Trailblazers Breeze Past Ravens, Wrap-Up Regular Season
Posted on Oct. 27th, 2012
Coming into the final week of the regular season, the Trailblazers of Gardner-Edgerton had already won the title of District 4 Champions in Kansas Class 6A, and the Olathe Northwest Ravens had already been eliminated from playoff contention. The only thing left to be decided was seeding for the Trailblazers. The foregone conclusions didn't stop the two squads from putting up major offensive numbers--combining for over 900-yards of offense--but it was the Trailblazers who lit up the scoreboard in a 41-10 rout.
"It was really a good win," Gardner-Edgerton Head Coach Marvin Diener said. "Our defense kept them out of the end zone. They did drive it down. They have a very good offense, an offense that scored a lot of points against a lot of people. When the field shrunk, our guys always came up and made plays that got us off the field and as a result it never got close. Offensively, we had a few really good drives, the opening drive of the third quarter in particular. It really helped put the game out of reach, which was really big for us."
Junior stand-out running back Traevohn Wrench got to work early for the Trailblazers. After Olathe Northwest turned the ball over on downs on their opening drive, Wrench went 79-yards on one carry for the first score of the game. The Ravens then went three-and-out, and Wrench followed up his opening run with runs of 28 and 12-yards to get back into the end zone. With 8:04 left in the first quarter, it was 14-0 Trailblazers and Wrench had 119-yards.
The Ravens would once again be forced to punt, and then the Blazers got into the red zone before turning the ball over on downs. Northwest managed a first down on its next drive when senior quarterback Holdyn Halperin hit junior Chase Gitlin. On the following play, however, the Ravens fumbled the ball.
After recovering the fumble, GE went 51-yards on nine plays, going up 21-0 with less than a minute left in the opening quarter on another touchdown run from Wrench.
The Ravens found the end zone for the first and only time of the evening on the ensuing drive. Halperin completed all four of his passes in the drive, which was capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run from senior Alex Pruss. Pruss would run for 132-yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, and Halperin went 32-for-49 for 281-yards an an interception.
The score was cut to 21-7 when the Blazers were held to a three-and-out on their following drive, but a GE punt pinned the Ravens at their own 13 and they were unable to cut into the 14-point margin.
"We were really pretty consistent," Diener said. "I felt really good about it. It was just really a solid performance against team that, really, played very hard against us and who had some really nice players on the field."
After Wrench scored the first three touchdowns for the Trailblazers, junior quarterback Jared Hobby connected with sophomore Josh Lang for a 35-yard score.
"Jared did a great job of keeping drives alive, both by running and passing," Diener said.
Hobby finished with 119-yards and a touchdown on 8-of-13 passing.
Wrench added one more long touchdown run before the end of the half, getting loose for a 64-yard score to make it 34-7.
Senior Riley Adam would put Northwest's final points on the board just before the end of the first half with a 34-yard field goal.
The game's final score came when Wrench punched it in from a yard out, capping an 80-yard drive which took up over six-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter. Wrench finished with 314-yards and five touchdowns on 30 rushes.
The Ravens gained over 60-yards on two of their final three drives, moving the ball deep into Trailblazer territory both times. They were unable to find the end zone, however, and were shut out in the second half. On Northwest's final drive, senior Riley Craig intercepted a Halperin pass at the 7-yardline, and the Blazers were able to kneel it out a few plays later.
Northwest finishes its season 2-7. The Trailblazers (6-3) will play host to the Lawrence Lions (7-2) in the first-round of the 2012 Kansas Class 6A playoffs. The game is set for Friday, November 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
"It’s going to be a very tough playoff road, and you have to take it a game at a time," said Diener. "You have to earn it every time."