Quarterback Carter Putz is known for breaking countless passing records, including the Kansas state touchdown mark earlier this season.
But it was his legs that sparked the Bishop Miege offense with a 73-yard touchdown run with five minutes left in the second quarter against De Soto on Friday night at Bishop Miege.
“I’m not really known for running; earlier in the year I had like a 50-yard run, but that one was the farthest one of my career,” Putz said.
The run was part of a 31-0 victory over previously unbeaten De Soto. It was the Stags’ 20th consecutive win and moved them another step closer to a fourth straight Kansas Class 4A-Division 1 state title.
Putz did struggle to find a rhythm offensively, even fumbling a few snaps, but the three-year starter knew how to make a big play when it mattered.
“He leads our offense and makes checks,” Bishop Miege coach Jon Holmes said. “Like on the long (rushing) touchdown that was a check he made. Those are things that he does for us you can’t put on paper that help our football team.”
Miege’s supporting cast stepped up as well. Brison Cobbins had a 135 rushing yards and even threw a touchdown from the wildcat formation. That TD was to Daniel Jackson who racked up three scores, including two other ones thrown from Putz.
Jackson has established himself as Miege’s go-to receiver.
“I wanted to make plays,” Jackson said. “We played a little slow early, but we still found ways to make plays and get the ball into the end zone in tough situations.”
Despite all the offensive scores, the main reason De Soto (7-1) did not have much of a chance to get anything going was quarterback Bryce Mohl running for his life and the Miege defensive line chasing him.
Jalen Williams, who consistently broke through the Wildcats’ offensive line, led the Miege line with two sacks.
“We were very well prepared,” Williams said of the defensive gameplan. “It wasn’t surprising, because we worked hard at it all week."
De Soto stayed stingy on defense, holding Miege to 17 points until late. Now the Wildcats are hopeful they can get another chance at the Stags in the upcoming playoffs.
“What I wanted to see tonight was our character when we got tested, and I thought our kids responded really well,” De Soto coach Brian King said. “There’s things we’ve got to correct offensively and their defense played extremely well defending the option tonight. I thought our defense really came to play.”
Now it’s about keeping focus for Bishop Miege (8-0). The season formula has been in place for four years now. They play one of the toughest regular seasons in the Eastern Kansas League and now have to take care of business against 4A competition.
Holmes acknowledges that his veterans can lead his team to keep an eye on the title.
“I think that’s what helps us,” he said. “They’ve played in a lot of lopsided games, and we’ve had a few games where we’ve been tested. We know how to come out in the third quarter. I knew what we were going to get from our guys.”