It’s just the fifth week of football on the Kansas side, but Blue Valley is leaving little doubt about which is the team to beat at the moment.
Usually, the Blue Valley offense sets the tone at the beginning of games, but it was the special teams that shined early Friday night by blocking two punts in the first half. That and a stout defense helped lead the Tigers to the 45-0 win over St. James Academy to stay undefeated at 5-0.
“I just really appreciate our defense and special teams making plays for us and getting us jump-started offensively,” Blue Valley coach Eric Driskell said. “That’s just a testament to their hard work.”
In the second half, the impressive offensive attack led by quarterback Matt Dercher started to open things up. Dercher hit one of his reliable targets Blake Brown for a touchdown and also scampered for two scores of his own.
“It just helps us as a team, and the other team has to prepare for more,” Dercher said of his running ability. “It’s hard when we’re handing the ball or passing to this guy; they don’t know where it’s going to go. If I just pull the ball, they’re just not expecting it.”
Running back Will Evans remained the steady force in the backfield, punching in three touchdowns. His ability to run physically at the goal line continues to be a crucial benefit for Blue Valley.
With the Tigers not scoring until the second quarter, Driskell still saw room for improvement in his team despite the final score.
“We’re not where we want to be yet,” he said. “These guys I think buy into that. The coaches have been preaching that, and we’ve got to continue to get better each day. I really feel the teams that do that have a chance to play for the longest time.”
St. James, 2-3, struggled to gain much momentum on offense. The Thunder moved across midfield a few times, but could not punch it into the end zone.