Special to The Gardner News
Revenge was sweet for Gardner Edgerton High School in a game against Bishop Miege Friday night.
After losing to the Stags the previous two years, the Blazers turned the tables in a pulsating 56-51 triumph over their previously undefeated league rival.
Both teams combined for over 1,200 yards of total offense in this dramatic, electrifying contest.
“It was hard for either side to stop the other because there were so many explosive playmakers on both teams,” commented GE head coach Marvin Diener after the game.
Boy, were there ever.
Start with all-world Blazer running back Traevohn Wrench. The University of Kansas-signee went 80 yards to paydirt on the first play from scrimmage and then added a TD from 57 yards out just moments later with just under four minutes gone in the contest.
After Miege kicked a long field goal to narrow the gap to 14-3, it was Jared Hobby and Jaylon Radel stepping up to join the big play brigade.
With the Stags crowding the line of scrimmage to stop Wrench, the two seniors hooked up a 68-yard scoring pass play to up the lead to 21-3 early in the second period.
Hobby was again very impressive from his quarterback spot, hitting seven of twelve passes for 235 yards and four TDs.
Radel was his favorite target as the senior slotback hauled in four aerials for 149 yardsand two touchdowns.
But the Stags had weapons of their own and soon unleashed them, mostly through a passing attack that would go 41 for 63 for a mind-boggling 534 yards.
On the first play after the Radel score, Miege cut the lead to 21-10 on an eighty yard pass and catch.
The Blazers answered with a 39-yard scoring strike from Hobby to Deonte Kendrick.
Right back came the Stags, narrowing the advantage to 28-17 on a 21-yard pass play with 2:42 left in the half- still time for two more scores.
GE’s came on a pass from Hobby to tight end Josh Lang who then made a spectacular run through the Miege defense for a 37-yard TD. After a penalty moved the extra point try back 15-yards, placekicker Tim Mitchell drilled the try to up the advantage to 35-17 with just 44 ticks left before the break.
That was plenty of time for the Stags who scored on a 35-yard scoring pass and run on the last play of the half. When the fireworks had ended the Blazers owned a 35-23 lead but the Stags had the momentum and the ball coming out to start the second half.
On the first possession of that half, Miege continued what they started in the first twenty-four minutes, moving down the field to the GE one. A penalty moved the ball back to the six before Blazer linemen BlakeGoff made a fumble recovery, foiling the Stag scoring chance.
But Miege would cash in just moments later after stopping GE and forcing a short punt. An 11-yard pass play would find the end zone and the Blazers lead became even more precarious at 35-30 with 4:47 left in the quarter.
GE threw a counter-punch just three plays after the kickoff with the second of the Hobby to Radel scoring strikes- this one coming from 70 yards out.
That TD put the Blazers up 42-30 and set up a dynamic finishing kick with neither team able to stop the other for the rest of the contest.
Using an eight yard scoring pass, the Stags made it 42-37 at the 11:55 mark of the final quarter before GE went on an 80-yard time consuming drive that resulted in a five-yard run for six by Wrench with just under six minutes left in the affair. Big plays on the drive came from Radel who caught a Hobby pass on a crucial third down and fullback Marshall Wade who made a catch in traffic on a swing pass from Hobby that moved the ball close to the goal line.
Wade, a senior fullback, had a fantastic performance, going for 59 yards on the ground on some tough inside runs and blocking well for the Blazer running attack which totaled 429 for the night.
Miege would not go away, scoring two more touchdowns before the game would end.
But GE always had an answer. After the Stags cut the lead to 49-44 on 31-yard TD pass with 5:17 left in the game, the Blazers went on another 80-yard drive to paydirt. Big plays on the drive cane from Radel who had a 22-yard run and Wrench who added to his 333-yard total with a 16-yard scoring scamper.
Miege, whose hurry-up offense allowed it to run an astounding 82 plays in the game, did not wilt and cut the lead to 56-51 on a four yard run with 1:17 to play before an onside kick recovery ended it.
“The boys executed so incredibly well against a very, very good team. We protected the passer and Jared had a nice game throwing the ball. Trae had some very tough yards and Marshall Wade stepped up big from his fullback spot,” said Diener about his prolific offense.
Now 3-1 on the season and tied for the lead in the rugged EKL, the Blazers will go on the road to face Blue Valley West- another juggernaut who has been highly ranked all year. Game time is 8:15 p.m. on October 4.
Blazers over stags in 56-51 thriller