Mill Valley slows Basehor-Linwood with 27-0 win
Heading into Mill Valley's contest against league-leading Basehor-Linwood High School, MVHS coach George Radell said he was hoping to slow the visitors down because he knew the Bobcats couldn't be shut out completely.
Radell was wrong, and he couldn't have been happier about it. In a complete domination, the Jaguars scored on three of their first four possessions and kept BLHS in check on nearly all its possessions before ultimately winning 27-0.
"In the last couple of weeks we've gained so much confidence in our offense," Radell said. "We wanted to make sure that when we got it down there tonight we punched it in."
That they did. After BLHS came out firing, Mill Valley settled down and forced a fumble on the game's third play. The Jags recovered at their own 40 and nine plays later they were in the end zone. In those nine plays, the Jaguars went strictly with what has given their offense confidence Max and David Woods.
The brothers, who were starting just their second game together in the backfield, gave Mill Valley all the offense it would need on the opening drive. David opened the game with a 19-yard run and finished the drive with 41 yards, while Max ran for 13 yards including a three-yard touchdown plunge. Less than 9 minutes into the game the Jaguars were on top and their game plan was obvious.
"Max and David just have that brotherly love thing going," Radell said. "They just block real well for each other and they run so hard, they run hard all the time."
While the Woods brothers were busy providing Mill Valley with its offense, the Mill Valley defense was dominating the game on the other side of the ball. The Jaguars limited BLHS to just 16 total plays in the first half and of those 16 plays only one went for a first down the game's first play. The Bobcats had six possessions in the first half three went three-and-out, two resulted in fumbles and the other was a turnover on downs.
"I give more credit to our defense than our offense, tonight," Radell said. "We shut down a very good team."
After Max Woods plunged in from three yards out, junior John Goodin rocked BLHS returnman Colby Reynolds on the kickoff return and the jarring hit knocked the ball loose. The Jaguars pounced on it and seven plays later Max Woods was again standing in the end zone, this time after scoring from a yard out.
Not to be outdone by his older brother, David Woods got his turn two possessions later when Mill Valley took over at the BLHS 37. After four straight runs by Goodin, David Woods took the ball at the four-yard-line, swept around the outside and walked into the end zone for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead at halftime.
According to BLHS coach Paul Brown the story of the game in the first half was his team's trouble hanging onto the ball, but Radell said there was no doubt in his team's mind that it would come out ahead in the turnover game.
"We talked before the game about if the ball's going to be on the ground it's going to come from them and not from us," Radell said. "And that's the way it worked out."
In all, the Jaguars recovered three Bobcat fumbles, two of which ended scoring threats.
On the first possession of the second half, Max Woods scored his third touchdown of the night, this time running in untouched from six yards out. The TD gave MVHS a 27-0 lead and from there the Jags held on. But rather than just wanting to hold on to the victory, Radell said his bunch wanted to preserve the shutout.
"We wanted the shut out," Radell said. "Make no bones about it. We didn't necessarily want to score more points, but we wanted the shutout, big-time."
After taking over, down 27-0, at their own 26, the Bobcats moved the ball all the way down to the Mill Valley five yard line. A methodical drive consisting mostly of runs by fullback Joey Barlow and senior tailback Matt Dukes, got the Bobcats to the doorstep, but the same old mistakes kept them out. On first and goal from the three, quarterback Nick Verbenec turned to hand off, but lost the handle and Mill Valley recovered the fumble.
Other than that drive, BLHS' only other scoring threat came when Stephen Brown fielded a punt at his own 45 yard line and raced 55 yards into the end zone. The touchdown return was called back, however, because of a blocking below the waist penalty.
The shutout victory moves Mill Valley's record to 3-2 overall and 3-2 in league play as well. Radell said that despite the fact that this win gets the Jaguars back into the hunt for the title, his team's players are not going to get caught up in talking and thinking ahead. Instead, he said they're just going to have fun and hopefully keep winning.
"All that talk at the beginning of the year about we're going to do this, that and the other, did us no good," Radell said. "We're not going to get back on that wagon. But this is as big a win as any in our 14 or 15 game history."
The Jaguars will look to knock off another Kaw Valley League leader this week when they travel to Santa Fe Trail, Friday night to take on the 3-1 Chargers.