Game preview: Tiger march toward State begins with visit from Shawnee Mission West Vikings

Matt Antonic, Sports Editor

Blue Valley Tigers (8-1) vs. Shawnee Mission South Raiders (3-6)

(Home game)

Friday Nov. 7, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Blue Valley:

The Tigers survived a massive upset bid in the regular season finale by the scrappy Huskies of Blue Valley Northwest, winning 20-12. The game was characterized by extremely sloppy play on both sides, resulting in a lack of consistent ball movement for the offenses. The game was tied at 6-6 until the Huskies chucked a 20-yard touchdown pass to take a 12-6 lead. The BV offense finally got rolling, with running back sophomore Will Evans and quarterback junior Colton McCumber scoring back-to-back touchdowns for a 20-12 lead with just under four minutes remaining. The defense smothered the Huskies last chance at victory and  chance at the playoffs, running the clock out to clinch the District Championship.
Shawnee Mission South:

The Raiders snuck into the playoffs with a near heart-stopping victory over rivals Shawnee Mission Northwest last Friday. Leading 27-6 with less than 10 minutes to play, South should have been in cruise control to run out the clock, but the Cougars had other plans. Northwest scored with 3:53 left to make it 27-13, got the ball back with 1:21 remaining and rapidly dashed down the field to score again with just seconds remaining, making the score 27-20. However, the Raiders managed to recover the ensuing onside kick and run the clock out, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in almost 10 years.

 

BV will win if: The Tigers keep it on the ground. With quarterback junior Colton McCumber injured, quarterback junior Ritter Braithwait may have to step under center tonight.  Running the ball through running back junior A.J. Totta and Evans will keep the Raiders on their heels all night. Shawnee Mission South has seen only one two offenses on the level of the Tigers all season and gave up over 40 points to each of them. The Tigers’ powerful running game will be more than enough to secure a victory at home tonight.

 

What to Watch For:

Blue Valley — Quarterback Situation: Having suffered a concussion against Blue Valley Northwest last week, starting quarterback junior Colton McCumber will be a game-time decision to play or not. If he is unable to play, quarterback junior Ritter Braithwait may be called on to take snaps for the Tigers. How many times the Tigers decide to pass will be an item of interest.

Shawnee Mission West — Game Intensity: The Raiders are fresh off of a heart-stopping win over Shawnee Mission Northwest and are making their first playoff appearance in seven years. BV cannot take the Raiders lightly, regardless of their 3-6 record, as they will be leaving it all on the field this evening.

 

Prediction — The Raiders come into tonight riding momentum but simply do not have the talent to put up with the strength of the Tiger defense. The BV running game will gash the Raiders and slowly wear them down. The Tigers will treat the Raiders like any other playoff team and will be playing with tremendous playoff game intensity. A strong run game and dark-side defense will cruise to victory tonight.

BV: 42 Shawnee Mission South: 10