BV to play Shawnee Heights on Nov. 8; staffer predicts win for Tigers in first round of football playoffs

Matt Antonic, Sports Editor

Blue Valley Tigers (6-3) vs. Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds (4-5)
Tecumseh, Kan.
Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Last Week:
Blue Valley West 18-17 Blue Valley — Man, this one hurt. Bad. BV frittered away an 11-point fourth quarter lead and watched in pain as BV West kicked a 28 yard field goal to win as time expired. What was the most painful part of the game other than the fact that BV West won? Blue Valley turned the ball over five times.

Shawnee Heights 41-20 Topeka Seaman — Heights put this one away in the third quarter, opening up a 21-point lead and never looking back. The Thunderbirds have scored a combined 159 points in their last 3 games, all blowout wins.

Last Meeting: 2012 – First Round of Post-Season
Blue Valley 17-10 Shawnee Heights: BV faced the Thunderbirds in the first round of last year’s playoffs, just like this year. A defensive struggle was broken with under two minutes remaining, as BV junior Logan Brettell found a streaking BV junior Mikey Henson in the corner of the endzone for the go ahead touchdown, and the Tigers defense made one final stand to seal it.

What this game means:
Blue Valley- Friday can be a day of redemption, healing and triumph for BV. The Tigers will look to erase all possible memories of last week’s heartbreaking last second loss to BV West last week, and set up a second round match with undefeated Mill Valley next week. This Tiger team would prefer not to be the first team at BV to lose in the first round of the postseason since 2007.

Shawnee Heights- Memories of Mikey Henson pulling in the game winner will forever be burned into every Thunderbird player and fan, unless of course they can pull the upset on Friday. Heights is playing at home with a chance to avenge last season’s crushing loss and are looking to make a deep November run for the first time in over a decade.

Blue Valley will win if: They don’t play the turnover game that haunted them in losses to Bishop Miege and BV West in the regular season. The Tigers have proved winning on the road is nothing they can’t handle, but that they are vulnerable if they repeatedly turn the ball over. In addition, the offense must establish efficiency early, and not get sucked into a fourth quarter struggle. The Heights offense will be unable to keep up with BV should they get rolling quickly.

Shawnee Heights will win if: They create turnovers and keep the game close entering the fourth quarter, two things that have given BV major issues this season. If Heights can maintain possession and wear down the Tiger defense, it may become the down-to-the-wire game that BV needs to avoid if they want to have a good chance at winning.

Final Prediction: This is it. Playoff time in Kansas. The philosophy is now or never, and win or go home. There is only so much analyzing that can be done for games like this, so never mind that Heights enters tonight with a losing record or that BV turned the ball over five times last week. It doesn’t matter now. BV is going to face a defense that is anything but ironclad, and the points will come, so long as the turnover bug doesn’t bite the Tigers. The initial jitters for both teams will eventually wear off. A faster, larger, and stronger Tiger team will pull out a hard fought victory and find the winner of St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Mill Valley awaiting them.

Final Score Prediction: Blue Valley 28-10 Shawnee Heights