Senior quarterbacks Zack Zegunis of Blue Valley Northwest and Ryan Willis of Bishop Miege were teammates in elementary school. That must have been quite a team, based on their performances Friday night.
Speaking of effort, Blue Valley Northwest senior wide receiver Dalton Schoen put on a show that would make Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe envious.
Willis and Zegunis, at least early, were locked in a duel. Both recorded two long touchdown passes in the first half. Yet it may have been a safety that proved to be the turning point for Bishop Miege, which scored 30 straight points, built as much as a 23-point lead and held on for a 51-36 victory over Blue Valley Northwest at Blue Valley District Athletic Complex.
“It’s always good to get that first one,” said Bishop Miege coach Jon Holmes, whose team is No. 1 in small class. “Our kids came out a little anxious, and it showed early. We settled down.”
Bishop Miege managed to overcome Schoen’s impressive highlight reel. He caught 12 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns, including a 63-yard scoring pass and ensuing two-point conversion that made it an 8-point game with 10 minutes left in the game. It was not, however, enough to save the Huskies, ranked No. 9 in big class.
“It was just unbelievable,” Schoen said. “Zack made great throws, we got behind the defense, and it kept working. But we just couldn’t get it done. We know we’re better than that.”
The opener for both squads was tied 14-14 Huskies 6-foot-4 punter Jackson Walker wasn’t able to grab a high snap. The ball trickled through the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety. It pushed the Stags in front 16-14 with 11 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the first half and launched that 30-point run.
Willis, a 6-4, 205-pounder who is committed to Kansas, didn’t waste any time showing why he is rated the No. 20 pro style high school quarterback in the nation, according to Rivals.com. In the Stags’ first series from scrimmage, Willis completed all five of his passes in the drive. None was bigger, though, than the 34-yarder for a score to senior tight end Chris Ford.
What was so special about that one? It came on fourth-and-8.
Zegunis responded. In their first series, the Huskies drove 72 yards in just three plays, finishing off the quick-strike possession when Zegunis hooked up with Schoen for a 68-yard score.
Schoen was far from finished. Act II for Zegunis and Schoen happened on BV Northwest’s next possession. This time, Zegunis found Schoen for a 47-yard touchdown, giving the Huskies their only lead of the game at 14-7.
That was about as good as it got for BV Northwest, which was its own worst enemy. The Huskies drove to Bishop Miege’s 4 late in the second quarter when senior running back Miles Alexander lost a fumble. The Huskies’ next turnover, an interception in the third quarter, cost them. The Stags took advantage when Willis threw a 12-yard strike to senior Emilio Podrecca for a touchdown.
Only 129 seconds later, Bishop Miege applied what appeared to be the dagger.
Miege senior linebacker Mark Ogren scooped an errant option pitch and raced 12 yards for a touchdown and a 37-14 advantage.
Zegunis never stopped looking for Schoen.
He found him again late in the third quarter for a 68-yard touchdown. That was followed by a 1-yard scoring run from Zegunis. Miege responded when junior running back Dawson Downing scored his second of three touchdowns in the game, the latter an 8-yard run, with 10:47 remaining. Downing added a 34-yarder with 1:40 to go, capping a 200-plus yard game.
“It really starts up front,” Holmes said, “and our offensive line really helped us. It opened up a lot of other things.”