By Blake Chadwick
As the season dwindled to an end, the snow decided to make its first showing in Kansas on State Championship Saturday.
In Class 6A, Derby squared off against Gardner-Edgerton, which won its first title, 22-19.
The Panthers started hot with a 17-yard touchdown from their super tight end Da’saahn Brame and a seven-yard run from senior running back Derek Hubbard to take a 13-0 lead.
Gardner-Edgerton scored before the half, cutting the lead to 13-7.
After a long third quarter of no scoring, the Trailblazers pushed the score to 22-13 at the beginning of the third.
The Panthers responded with another Hubbard touchdown to get within 22-19 but weren’t able to get over that hump.
In Class 5A – which had the best weather of the sites – Kapaun faced off against Mill Valley, the defending state champion. Mill Valley improved to 7-0 in championship games with the 62-37 win, their fifth straight.
In a game that wasn’t short of points, Kapaun took a 16-13 lead by the end of the first.
Mill Valley took the lead back from the Crusaders and never looked back.
In Class 4A, Andover Central ran into a buzzsaw against St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Jaguars kept it close and were down 13-7. But that was as close as it would get as St.Thomas Aquinas went on to win 35-7.
Class 3A had some new faces as the Cheney Cardinals faced Topeka Hayden and won their first title 34-7.
Cheney led 13-7 at half thanks to a touchdown on a kickoff return and a receiving touchdown from Drew Tolar.
Quarterback Joshua Burdick led Cheney with 227 passing yards and four touchdowns.
In Class 2A, Nemaha Central handed Hoisington its first loss, winning the title 28-14. Nemaha Central won its second straight title and has won 26 straight games.
Conway Springs won the Class 1A championship 35-6 over Jefferson County as the Cardinals ended the season on an 11-game winning streak after starting the season 0-2.
It was the Cardinals’ eighth overall championship and first since 2011.
Brayden Kunz led the way for the Cardinals with over 300 hundred yards on the ground and three touchdowns.
Gardner-Edgerton 22, Derby 19
Mill Valley 62, Kapaun 37
St. Thomas Aquinas 35, Andover Central 7
Cheney 34, Topeka Hayden 7
Nemaha Central 28, Hoisington 14
Conway Springs 35, Jefferson North 6
Axtell 50, South Central 0
Cheylin 57, Cunningham 8