If Bishop Miege head football coach Jon Holmes had been told ahead of the 2019 football season that the first play of the season would be a Miege interception that was fumbled and then recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, he’d never have believed you.
But that was exactly what happened on Friday night, as Bishop Miege (1-0) kicked off their season with a 27-20 victory over Blue Valley North (0-1) at Bishop Miege.
The five-time defending Class-4A state champion got off to a dream start against BV North when Rishi Rattan picked off BV North sophomore quarterback Henry Martin on the first play of the game. In his haste to reach the end zone, Rattan fumbled the ball before it was quickly smothered by teammate Grant Fussell for the early touchdown.
“There’s no way I would have taken that,” Holmes said. “But Rishi Rattan made a heck of a play and Grant Fussell was jogging on the spot in the end zone.”
The dream start continued for Miege, which quickly burst out to a 20-0 lead in front of the home crowd in the first quarter. A pair of rushing touchdowns from Brison Cobbins, who finished with 75 yards on 15 rushing attempts, set the game up for Miege.
“He’s a D-1 back if I’ve ever seen one,” said Miege quarterback Timothy Dorsey. “He’s the best running back I’ve ever seen play the game, the way he can fit into holes and the way he can run all over. It’s crazy, and I’m so glad I can have him in our backfield.”
The senior running back finished both his sophomore and junior years with over 1,300 rushing yards, and that was with last season being cut short due to a hamstring injury.
Blue Valley North did manage to fight its way back into the game, though, off of excellent play from sophomore quarterback Martin Henry.
Henry combined with wide receiver Theo Grabill throughout the night on several corner routes, including a wide-open reception midway through the second quarter to bring the score to 20-14.
Blue Valley North dominated much of the snaps for the rest of the game, but lockdown defense from several Miege contributors, including Mikey Walsh and Jack Kinkaid, allowed the home team to keep scoring to a minimum.
Both teams picked up a further touchdown in the third quarter to bring the score to 27-20, but cramps and penalties hindered much of the fourth quarter, typical of week-one football.
Several rushing plays from Cobbins and Dorsey ran down the clock in the final five minutes for Miege as the Stags began their title defense with a victory.