State championship football scores and recaps

By Blake Chadwick

Congratulations to all the teams for reaching this point, completing this incredible journey to the state title game.

And to the champions — you did it! What a ride. Congratulations on your title.

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While there were seven VYPE-area teams playing for titles — including four in the AVCTL — it was Andale that came home with the title.

Andale beat Frontenac 53-0 to win its third straight title.

Shortly after 5 p.m., the Andale team bus pulled into the high school and the football players sang ‘We are the champions’ at the top of their lungs.

“It’s fun when you have kids who buy into what you’re doing, and coaches and parents, too,” said coach Dylan Schmidt , who is 51-2. “It’s been fun. I don’t know if it gets harder because they’re all hard. Sometimes you worry that people take it for granted.

“You’re kind of scratching and clawing a little bit more.

“But there’s benefits, too. The kids and the parents know the routine, and there’s a proven model, so it’s a little easier with certain things. It’s like raising kids — you have the daily battles becasue you want to get them to do the right thing.

“… You’re doing everything you can think of to get them to perform at a high level, to perform better. If you can get everyone to think the same way and put their best effort in, there will be success.

“We say a lot around here that you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you earn.

“We’ve heard people say that you’re so lucky because of this, this and this. No, that’s not the case. We work hard for that. We’ve earned that.”

Recaps of state title games

A new batch of teams have officially etched their names into Kansas high school football state championship record books. 

Class 6A

Blue Valley Northwest 41, Derby 21

The Derby Panthers came into the game with all of the hype and pressure to become state champions for the fourth straight year. 

Blue Valley Northwest had other plans as the Huskies executed every part of their game plan to a T.

Quarterback Mikey Pauley had his way all day with the Panther defense as he and the offense orchestrated excellent offensive drives. 

The Huskies jumped out to a 28-0 lead, which was an absolute haymaker to Derby. 

Derby was able to get on the scoreboard with a 39-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Mercer Thatcher, but Pauley and the Huskies methodically drove their way right back down the field to take a 35-7 lead. 

Derby added two more touchdowns from junior running back Dylan Edwards, who finished with 172 rushing yards on 26 carries.

But it wasn’t be enough as the Huskies continued to keep the Panthers at arms reach. 

Pauley rushed for four touchdowns and threw for another as he led the Huskies to their first state championship in school history, a remarkable feat for a team that was 0-9 just four years ago. 

 

Class 5A

Mill Valley 28, Maize 14

The Maize Eagles took on the defending champion Mill Valley Jaguars as they looked to win their first state championship in school history. 

Mill Valley jumped out to an early 14-0 lead after a Riece Kennedy rushing touchdown on the opening drive, and a Hayden Jay quarterback keeper after the defense picked off Maize quarterback Avery Johnson. 

After halftime Mill Valley scored again halfway through the third to make the score 20-0. 

Maize bounced back with its own 14-0 run making the game super tight going into the last few minutes of the game. 

Mill Valley scored once again and converted a two-point conversion to put a damper on the Eagles’ comeback. 

The Jaguars completed the three-peat with a 28-14 win. 

 

Class 4A

St. James 28, Andover Central 21

As another team got to defend their championship, St. James Academy took on the Andover Central Jaguars. 

The Jaguars started out solid with a 14-0 lead, getting two rushing touchdowns from Ashton Barkdull. 

St. James wasn’t out of it, though, as the Thunder went down and knotted the score back up after a Taive Watts touchdown, a blocked punt and then another Watts touchdown. 

Barkdull scored his third rushing touchdown of the game midway through the third quarter. 

St. James quarterback Jackson House threw for his second touchdown with a pass to Tyler Claiborne. 

With the score knotted at 21 entering the fourth quarter, St. James drove down and scored to go up by seven. 

Central tried to bounce back, but St. James did not budge and eventually got another crucial stop, held the ball and won their second straight state championship. 

“Playing in this state championship, we played as one, as brothers and our chemistry couldn’t have been any better, I am blessed to be a Jaguar,” Andover Central senior quarterback Kai Kunz said.

St. James lost their first four games, but coach Tom Radke installed a championship DNA in his kids, and it showed as they went back-to-back, winning their final nine games.

Class 3A

Andale 53, Frontenac 0

Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson had already set out the Andale section, as the Indians seemingly make it to Hutchinson every year. 

And Andale did not disappoint, dominating from start to finish.

“It was 18-0 at half, and I was worried,” said Andale coach Dylan Schmidt, whose team has won 38 straight games. “We missed on those two-point conversions, and we wondered if that would come back on us.” 

The miscues didn’t matter as the Andale machine just kept churning. 

“In the second half, we kick off, they go into the wind,” Schmidt said. “We stop them three and out, they punt away, and we get a good field. 

“First play from scrimmage, we score. We did that three times in a row. That’s what broke it open for us.”

Andale rushed for 504 yards on their way to a 53-0 win over Frontenac. 

“We have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. This was three in a row for us, which has never been done in school history,” junior quarterback Wyatt Spexarth said. 

 

Class 2A

Rossville 35, Beloit 12

Rossville, another team who got to defend its state championship, jumped out to a 14-0 lead. 

Beloit answered after the second Rossville touchdown with a 1-yard run to get within 14-6. 

Rossville led 21-6 at halftime and never looked back. 

The Bulldawgs continued to ball out as they went on to win 35-12 and complete the back-to-back feat. 

This is the fifth Rossville state championship since 2014. 


Class 1A

Olpe 35, Inman 6

Olpe hit paydirt first and despite a Inman touchdown in the second quarter, Olpe was able to control the game. 

Eight-player I

Little River looked to knock off Meade and go back-to-back. 

Meade had other plans, though, as the Buffaloes scored on the first play from scrimmage to take an early 8-0 lead. 

Same thing happened on the next drive, as Meade scored again on the first play of the

drive to take a 16-0 lead. 

Little River got on the board before the end of the first quarter with the score 16-6. 

Both teams exchanged scores before halftime with Little River gaining a little bit of comfort in the game.

Thanks to a second half stalemate, Meade was able to knock off Little River and win a state championship. 

Meade beat Little River 22-14.