Jaguars end skid with shutout
After losing two Kaw Valley League games in a row, the Mill Valley Jaguars snapped their skid and got back on the winning track with a 26-0 domination of Piper High School last Friday night.
The win evens the Jaguars' overall and league record at 2-2.
"We're all in good spirits," coach George Radell said. "Everybody was really happy and really relieved after the game. It had been a couple of weeks and we really needed that."
Thanks to Radell's fourth starting backfield this season, the Jags got it. Freshman David Woods and his brother, senior Max Woods, combined to rush 22 times for 143 yards and one touchdown. The younger Woods rushed nine times for 86 yards. It was the third straight game that David Woods gained big yardage on a few carries, and Radell said the two brothers would start again this Friday against Basehor-Linwood.
"They both ran hard and they seem to block well for each other," Radell said. "They have that bond of being brothers on top of being teammates and that seems to work well for them."
While David was racking up the yards, Max who runs with a different style than his brother was busy getting the Jaguars on the board. Woods scored from three yards out on MVHS' first drive and that set the tone for the offense. Max Woods finished with 13 carries for 57 yards.
The rest of MVHS' scoring came from two Brandon Simpson field goals and a 39-yards scamper from sophomore quarterback Tony Alvarez.
"We put together some nice drives," Radell said. "Once, at the end of the first half, we missed an open receiver in the endzone, but at that point you settle for a field goal and we did."
On defense, the Jags were dominant as well. Aside from keeping the Pirates off the scoreboard, Mill Valley also intercepted six passes and kept Piper under 200 yards for the game.
"Whenever they did put together a couple of first downs, we'd get an interception and stop the drive," Radell said.
David Woods stole the show on defense as well with three interceptions. Rickey Wilson and Tim Herbel also had picks and Eric Pingleton intercepted a pass for a 20-yard touchdown.
"Our defense came up big," Radell said. "We took the ball away when we needed to."
Next up, the Jaguars will be against Basehor-Linwood High School. The Bobcats, like Mill Valley, are 2-2 on the season, but they are 2-0 in Kaw Valley play.
"They appear to be a very good offensive team," Radell said. "They have a quarterback who is athletic, running backs who run hard and an offensive line that's huge and comes off the ball hard."
Radell said he knows his team is undersized against BLHS, and he's going to have to find other ways to gain an advantage. One seeming advantage is that this week's game is Mill Valley's homecoming.
"We're excited, but I don't think it gives us an advantage," Radell said. "Homecoming always presents a few more distractions than anything, but our guys will have to prioritize and focus a little more during the week."
With that said, Radell said it's still important to treat this game as one of the biggest of the season.
To win, Radell said he's going to have to find a different way to attack the Bobcats offensively. Radell said he knows his team won't be able to pound away at the line of scrimmage, so the burden falls on him to find creative ways to move the ball.
On defense, the Jags are going to have to be tougher than they have been all year. Radell said he didn't think it was possible to stop BLHS altogether. Instead, he said he told his team to focus on keeping the Bobcats out of the end zone.
"They're going to get their plays," Radell said. "You just can't shut them down. But we are going to try and keep them out of the end zone. I don't think you win against Basehor if you don't play good, solid defense."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at De Soto District Stadium.