Stags win school's fifth Championship, finish 13-0

Cameron Mellor (@CamMellor)
February 11, 2015



In 2014, it seemingly didn’t matter who Bishop Miege High School squared off against on the gridiron. The Stags won all but one game a year ago by double digits en route to the Kansas 4A State Championship and a perfect 13-0 record.


Bishop Miege took to the road in their first game of the season. After traveling to Blue Valley Northwest to open the season and defeating the Huskies, 51-36, the Stags would return for their home opener against Gardner Edgerton.


After defeating the Trailblazers, 29-0, Bishop Miege would host Blue Valley in arguably one of the more anticipated games when the 2014 season was announced. The 5A Tigers were coming off a dramatic 2013 season in which they rallied late in the year to capture the 2013 Kansas 5A Championship.


A game between two perennial contenders early in the season was dominated by Bishop Miege and their quarterback Ryan Willis, who tossed four first half touchdowns as the Stags built a 42-7 halftime lead.


Bishop Miege defeated Blue Valley, 42-21 behind Willis’ four touchdowns and 284 yards through the air. Running back Dawson Downing ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the rout.


After their victory over the defending 5A champs, the 2014 season expectations skyrocketed. The Stags would handle perpetual title contender, and eventual Class 5A runner-up St. Thomas Aquinas by a score of 37-20 before allowing a mere 47 points in their final five games of the regular season.


Included in their season ending tear, Bishop Miege defeated Blue Valley West (35-7), Blue Valley Southwest (53-14), Louisburg (41-14), Sumner Academy (51-12) and shut out Spring Hill, 51-0.


The run didn’t falter at all to start the playoffs as the Stags continued their impressive play with back-to-back shut out victories in their first two postseason games. After cruising past Basehor-Linwood, 63-0 in a game that saw seven different Stags’ score a touchdown, Bishop Miege defeated Fort Scott, 47-0, gaining 587 total yards on offense.


The Stags then played Piper in the 4A Kansas Sub-State Championship game and the rite to move on to the State Finals. The Pirates had allowed a grand total of 113 points in their previous 11 games before meeting Bishop Miege.


However, Downing and the Stag offense would prove to be too much to handle for the Pirates. The junior running back ran for four first half touchdowns and Willis would add two passing touchdowns in the first quarter as Bishop Miege cruised past Piper, 62-7.


The Stags were Kansas 4A Sub-State Champions and would take on Hayden, who were playing in their first state title game since winning the 2008 4A Championship.


In true championship form, Bishop Miege shook off a rusty first quarter in which they were shut out and answered with 21 points in the second before heading to halftime up, 21-14. The teams would battle it out in the early stages of the third, exchanging touchdown drives before it was tied at 28 points with 2:54 left.


Downing would break the tie with just 0:39 remaining in the third quarter to give the Stags a seven point advantage heading in to the final quarter. After forcing a quick three and out after missing a field goal of their own to start the quarter, Bishop Miege’s second possession of the final frame would be the ultimate deciding factor.


Willis would hit Nolan Gray for 17 yards and a touchdown with 7:55 left, giving the Stags a 42-28 lead.


On the ensuing possession, Vincent Stephenson would intercept a Hayden pas that would kill the Wildcats drive. Despite not being able to muster much offensively on their next drive, the Stags did eat up over a minute on the clock and force Hayden to use their timeouts.


Jacob Head would hit Mason Dodd for nine yards and a touchdown on the subsequent possession with 0:41 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 42-35 for the Stags.


However, after the onside kick was recovered by Bishop Miege and one Willis kneel down later, that 42-35 margin would crown the Stags as champions of Kansas’ 4A Division.



The victory over Hayden marked the first time in school history that Bishop Miege would finish their season undefeated with a State Championship. It also marked the fifth state title in school history.


The Stags leader, Willis, signed his letter of intent to play for the University of Kansas just last week on National Signing Day.


Bishop Miege will look to continue their success from 2014 but will have some big shoes to fill as their 6-foot-4 signal-caller is now a Jayhawk. Nevertheless, coach Holmes will certainly have his team ready to go in the fall when the season starts and gladly accept the challenges of defending a State Championship.




Offensive stat leaders

Rushing: Dawson Downing (1925 yards)

Passing: Ryan Willis (2983 yards)

Receiving: Jafar Armstrong (1205 yards)

All-Purpose: Dawson Downing (2245 yards)

Touchdowns: Dawson Downing (36)

Rush attempts: Dawson Downing (241 carries)

Receptions: Jafar Armstrong (53 catches)


Defensive stat leaders

Total tackles: Mark Ogren (89)

Sacks: Kaelin Key (7.5)

Tackles for loss: Kaelin Key (15)

Pass break ups: Trevor Thompson (16)

Fumbles forced: Mark Ogren (4)


Team statistics

Total scoring: 595 points

Opponent scoring: 166

Total offense: 6057 yards

Total rushing yards: 2841 yards

Total passing yards: 3216 yards

Opponent offense: 3304 yards

Opponent rushing yards: 1308 yards

Opponent passing yards: 1996 yards

Third down conversions: 43.7% (55/126)

Opponent third down conversions: 22.5% (40/178)

Chargers record first victory after Raiders forced to forfeit amid injuries

By: Bryan Bedigrew
October 14, 2014


This past Friday, two 0-5 teams came together looking for their first win on the season. Senior running back Casey Willyard would lead the Jefferson County North Chargers (Ks.) with 105 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 28-6 victory over the Immaculata Raiders (Ks.). The victory would also be the first district win for Jefferson County North.


The Chargers (1-5, 1-4) started the game with the ball and impressed with a 10-play drive that culminated with a Willyard five-yard rushing touchdown and a 7-0 Charger lead over the Raiders (0-6, 0-6). 


It wouldn’t be until the second quarter that the Chargers would score again. Quarterback Bryce Noll’s two-yard run plus a Joel Abel extra point would increase the Jefferson County North lead to 14-0. The Chargers would put together another second quarter scoring drive, one that was capped by a Kyle Noll five-yard up-the-gut score for a comfortable 21-0 lead for the Chargers. 


The Raiders would try to put something together just before the half however, an already slim roster was dealt a huge blow when Raiders senior Tanier Karigan would go down with an injury and not return. This left Immaculata with only 10 players to finish the game.


Not giving up however, the Raiders would receive a big momentum push as with just seconds left before halftime, a complete pass to Michael Valenca to the Chargers four yard line would give them hope heading into the second half. Leading off the third quarter, the Raiders attempted to put something together but gave up the ball on a Valenca fumble on the Chargers 48 yard line. 


The Chargers would run seven plays leading to a Willyard three-yard run for a Jefferson County score and a 28-0 lead. 


With impressive perseverance, the Raiders would score on their next possession after a six play drive. Valencia redeemed his earlier fumble by putting the Raiders on the board with a two-yard touchdown. The extra point however would fall short making the score 28-6 with 5:04 left in the third. 


After the ensuing Raiders kick off, just two plays later Immacaulata would suffer yet another injury as Valenca hit the ground. With the team now down to nine players Raiders coach Fred Elliot elected to forfeit the game with 4:39 remaining on the clock in the third quarter. The Raiders would fall to 0-6 while the Chargers would secure their first win and push their record to 1-5 this season.


Willyard finished the game with the game with 105 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.


Jefferson County North will travel to Valley Falls this Friday at 7:00. The game will be live on the NFHS Network and you can also follow along and stay up to date on Twitter - @DigitalScout

Olathe South (Kansas) offensive guard signs with Auburn


By: Cameron Mellor
February 4, 2014


While the majority of high school seniors had decided where they would attend college in the fall, some top notch players had yet to decide, or make their college choice public, before National Signing Day. That all changed Wednesday as Signing Day came and went, signifying the deadline to fax in your letter of intent.


On NSD, one of the biggest names on many lists finally made it known where he’ll be, come the fall. That player is offensive guard and highly sought after Olathe South High School senior, Braden Smith.



Despite not knowing much on his decision, the general consensus on Smith was that he was down to three schools – Auburn, Texas A&M and TCU – with the reigning SEC Champions as the team to beat.


That premonition came to be true as the 6-foot-6, 275-pounder faxed in his letter on intent to the Auburn Tigers Wednesday afternoon, pledging his services for his college years. Smith, a two-way player for Olathe South, will turn his focus to offense as he looks to anchor a Tiger offense that nearly ran their way to a National Championship victory last season.


Smith had dozens of offers from Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams but did in fact narrow his choices down to A&M, TCU and Auburn before ultimately selecting the Tigers on a national broadcast.


"It was a very difficult decision because those are great schools," Smith said. "It was a close race for all three of them but I felt like Auburn was the best fit for me."


Smith joins fellow Kansas high school players and HSGameCenter users Henry McGrew (Blue Valley), Jimmie Swain (Olathe North), Austin Chambers (Shawnee Mission West) and Traevohn Wrench (Gardner Edgerton), as players to sign with FBS teams.


Be sure to follow along on Facebook or Twitter (@HSGameCenter) for up to the minute news.

Teams' Live Stats on HSGC All Season Long 


By Dan Fronczak

December 18, 2013


This football season, millions of fans logged onto for high school play-by-play statistics. And what they saw was live data streaming in from all across the country from thousands of teams, including 24 who won state football titles and 14 state runner ups. Additionally, 2 are playing for championships this weekend - Booneville and Cisco.


Congrats to all of our teams and their fans on a successful 2013 campaign.


HSGC State Champs:


Acadiana, LA

Avon,         SD

Bentonville,     AR

Bishop Kelly, ID

Blue Springs, MO

Blue Valley,   KS

Buhler,     KS

Canisius,  NY

Charlotte Ch., NC

Dowling Cath., IA

Fargo South, ND

Grand Meadow, MN

Jenks,      OK

Kirtland,   OH

Lee's Summit W., MO

Mahnomen, MN

Maryville,   MO

Middletown,  MD


Murphy,  NC

New Canaan, CT

Shelley,              ID

Shiocton,   WI

St. Croix Luth., MN

SVSM,           OH


HSGC State Runner Ups:


Pine Bluff, AR

Serra, CA

Shawnee Mission East, KS

South Christian, MI

Minneota, MN

Rosemount, MN

Underwood, MN

Aquinas, NE

Westside, NE

West Morris Mendham, NJ

Charlotte Latin, NC

Adamsville Senior, TN

Pine View, UT

Sherando, VA


Tigers named HSGC Team of the Week after beating Salina South


By: Cameron Mellor

December 4, 2013


The Kansas Class 5A Playoffs have come to an end with the Blue Valley High School Tigers knocking off the South Cougars from Salina, Kansas. The ending did not come without drama as the Tigers had to stop South on a final 2-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter, to hold on to the victory – their sixth state championship in school history.



For their efforts in winning the 5A Championship, Blue Valley has been selected as the HSGC National Team of the Week.


“South is a great team and they made some plays down the stretch,” Blue Valley head coach Eric Driskell said. “I am very proud of our senior class as a whole. They stepped up in many ways, but their leadership drove our camaraderie and sense of family (this season).”


Blue Valley seemed to have the game in hand early as they jumped out to a 24-6 halftime lead. The Tigers held the Cougars to just 10 yards in the third quarter and kicked a field goal of their own to increase their lead to 27-6 heading into the final frame.


The fourth quarter was a different story as the Cougars scored on the second play of action. After holding Blue Valley to a fourth-down turnover, South scored with 5:05 left, edging closer to the Tigers. Instead of kicking off to a potent Tiger offense, South would recover an onside kick and turn that in to a touchdown with just 1:13 left.



Up by just one point, 27-26, Blue Valley watched as South lined up to go for two, rather than kick the game-tying extra point. It was there that the Tigers made their most important stand of the season. Blue Valley held South out of the end zone after Cougar wide receiver Zach Nachbar took a reverse pass and heaved a pass into the end zone. As the pass hit the ground, incomplete, it was then that Blue Valley could sense the Championship.


A recovery of an onside kick attempt, and the Tigers were a mere kneel down away from the Championship.


“Our ‘Darkside’ defensive unit has been the strength of our team for many years,” Driskell said. “Our defensive staff and kids do a tremendous job or preparing and playing physical defense.”


The Tigers were paced by quarterback Logan Brettell who had a hand, or foot, in each of the team’s 27 points. Brettell scored the first touchdown of the game, hitting receiver Mikey Henson for a 29-yard touchdown. That score was set up by an interception by Brandon Lee on South’s first play from scrimmage.



Brettell would notch two rushing scores of 18 and four yards in the second quarter. In addition to his touchdowns, Brettell also kicked all three extra points, added two field goals (20, 27 yards) and punted three times for 111 yards, each punt pinning the Cougars inside their own 20-yard line.


The Tigers and their coaching staff appreciate the support they’ve received from their community this season and are very optimistic for years to come.


“We have a great group of young guys and are very excited about the future,” Driskell said. “We are just so appreciative of all the love and support we get from our community!”


Be sure to watch out for the Tigers next season as they look to defend their title. Take a look back at Blue Valley’s success this season right here:

Nation's Best on Display This Weekend on HSGC


By Dan Fronczak

November 15, 2013


Hundreds of ranked high school football teams are using this postseason.  With mass adoption in 2013, HSGC is proving its platform to be a valuable one for coaches.  Among those participating schools on HSGC are some of the highest ranked teams in the country, including the entire State of Ohio. (See teams below)


Coaches not currently on HSGC wishing to create an account for their team can do so here:  


  High School State Ranking
Desoto (Texas)    2
Jenks (Oklahoma)    1    
New Canaan (Connecticut) 1
Dowling Catholic (Iowa) 1
Gardner-Edgerton (Kansas) 1
Middletown (Maryland) 2
Blue Springs (Missouri) 1
Boone Central/Newman Grove (Nebraska) 2
Winner (South Dakota)     2
Bentonville (Arkansas) 2


Published on 11/15/2013 at 05:30PM . Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best HS Football Teams In The Country Play Here

By Cameron Mellor

October 8, 2013


They say that actions speak louder than words and that arguably has never been more accurate than with Ryan Schadler from Hesston High School in Kansas. Due to his actions on the field this past weekend, Schadler has been selected as the National HSGC Player of the Week.


Schadler, a senior running back for the Hesston Swathers, has been the workhorse for Hesston this season as he has handled rushing, receiving and punting duties on the offensive side as well as grabbing two interceptions while playing on the defensive side of the ball in 2013.


In his most recent outing against Kingman High School, Schadler carried the ball 19 times for 285 yards, scoring five times on the ground.  Schadler’s scoring plays came on runs of 12, 34, 51, 65, 74 yards but it was the 65-yard scamper early in the 2nd quarter that proved to be the much needed spark for the Swathers offense.


Down 21-6, Hesston found themselves trailing in a game for the first time of the season. Schadler took a carry through the middle and bounced it outside for a 65-yard touchdown run that energized the team. After Schadler’s long touchdown run, the Swathers outscored Kingman 35-6 en route to a 41-27 victory.


If rushing for five touchdowns in a game isn’t enough, Schadler also hauled in a 6-yard touchdown reception before halftime as Hesston closed out the second quarter scoring 19 unanswered points and took a 25-21 lead into the break.


He also punted the ball five times for 131 yards and registered his second interception of the season against Kingman.


On the year, Schadler now has 74 carries for 1,341 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground. He has accrued three receiving touchdowns on only eight receptions. He has punted the ball five times inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and also returned a punt for a touchdown.


Schadler and the Swathers host Pratt High School this Friday, October 11. Pratt is coming off a loss to Halstead. Follow that Schadler and the rest of the action at this link here:

Published on 10/08/2013 at 05:47PM . Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Schadler Strives for Swathers, Hesston Back HSGC Player of the Week

By Cameron Mellor
October 8, 2013
The Platte County Pirates utilized a strong effort in a fourth quarter played a day later against North Kansas City to knock off the Hornets, 42-21. The Pirates got back in the win column this week and their dominating performance in the final frame won them the recognition of the National HSGC Team of the Week. 
A hard fought game throughout, the first half was a back-and-forth battle that saw each team hold a lead before heading into the break tied at 14 points apiece. 
North Kansas City took the lead early in the first quarter on a six-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Graskemper to Donardto Majok
Tyler Cooper would score on consecutive drives in the second quarter to give the Pirates a 14-6 advantage before the Hornets tied things up at the half. 
“The first half was played well by both sides,” Platte County head coach Bill Utz said. “Neither of us really got much going. I personally felt we could have played better.”
The third quarter was much of the same while each team took turns with the ball but had no luck punching it in for any points. It was not until the next day, the continuation of the fourth quarter, that scoring resumed.
After play was suspended with 10:38 left in the fourth quarter due to lightning, the game resumed on Saturday at noon, bringing with it scoring plays in a hurry.
On the first play of the postponed fourth quarter, cornerback Johnny Blankenship intercepted a Graskemper pass and returned it for a touchdown. After the Hornets quickly brought the game back to a tie at 21-21, Cooper and the Pirates would notch two more offensive scores in the final period. One score was through the air while the other was after a time-consuming drive that culminated with a 7-yard Nic Blaha touchdown run. That gave the Pirates a decisive 14-point edge with just over a minute remaining. 
Down 35-21, the Hornets continued to pressure on their last possession of the game and the Pirates defense continued to answer. With a mere four seconds left, another Graskemper pass would be intercepted and returned for another touchdown, this time by Tyler Clemins for 100 yards, in what was the icing on the cake. 
A hard fought 42-21 victory would be the outcome but was not indicative of how tough both teams actually played in the two-day event.
“The game was a crazy game,” Utz said. “It was far from a normal game. The game was much closer than the score indicated. I feel the time off and long delay helped us, mainly because we were the home team. The delay did allow us to regroup, but we did not change anything or (have) any extra prep. 
“We simply just came out and played.”
Platte County improves their record to 4-2 on the season and it doesn’t get any easier this week as they play Liberty North on Thursday, October 10 with a short week of preparation. You can follow the action live right here:

Published on 10/08/2013 at 01:54PM . Tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pirates Right The Ship, Platte County HSGC Team of the Week