Tank Young scored the game’s first four touchdowns -- and ran for five in all -- to lead undefeated but second-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas into the Class 5A semifinals with a 47-20 in over visiting Blue Valley Southwest -- the Saints’ sixth consecutive semifinals appearance.
Young rushed for 95 yards on just 11 carries as the Saints (10-0) led 41-0 at halftime, allowing the junior Division I prospect to end his night early. His five touchdowns equaled a season high and upped his total to 32.
Quarterback Blake Anderson went 7 of 8 passing for 238 yards and two touchdowns -- one each to Tom Downey and Isaiah Gavin -- for Aquinas.
The Saints will face another EKL rematch, playing host to No. 4 Mill Valley (8-3) -- which defeated top-seeded and previously undefeated De Soto -- on Friday for a chance at another state championship game appearance and a trip to Pittsburg State’s Carnie Smith Stadium.
The teams are no strangers in the playoffs, ending each other’s seasons in each of the past four years. Aquinas has won the past two playoff matchups, while Mill Valley claimed semifinal wins in 2015 and 2016.
The Saints won the Week 4 matchup 28-21 in a game that was tied twice, before Young scored the eventual game winner.
With Friday’s loss, meanwhile, the Timberwolves’ unexpected postseason run as the No. 14 seed came to an end. After going 1-7 in the regular season, Blue Valley Southwest (3-8) won at third-seeded Washington and Schlagle, the sixth seed, before running into the defending Class 5A champion Saints.
The Eastern Kansas League rivals previously met in Week 2, a 62-7 Aquinas win behind Young’s four touchdowns and 159 yards of offense.
This one ended up closer, thanks to 20-straight BV Southwest points after halftime.
Quarterback Tanner Curry had third-quarter touchdown passes to Mason Rozell (19 yards) and Jake Laurie (21 yards) on the way to 116 yards passing while going 10 for 15 through the air.