Football team dominates Topeka West 52-0 in first round of playoffs

The team's stout defense and dominant rushing game led to the blowout victory

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Football team dominates Topeka West 52-0 in first round of playoffs

Eyeing a hole upfield, senior running back Tyler Green carries the ball. Green finished the game with 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Eyeing a hole upfield, senior running back Tyler Green carries the ball. Green finished the game with 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.

By Hayden Resch

Eyeing a hole upfield, senior running back Tyler Green carries the ball. Green finished the game with 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.

By Hayden Resch

By Hayden Resch

Eyeing a hole upfield, senior running back Tyler Green carries the ball. Green finished the game with 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.

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The football team opened the playoffs with a statement win, drubbing Topeka West 52-0 in a game where the Jaguar defense scored more touchdowns than Topeka West’s offense. The team’s rushing attack also played a key factor in their blowout victory, accumulating 377 total yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

As usual, running back Tyler Green led the ground game, tallying 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns on only seven carries. However, he believes credit for the team’s rushing success is due to the offensive line. 

“Running the ball, I felt awesome,” Green said. “But I can’t do anything without my offensive line. They make holes a mile wide.”

The defense dominated as well, holding Topeka West to a meager 79 total yards and forcing three turnovers. According to defensive line coach Aaron Cox, this success was due to players filling their role and stepping up within the gameplan.

“The players had a scheme and they executed,” Cox said. “We just wanted them to play hard, play fast and play physical, and they did.”

From the opening two drives, it was clear the team was en route to a dominant victory. Defensively, the team allowed only six yards and forced a punt. On the subsequent offensive drive, running back Tyler Green took a handoff 42 yards up the sideline, then scored a 20-yard touchdown on the next play. 

A 28-yard rushing touchdown from Green, a pick six by linebacker Carson Caldwell and a 1-yard touchdown carry by running back Quin Wittenauer, who finished with 90 yards and three touchdowns, gave the team a comfortable 28-0 lead just nine minutes into the first quarter. 

From there, the smooth sailing for the team continued. Offensively, they leaned on their run game — quarterback Cooper Marsh didn’t complete a pass until the second quarter. Defensively, they completely shut down Topeka High, who only picked up 24 first half yards — nine of which came on a fake punt to end the half — and one first down. They cruised into halftime with a 45-0 lead.

The second half of the game felt like a formality. Played with a running clock and the team’s backups in the game, the team was still able to continue its dominance of Topeka West, finishing off a mundane half with a commanding 52-0 victory. 

The half wasn’t without its highlights, though. Defensive back Ben Fitterer made a diving catch for the first interception of his career, and backup quarterback Aidan Jacobs completed a 40-yard pass with the first varsity throw of his career. 

While Topeka West, who entered the game with a 1-7 record and had lost their last four games by an average of 48 points, wasn’t the most formidable first-round opponent, Cox doesn’t feel that their comparative weakness takes away from the feeling of victory. In the playoffs, according to Cox, every win counts. 

“It’s the first round of playoffs. It’s still exciting. Every game is about us and just getting better, no matter who we’re playing,” Cox said. “That’s what tonight was all about. Our guys came out and did that.”

The team will continue their playoff run against Olathe West at home Friday, Nov. 8.

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