Reversal of fortune for Blue Valley Southwest
By David Svoboda PrepsKC staff writer
What a difference a year makes.
Blue Valley Southwest, still smarting from its opening-round Kansas Class 4A playoff defeat to Baldwin a year ago, got a measure of revenge Tuesday night.
The Timberwolves, who dropped a 26-7 contest against the Bulldogs in 2010, flipped the script in 2011 with a 27-6 victory in which Southwest flexed its muscle on both offense and defense.
How big was the game for BVSW? Several hundred fans held professionally printed black and green signs urging the Wolves to remember the result of a year ago.
As if Coach Bill Lowe’s squad needed any extra motivation. This IS the playoffs, remember?
“For our kids, not having been there before, this was big,” Lowe said of his team’s getting a playoff win¸ despite still being a relatively “young” program.
Junior quarterback Aaron Ramsey played as if he’s been in big games all of his life – and like he has a few more left in him.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound signal caller had 19 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns on the night. Pretty impressive by itself. But then figure in the fact that 10 of those 19 carries resulted directly in first downs, and you have a pretty special outing.
“Aaron played a great game,” Lowe said. “I’m really proud of him.”
And with good reason. On top of his performance on the ground, Ramsey hooked up with 6-foot-5 tight end Anthony Miller four different times – three of them first downs – for a total of 59 yards.
If the offense of the Wolves wasn’t enough to get it done, then the defense made sure the revenge tasted sweet.
BVSW limited Baldwin to just 258 yards of total offense and just six points – matching Baldwin’s low point total for the year. This was a Baldwin offense that had, by the way, scored over 34 points on five separate occasions. Heady stuff.
But Southwest was head and shoulders better on this night, and was that way from the jump.
If either team was suffering from playoff jitters, it sure didn’t show in a first half that was “clean” by virtually every standard.
Instead of penalties, miscues and confusion, there were three long scoring drives – including at least one by each team – en route to a 14-6 halftime lead for Southwest.
In fact, there were just three penalties whistled in the opening 24 minutes, and a couple of Baldwin handoff problems that resulted in lost yards but no turnovers. Pretty solid football.
After Baldwin went three-and-out on its first possession, the Timberwolves took just four plays and 1:05 on the clock to get the ball into the end zone. The 62-yard drive was capped when sophomore Chance Nelson galloped in from 15 yards out to put BVSW up, 7-0.
The big play on the initial Southwest drive was a 37-yard run on a reverse by junior Scott Anderson on a 2nd and 3 play – just the second play from scrimmage for BVSW.
After the teams traded possessions, Baldwin got on the board with an 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive that took 4:17 and ended with Tyler Cawley getting into the end zone on the ground from a yard out. The PAT kick was wide left, however, and Southwest held on to a slim 7-6 edge.
Buoyed a bit by the missed PAT, the Timberwolves moved right down the field to increase their slim edge, going 80 yards in 11 plays over the next 3:34 to grab a 14-6 lead. Ramsey’s 11-yard scamper ended the drive, which included a key fourth-down conversion late.
But Ramsey’s best theatrics of the night came after the first of two interceptions by Southwest defensive back Drake Herrman.
One play after Herrman’s pick, Ramsey spun, stopped, thudded, sprinted and rolled his way through the Bulldog defense on his way to a 54-yard touchdown. The effort electrified the home crowd and put a gaping hole in the Baldwin balloon with the score now 21-6 a little more than halfway through the third quarter.
Southwest capped the night with a three-yard TD run by Dylan O’Dell to cap a seven-play, 45 yard drive that followed Herrman’s second interception.
Pleasant Ridge Rams
Blue Valley North Mustangs
Shawnee Mission South Raiders
Olathe East Hawks
Rich Hill Tigers
Crest Ridge Cougars
Summit Christian Academy Eagles
Hogan Prep Academy Rams
Anderson County Bulldogs
Appleton City Bulldogs
Santa Fe Trail Chargers
William Chrisman Bears
Mill Valley Jaguars
Olathe Northwest Ravens
Afrikan Centered College Prep Knights