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.
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.
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.
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.
Miege recovers onside, runs out clock. Bishop Miege 42, Hayden 35. Congratulations to both teams.— Bishop Miege (@BishopMiegeHS) November 29, 2014
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.
State Champs,13-0. So proud of this team. Thanks you to the fans for all your support! #Undefeated— Jon Holmes (@coachjonholmes) November 29, 2014
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)
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)