Photo courtesy of Beckner photography

Dave Switzer
Special to The Gardner News
Blue Valley Southwest’s powerhouse running attack proved too much for Gardner Edgerton to handle in the Timberwolves stunning 31-24 upset of the Blazers in EKL action last Friday evening.
Southwest rushed for 270 yards and completed just one pass-but it was a big one-a 77-yard scoring strike that would give them their first lead.
Offensively,  GE was no slouch themselves , totaling 377 yards  behind a big game from Traevohn Wrench and some fine passing by quarterback Jared Hobby who would go 11 for 22 for 132 yards through the air.
The Blazers and Wrench showed their offensive prowess early when the all-state running back went 88 yards to paydirt on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
After GE’s defense recovered a fumble on the Huskies initial possession, the Blazers began moving the ball once again.
Getting big plays from Wrench-a 26-yard run, Jamain Lang-a 12-yard pass from Hobby, and Jaylon Radel-a 15-yard run, GE moved to the Southwest eight yard line.  The drive bogged down from there and the Blazers settled for a 33-yard Tim Mitchell field goal to go up 10-0 with 3:55 to play in the first quarter.
The T-wolves pulled to within 10-7 on their next drive-a 16-play, grind it out, all-run march to the end zone.  That drive lasted over nine minutes and had no play that gained more than nine yards and most importantly, gave Southwest some needed momentum
GE would answer that score with a TD of their own-a three yard Wrench run which culminated a ten play drive featuring  Hobby completions to Radel of 44 yards and Josh Lang that went 15 yards.
Southwest, aided by a great kickoff return which gave them the ball on the Blazer 48, scored on the next play from scrimmage on-what else-a 48-yard run to pull to within 3 at 17-14 with 2:18 remaining  before the break.  That is the way the half would end.
To begin the third period Southwest got the ball and with the way their running game was clicking it was going to be very difficult to stop them.
But the Blazer defense led by Matt Plank and Riley Craig proved equal to the challenge on that first drive, forcing a three and out.
After a short punt, GE took over on their own 35.  Following an incompletion, two Wrench runs netted nine yards, setting up a fourth and one.  The Blazers gambled and went for it, coming up just short to give the Huskies great field position.
GE’s defense came up big once again, preventing Southwest from getting in the end zone. The T-Wolves did kick a 30-yard field goal to tie the game at 17.
Southwest would take the lead on the game’s biggest play the next time they got the ball.

Photo courtesy of Plank photography

After a Blazer punt was downed on their own 16 yard line, the Huskies used an eight-yard run and a 77-yard halfback pass for six to take their first lead at 24-17 with 3:57 to play in the third quarter.
With all the momentum on their side, Southwest made another huge play on GE’s next possession when they repelled another fourth and short in enemy territory.
After that big stop, it only took three plays for the Huskies to score again to go up 31-17 at the 2:16 mark of the stanza.
It wouldn’t take long for the Blazers to get back into the contest.
On the game’s next possession, GE –using mostly Wrench’s talented legs-went 62 yards on seven plays to get within one score at 31-24 with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.  Wrench finished with 230 yards on the ground and had all three of the Blazer touchdowns.
The defenses of both teams stiffened with the next three possessions all ending in punts.  After the third of those punts, GE would take over on their own 36. Using two Hobbe to Wrench pass receptions, a Wrench run and a 15-yard penalty, the Blazers reached the T-Wolves 18 yard line with 3:08 to play in the game.  On the next play from scrimmage, a Southwest corner made a tremendous interception at the goal line to keep GE from scoring.
The Blazers had one last gasp late in the contest-driving into T-Wolf territory and having a potential game tying touchdown bounce off a receiver’s chest but could not get it done in absorbing the loss.
“We’re disappointed in the loss but not in how hard our team played.  There were a few key plays we could have made on both offense and defense and that was the difference in a close game,” said head coach Marvin Diener after the game.
GE will be on the road in a rare Thursday night game this week when they face Blue Valley Northwest-a team fresh off a huge upset of Bishop Miege.  Kickoff is 6:30 p.m.