Mill Valley, the two-time defending Kansas 5A state champion in football, knows how to make a push through the postseason.
Even though it was an up-and-down season in the Eastern Kansas League, the Jaguars look ready to make another run in the November playoffs, just like last year.
And it continued Friday as Mill Valley, with the help of junior Cameron Young, knocked off previously undefeated Schlagle 57-12 at Schlagle.
Young amassed 139 yards and four touchdowns.
“Up front, we just blocked really well. We had a good game plan,” Young said. “We knew we could get up to the linebackers and that second level and try to get in the end zone, and it worked really well.”
With the victory, the Jaguars (6-4) kept hope alive for a third straight state title.
“The last three or four weeks have been really good,” Mill Valley coach Joel Applebee said. “You’ve got to credit the offensive line. It took us a while to gel, but they’re playing well together.”
Mill Valley showed off its fast-paced offense from the start and kept the pedal down. The Jaguars not only ran the ball but threw it too. Senior quarterback Brody Flaming passed for more than 250 yards and two touchdowns.
“We just came in confident and fired up coming off three big wins,” Flaming said. “I think the execution came with hard work all week.”
Mill Valley’s special teams proved to be important early as well: Evan Rice had a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Schlagle (9-1) started out competitive, thanks to the rushing ability of Ivan Webb. He ended up with 80 yards rushing and a touchdown, but far under his season average.
“We still got to get there,” Schlagle coach Dwayne Williams said about moving on in the postseason.
The Mill Valley defense did its best to put pressure on the Stallions and overwhelm the offensive line.
“I have full belief we can do this again,” Young said of winning another state championship.
Friday’s win put Mill Valley in a quarterfinals game at St. James Academy.
St. James beat Mill Valley earlier in the season.
“We’re competitive,” Young said. “I think our first game against St. James to start out wasn’t who we are and where we’ve come to now.”