Football team advances to state championship with win over Gardner Edgerton

Clay Cosby, staff writer

BV defeated previously unbeaten Gardner Edgerton 45 – 42 Friday night in the sub-state game and advanced to the state championship for the first time since 2006.
Senior Jacob McDermott had five touchdown receptions from quarterback junior Kyle Zimmerman who totalled six touchdown passes on the night.
“The past week we watched a lot of film, we used a lot of new plays and new routes,” McDermott said.
Gardner Edgerton quarterback senior Bubba Starling rushed for five touchdowns and amassed nearly 400 rushing yards. The Tigers knew they had a tough task in stopping the Trailblazers potent offense, and the game came down to forcing a few critical stops.
“Our coaches put in a good game plan,” senior Alex Newell said. “Bubba [got] his.”
The Trailblazers received the kickoff to start the game and on their first offensive play from scrimmage, Starling rushed for a 79-yard touchdown. The game’s quick start was an adrenaline shot to the already frantic atmosphere.
The Tigers wasted no time in responding with a 51-yard touchdown connection from Zimmerman to McDermott.
The Tiger defense was ready on the following possession with the first defensive stop of the game, forcing a turnover on downs.
The Trailblazers defense responded by intercepting a Zimmerman pass, BV’s sole turnover of the game, and taking over possession at the BV 47-yard line.
After another turnover on downs by the Gardner Edgerton offense, BV scored on 30-yard touchdown reception by McDermott to take a 14 – 7 lead.
Starling tied the game with 6-yard touchdown run on the Trailblazers’ next possession.
On the Tigers following drive, they faced a fourth and 13 at the Gardner Edgerton 25-yard line and converted with a touchdown reception by senior Paul Debey to recapture the lead.
However, the Tigers would not be in control for long, Starling broke away on a 70-yard touchdown scamper to tie the game back up at 21.
McDermott scored again to put BV up 28 – 21 and on Gardner Edgerton’s following drive, BV recovered a fumble at their own 12-yard line to regain possession before halftime.
The Tigers moved the ball into field goal range due to three consecutive first down receptions by Debey and junior Austin Johnson made a 26-yard field goal to take a 31 – 21 halftime lead.
The Tigers took a 38 – 21 lead on another McDermott touchdown reception after pouncing on the ball when the Trailblazers muffed a BV punt.
The Trailblazers answered with Starling touchdown rushes of 21 yards and 1 yard to close the gap to 38 – 35.
In the fourth quarter Starling was intercepted by senior Joey Heider at the 50-yard line on fourth and ten. Two plays later, Zimmerman completed a 49-yard touchdown pass to McDermott to give the Tigers a 45 – 35 advantage with just under three minutes remaining.
This was McDermott’s second five-touchdown performance of the season.
“I couldn’t do it without Zimm[erman],” he said.
The Trailblazers returned the ensuing kickoff to the BV 49-yard line and scored on a touchdown pass with 1:21 remaining.
Gardner Edgerton attempted an onside kick but it was recovered by Debey and BV was able to run out the clock.
“We had a great week of practice,” senior Hayden Murray said. “We played with love and faith.”
The Tigers will meet Bishop Carrol on Saturday Nov. 27 in Emporia for the state championship.