Tigers look to make statement in regular season finale

Matt Antonic, Sports Editor

Blue Valley Tigers (7-1) vs. Blue Valley Northwest (5-2)

(Road game)

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Blue Valley:

The Tigers delivered their biggest statement yet this season, tossing a 49-0 shutout against the 6-1 Olathe South Falcons. The magnitude of the victory surprised many around the state but reminded folks that the 6A title goes through Overland Park. The Tigers quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and Olathe South shot themselves in the foot with two costly turnovers. With our defense stifling the Falcons, the Tiger offense went into overdrive, racking up 522 yards, possessing the ball for 37 minutes and winning by seven touchdowns. Blue Valley remains ranked as the number-three team in Kansas with a chance to move up tonight. The Tigers are statistically qualified for a berth in the playoffs, based on their current 2-0 record in the qualifying district of BV Northwest, Gardner-Edgerton and Olathe South. The team has also qualified based on marginal points, the Kansas tie-breaking formula. The matchup tonight gives BV a chance to clinch either the third seed or the two seed in the postseason.

Blue Valley Northwest:

After letting a close game against Olathe South turn into a late blowout loss two weeks ago, the Huskies responded last Friday by thumping a hapless Gardner-Edgerton squad, 45-17. They ran all over the Trailblazers, putting the game away in the first half and reviving the team’s playoff chances in the process. In order to qualify for the playoffs, the Huskies would need to beat the Tigers by more points than Olathe South beats Gardner based on the Kansas marginal point formula.

BV will win if: The Tigers can slow down the Huskies’ powerful run game. Running back senior Miles Alexander has led the Huskies all season and shined last week in the rout against Gardner-Edgerton. A state-champion track star, Alexander has the power to burn the Tiger defense if not kept in check. The Huskies score over 27 points a game, and stopping them will be crucial to grind out a victory.

Player to watch

Blue Valley Northwest — Running Back Senior Miles Alexander

Alexander is one of the best running backs in the state and has offers from a handful of Division One Schools. He is the heart of an offense that scores over 27 points per game and has kept the Huskies alive during several close contests this season. He could potentially be the best running back the Tiger defense has faced and will be difficult to handle.

2013 Matchup

BV Northwest 31, Blue Valley 28

Prediction:

The Tigers have statistically qualified for the playoffs and are playing on the road against a team fighting for its life. It will be a very hard battle, and the Tigers must remain focused on the Huskies instead of looking ahead to the playoffs. BV should have motivation to end the team’s two-game losing streak to the Huskies. On the back of one of the best defenses in the state and an offense running like crazy, the Tigers will do just that tonight.

Predicted Score:

BV: 35

Blue Valley Northwest: 17