Photo by Karissa Schmidt
The Mill Valley Jaguar football team had a lot to celebrate after its 68-8 beat down over the Lansing High School Lions on Friday, Nov. 1.
The win over the Lions completed the first undefeated regular season in Mill Valley football history. Along with an undefeated regular season, the Jaguars came home with the Kaw Valley League Championship title. The Jaguars will also advance to the first round of 5A playoffs.
Junior Ty Bruce talks about the team’s mentality before the game.
“We wanted to win for a higher seed in the playoffs,” Bruce said.
Sophomore quarterback Logan Koch made his return after being injured and not playing since the game against the Bonner Springs Braves on Friday, Oct. 4. After a kickoff by the Lions, Koch ran 76 yards for the first Mill Valley touchdown of the night. The extra point by senior kicker Connor Mills was good, putting the Jaguars ahead early with a score of 7-0 with 11:34 left in the first quarter.
After a punt return by the Jaguars, a 37-yard run by Koch was good for a Mill Valley touchdown. The extra point was no good, putting the Jaguars ahead 13-0, with 9:36 to play in the first quarter.
A Mill Valley loose ball on the field was recovered by the Lions, and a 35-yard touchdown pass put the Lions on the board. The two-point conversion attempt was good, decreasing the Jaguars lead to 13-8 with 8:00 left in the first quarter.
A carry by senior running back Nick Wilson was followed by a 53-yard run by Koch for his third touchdown of the night. The extra point was good, giving the Jaguars a 20-8 lead.
A loose ball on the field by the Lions was recovered by the Jaguars. Koch then ran 35 yards to find the end zone yet again. The two-point conversion failed and gave the Jaguars a 25-8 lead over the Lions with 3:44 remaining in the first quarter.
After a Mill Valley timeout, Wilson carried 41 yards for the final touchdown of the quarter. The extra point by Mills was good, putting the Jaguars at 32-8.
The scoring eruption of the first quarter was followed by a 16-yard touchdown run by Koch, after a turnover on downs by the Lions. The extra point was good, giving the Jaguars a 39-8 lead in the beginning of the second quarter.
Even when the team was up by 21, they kept playing hard.
“We didn’t let up, the twos kept doing what the ones were doing, and played hard,” Bruce said.
The Jaguar defense stuck again, holding the Lansing defense to a turnover on downs. Three consecutive carries by senior tight end Dylan Cole led to a 9-yard touchdown run, followed by an extra point by Mills. The Jaguars extended their lead to 47-8 to finish the first half.
The Jaguar defense once again held the Lions to a punt, which was returned by sophomore wide receiver Christian Jegen. Koch was found in the end zone again, after a 23-yard run. The extra point was good and the Jaguars held their lead at 54-8 early in the second half.
A16-yard pick six by senior Henry Midyett and an extra point by Mills was good, putting Mill Valley at 61-8 with 5:00 left in the third quarter.
The Jaguars capped off the game with a final 22-yard touchdown by junior running back Isaiah Young. The extra point was good by Mills, making the final score 68-8.
believes that the team played one of their best games of the season.
“It was a well rounded game. Defense and offense both played one of their best games,” Bruce said.
The Jaguars will play the Saint Thomas Aquinas Saints at home in the first round of playoffs on Friday, Nov. 8. The game will be at 7 p.m. at the Jaguar Stadium. A win will put the Jaguars in the quarterfinals of the 5A state bracket.