Special to The Gardner News
Playing well after tough losses has been a trademark of this year’s Gardner Edgerton High football team.
They certainly did respond to a difficult loss to Blue Valley with a superb performance in their playoff opener against Bonner Springs on Nov. 4.
In an explosive, school record setting performance, the Blazers blitzed the Braves, 76-40 to advance to the sectional round of the state championship tournament.
GE was simply unstoppable on offense all night and in addition got two scores from their special teams.
The first of those scores from the Blazers’ stellar special teams units came early in the game when Justin Long rambled 40 yards for a TD after picking up a blocked punt. Luis Avila also had a scoop and score after a punt block in the second period.
“We’ve blocked so many kicks this year. I’ve never been around anything like it,” said coach Marvin Diener.
GE had two punt blocks against Pittsburg earlier this year and Marcus Williams has blocked numerous extra points and field goals this season.
Offensively, the Blazers rode the record setting exploits of sensational sophomore Traevohn Wrench. Wrench set new school records in rushing yards and TD’s with a seven touchdown 453 yard performance.
Wrench’s TD’s came on runs of 3,75,53,6,51,28, and 23 yards. Dustin Williams added a rushing TD in the third period
Quarterback Jared Hobby also had a good night through the air, completing all seven of his passes for 94 yards and two TD’s.
Those TD passes were caught by Williams and Marshall Wade.
GE built leads of 55-7 in the first half and 76-26 late in the third period before calling off the dogs.
The 76 points scored by the Blazers set a new school record.
Diener was pleased with his team’s play but a bit concerned about a defensive unit that gave up 40 points and over 500 yards.
“I’m really happy. There’s never such a thing as a bad playoff win, I can tell you for certain.
Right now we’re a little big Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on the two games. Whereas we were disappointed that we didn’t play better offensively a week ago, and we’re disappointed we didn’t play better defensively tonight but, you know, give [Bonner Springs] credit. They had some kids who really made some nice plays,” said the GE mentor.
The Blazer victory propels the team into the sectional round where they will take on Shawnee Heights. Heights is just 5-5 on the year but have won their last four contests. Game time at USD 231 District Stadium is 7 p.m. on Nov. 11.