Special to The Gardner News
Gardner Edgerton ran into a buzz saw in their final district contest last Friday night
Facing off against a fired-up, focused and supremely talented Blue Valley squad, the Blazers were upended 40-6.
GE had trouble establishing anything offensively from the start, going three and out on their first two possessions
Blue Valley, on the other hand, scored on their first two drives, mostly using the incredible talents of Division I quarterback prospect Kyle Zimmerman.
Zimmerman made a perfect touchdown throw on a fourth-and-19 play on the Tigers first drive and then ran it in from two yards out the second time his team had the ball.
That score put BV up 14-0 at the 8:52 mark of the second period
The Blazer defense was really playing quite well at that point, completely bottling up the Tiger run game with stellar play from linebackers Matt Plank and Jerrad McDermott as well as safety Justin Long. Defensive back Alex Winkler also had a quarterback sack to keep his team within shouting distance of one of the state’s top ranked clubs.
GE rallied on their next possession, going 95 yards in nine plays to cut the deficit to 14-6. The big play on the drive was a 42-yard run by Traevohn Wrench. Wrench also had the scoring play-a four yard scamper to paydirt. Clayton Dye added a nice carry on that drive, gaining seven yards on an inside trap on the play that preceded Wrench’s touchdown run.
Blue Valley — which had been the state’s top-ranked 5A club before last week’s shocking upset to Pittsburg — responded to Wrench’s score with a late TD to go up 20-6 at the break.
The Tigers then opened the second half with a quick touchdown-using a 60-yard run from their Division I running back prospect Justin Fulks to set up the score that made it 27-6.
GE’s woes continued on offense-the Blazers did not register another first down until their final drive when Jamain Lang caught a Jared Hobby pass for a five-yard gain.
Blue Valley picked up another score on the offensive end on a 41-yard pass in the third period and then added a defensive TD on a fumble recovery and a 23-yard ramble to the end zone in the fourth.
That touchdown made it 40-6 and that is how it ended.
Despite the loss, the Blazers are in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.
And what a break they received in the seeding of the playoff bracket. GE finds themselves on the opposite side of the bracket from both Blue Valley and Miege-far and away the top two 5A teams on this side of the state.
The Blazers will be on the road at Bonner Springs on Nov. 4 in their first round matchup. Win that game and GE will face the winner of Mill Valley and Shawnee Heights the following week.
Blue Valley drops Gardner Edgerton 40-6 in final district contest