Passing the test

Nick Smith/PrepsKC

By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC columnist
Posted: November 18, 2017 - 12:11 AM

Bishop Miege will have a chance for a fourth straight Class 4A-I state title after it defeated De Soto 56-24 on an unseasonably warm night on Friday in De Soto.

While the Stags got the better of the Wildcats, it was the home side that fired the opening salvo when it took the 14-play opening drive of the game 83 yards in 6 minutes, 26 seconds to grab a 7-0 lead on a 10-yard run by Jack Barger.

Miege tied it up quickly on a 22-yard run by quarterback Carter Putz, who needed 135 yards to surpass Shawnee Mission North quarterback Will Schneider’s career record of 8,901 yards – more on that later.

De Soto responded with 10 unanswered points to put Miege on its heels.

“First game we were getting stoned – we got shut down offensively,” De Soto coach Brian King said. “For us to come out, and quite honestly a lot has had to do with the physicality of us playing up front last game – we didn’t win that battle. This game coming out we did. I’m extremely proud of them.

However, Miege quickly reversed the game scoring 17 points in 3:45 to take the lead for good.

Brison Cobbins busted off a 74-yard run. Jasir Cox picked off Bryce Mohl. And then Cobbins punched on in from three yards out.

The Stags never lost their composure and it was because of Putz, who didn’t really get going until the second half.

“You look at some of the plays he was able make – tonight he earned everything,” Miege coach Jon Holmes said. “They did a tremendous job defensively and had some great game plan adjustments. He was hit hard and was able to get up. He kept making play after play. He wasn’t pressing to do it.

“Turned the ball over a couple of times; didn’t let that bother him. Had a couple of drops; didn’t let that bother him. Went over to the receivers in between possessions, ‘Hey, we’re going to come back to you.’ It takes a special guy to be able to do that.”

With the game well in hand in the fourth quarter, Putz, from his own eight yard line on third down dropped back and found Peyton Hamrick for a 10-yard up and out. Putz only needed five for the record. He got 23 after the catch and run

De Soto shifted the momentum late in the first half and early in the second half. They forced a Putz fumble as he went back to throw. On the first possession of the second half, the hit Putz, who was picked off by lineman Zach Titus.

Barger punched it in two plays later to make it a 35-24 game.

After a three and out, De Soto got the ball back on its own 17 and advanced it to its 26. King decided to go for it on fourth and one.

“We’re calling for it, I’m going to give it to them,” King said. “I think that our offense can do it.”

Despite their season ending, King is extremely proud of his team.

“These guys did things right from the very beginning as working all offseason and grinding and carrying themselves right,” King said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. It’s not how we wanted it to end, but when you throw yourself intensely into things like these guys have done and invested and sacrificed and accomplished what these guys have done – to me, it feels bad right now, it’s still a celebration of what these guys have accomplished.”

Miege will face Andale next Saturday at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka.