While the football season has ended for all high school teams in Southeast Kansas, there is one more game in the area.
And for the second straight year, it involves Wichita Northwest’s potent offense.
The Grizzlies (12-0) battle Mill Valley (9-3) in the KSHSAA Class 5A championship game on Saturday afternoon in Pittsburg. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Pittsburg State’s Carnie Smith Stadium.
Last year, Wichita Northwest came to Pittsburg looking to complete a perfect season, but St. Thomas Aquinas defeated the Grizzlies 49-28.
Northwest’s offense rolled up 795 yards on 86 plays in last week’s 80-42 semifinal victory over Maize. Grizzlies quarterback Reagan Jones completed 8-of-12 passes for 141 yards and ran 29 times for 259 yards and four touchdowns, and running back Julius Bolden totaled 282 yards and five TDs on 25 carries.
The Grizzlies, the No. 1 seed from the west side of the bracket, led 21-14 after the first quarter, 45-28 at halftime and 59-42 after three quarters before outscoring Maize 21-0 in the fourth period. Maize quarterback Camden Jurgensen hit 17-of-28 passes for 251 yards and ran 16 times for 184 yards and three scores, but Maize committed four turnovers to zero for Northwest.
Northwest’s closest game was a 21-17 victory over Bishop Carroll in the season opener. For the season the Grizzlies average 53.3 points — 639 points in 12 games — and have scored at least 50 points in seven games, including five of the past seven. The Grizzlie defense did not give up more than 18 points in a game until last week.
Mill Valley (9-3), by contrast, has scored at least 40 points only three times. One of the Jaguars’ victories was at home 31-0 over Pittsburg on Oct. 11.
The Jaguars, No. 4 in the east bracket, nipped east favorite St. Thomas Aquinas 34-31 in overtime in last week’s semifinal.
Mill Valley, which trailed 28-17 in the fourth quarter, tied the game at 28 on a 30-yard field goal by Chris Tennant on the final play of the fourth quarter. St. Thomas Aquinas was forced to settle for a 27-yard field goal on its overtime possession before the Jaguars’ Tyler Green scored on a 6-yard run to end the game.
Green finished with 160 of the Jaguars’ 350 rushing yards, and quarterback Cooper Marsh added 129 yards and two TDs on the ground.