Game Prediction: Blue Valley vs. Salina South on Saturday, Nov. 30

Matt Antonic, Sports Editor

Blue Valley Tigers (9-3) vs. Salina South Jaguars (10-2)
Francis G. Welch Stadium – Emporia State University
Emporia, Kan.
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 at 1 p.m.
KSHSAA Class 5A State Championship

Last Week:
Blue Valley 38-33 Blue Valley West Jaguars — The most exciting game of the season thus far probably stopped and started a few hearts. BV West jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the blink of an eye, led by mobile quarterback senior Ryan Ralston. BV responded with two much needed drives, and BV quarterback senior Logan Brettell hit junior Beau Bequeaith and senior Mikey Henson for touchdowns, making the score 21-21 at the half. BV looked to put the game away, and drove deep into BV West territory leading 30-28. This continued until the turnover-bug that had been avoided so well bit hard, giving BV West life on a fumble. The Jaguars kicked a field goal to take a 31-30 lead, and BV responded with its most exciting drive of the season. Brettell found Henson for the winning touchdown to put BV back in the lead with 3:26 remaining. The Tiger defense held firm, and BV secured a win for the ages.

Salina South 34-24 Kapaun Mount Carmel — Don’t let the final score be deceiving. Salina South turned a 13-3 halftime lead into domination, scoring on their first two possessions of the second half to go up 27-3. Behind three touchdown runs by running back Mike Jones, Salina South secured the game late in the fourth quarter, leading 34-10. Kapaun scored touchdowns in the final minutes to make the score look more respectable.

Things to know:

  • Salina South went undefeated after facing Maize in game two and BV in game three of the regular season.
  • BV has not lost a game away from home.
  • Salina South has an offense that scores 37 points per game and a defense allowing 19 points per game.
  • BV has an offense that scores 28 points per game and a defense allowing 11.7 points per game.

Last Meeting:
Regular Season: Sept. 20, 2013
Blue Valley 35-28 Salina South
Turnovers initially slowed BV’s progress, and the halftime score was a close 14-14. However, the Tigers made several adjustments and opened a 35-21 lead in the fourth quarter. The Tigers made a goal line stand seemingly seal the game, but the Cougar offense managed to score with 19 seconds left. BV recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock, taking home a tough-fought road win.

Blue Valley can win if: The defense steps up and the offense limits turnovers. The BV defense is just as ridiculous as the Salina South offense, both of which rank as some of the best in the state. However, defense wins games, and the Tigers have held opponents under 20 points nine times this season. If BV’s defense can stand tall and the offense doesn’t shoot itself in the foot with turnovers and missed opportunities, the Tigers will prevail as State champions.

Salina South can win if: The offense starts fast and the defense forces turnovers. Salina South has an offense that usually can win games by itself, but the defense has not been overwhelming. BV has proven vulnerable to losing when it commits turnovers, as is any football team. If the Cougars can start fast and force a turnover here and there to swing momentum, the Cougars will ride off victoriously as the State champions.

Final Prediction: The last time BV played at State in 2011, it’s offense was stymied by a powerful Hutchinson defense. Don’t expect the same result for either team. Two of the best offenses from Kansas will go head-to-head. It is very difficult to beat a team twice in the same season, but both teams are playing a much faster style of football than they did when they met in week three of the season. BV and Salina will score plenty of points in a shootout, resulting in one of the most entertaining games of the season. The difference will be BV’s clutch defense, which will make a crucial stop late in the game to lift the Tigers to victory, just as they did last week to defeat BV West. The Tigers will ride home as State champions.

Final Score Prediction: Blue Valley 42-35 Salina South