We can build that run and have that pass game,” Evans said. “All my running stats go to the lineman. They work harder than anyone on that offense and do a great job.”
Evans finished with three touchdowns in the game.
The Jaguars jumped out to the early advantage, thanks to the awareness and poise of quarterback Brody Flaming. He relied on his top target Ben Hartman, who ended up with two touchdowns.
Despite the loss, the Jaguars, 3-1, are still confident many of the goals set at the beginning of 2016 can be accomplished.
“We’re growing from this,” Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee said. “I’m proud of our kids’ effort, but we need to eliminate some mistakes. Too many penalties. Too many turnovers.”