Gardner Edgerton used its power running attack and a swarming defense to overwhelm Blue Valley Northwest 43-14 in Eastern Kansas League action on Sept. 30.
The Blazers dominated the game from the get-go, going up 9-0 before three minutes had elapsed in the contest.
After scoring two points on a safety, GE added a touchdown on a fabulous 61-yard run from sophomore sensation Traevohn Wrench.
Wrench would have another score before the half- a 24-yard TD scamper in the second period.
Senior kicker Chase Lee added two field goals-one from 36 yards out early in the second quarter and a 25-yard effort just before half that put the Blazers up 22-7. That last field goal was set up by a 36-yard pass reception by Drake Sparks from quarterback Jared Hobby.
Northwest scored its only first half touchdown on a 49-yard pass completion midway through the second stanza.
The Huskies found yards hard to come by in that first half against a swarming Blazer defense.
“We ran the field very well and really got a lot of people to the football. It was our best effort of the year by far,” said head coach Marvin Diener about his team’s defensive play.
Matt Plank, Brent Bovitz, Jerrad McDermott, Justin Long and Luis Avila all stood out against a very good Northwest offense.
And Kris Henry’s unit played outstanding in the second half as well, beginning with the Huskies first possession when they forced a punt.
That punt pinned the Blazers on their own three yard line. But with GE’s physical offensive line of Greg Hopper, Denton Lawrence, Jacob Fretz, Cayden White, Max Knorr and Conner Knorr all opening huge holes for the GE backs, it wouldn’t take long for the Blazers to score once again.
And once again it was Wrench who took it the distance, this time on an 84-yard run. Lee’s extra point put GE up 29-7 late in the third quarter.
The Blazers would then put the game away on their next drive.
With the Huskies geared up to stop the run, GE went to the air behind Hobby. The sophomore signal caller completed passes to Ryan Goetzmann, Jamain Lang and Tim Seymour –all three players making outstanding catches-on key plays in the 16-play drive that ended with a three-yard scoring run by Wrench-his fourth touchdown of the day. Lee’s extra point put GE up 36-7 with 10:30 remaining in the game.
Both teams added late scores to account for the final 43-14 margin of victory.
The Blazers finished with 422 yards rushing with Wrench getting 311 of those. Tim Seymour added 44 yards, which included a fourth period TD run. Austin Goldsmith and Marcus Williams-each getting their first offensive action of the year-had 26 and 14 yards respectively. Hobby added 22 yards including a 14-yard 3rd down scramble on the game- clinching drive. Clayton Dye had three yards to round out the superlative effort.
“We really wanted to establish the inside run and we were able to do that tonight. Our blocking was outstanding and we played very physical,” said Diener.
Hobby finished 5-11 through the air for 88 yards with Sparks, Dye, Goetzmann, Seymour, and Lang having one catch each in the game
Diener was very pleased with his team in the victory.
“We grew up a lot tonight. We have been pushing the boys very hard in practice so it was good for them to be rewarded with a win. This will really lift us,” said the Blazer mentor.
Next up for GE is showdown with an undefeated, highly-ranked McPherson squad. Game time is 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the Blazers’ stadium.