Jags work hard, come up short against Maize South


Malia Flores

Ty Herrmann, senior running back taking the ball up the field at Maize South.

Last Friday, the most pivotal contest for Maize South and Andover Central occured. Winning this game was the breaking point for winning league.
“We have never beaten them before, so it would mean a lot to the team to get this win,” junior wide receiver Kyle Kohman said. “Everyone in the locker room knew how important this game.”
This game was highly anticipated being a finalist vote for Kansas’ game of the week. Both teams were undefeated going into this game which created even more excitement leading up to Friday night.
“There were some things on the line as far as league championship. It was a possible scenario depending on the winner and how other things play out this season, other than that it was just trying to get better week-to-week which is our main focus,” head coach Derek Tuttle said.
The Jags took an early lead with a touchdown run by quarterback Shomari Parnell in the first quarter. Maize South replied by a 30 yard kick in the first as well. Late in the first quarter, Blake Robison booted a 36 yard kick putting the Jags up 10-3. The Jags were cursed with penalties and also lost an important piece in the offensive line in the second quarter, offensive tackle Drew Daniels.
“I think the injury to some key players and turnovers cost us the game,” middle linebacker Jacob Rees said. “The penalty difference between the two teams was also a big difference maker.”
Throughout the course of the game there were three penalties called on The Jags and none against Maize South. In the second quarter, South scored two touchdowns. Sparked by an interception return by Brandon Bowels. With four minutes left in the second quarter, wide receiver Byron Fitzpatrick caught a 12 yard touchdown pass. Then it was halftime. The Jags looked deprived of any energy, on the field, and on the sidelines. Mavericks lead 17-10.
“There was an instance [where our heads were hanging]. Me and my teammates just kept saying ‘one play away’ and ‘one play at a time’. We just kept reminding everyone there was still a lot of games left,” senior wide receiver Xavier Bell said.
The third quarter was a dead end for both teams. No scoring occurred. Midway through the fourth quarter, Central fumbled the ball, Trevion Mitchell of Maize South picked up the fumble and scored on a 34 yard run. Maize South scored 24 unanswered points.
“We needed to stay together as a team and not point any fingers. That’s what would have helped us win this game,” Bell said.
Later in the fourth quarter there was a spark for the Jags. The Jags moved up the field with little resistance from Maize South defense with great field position off of a punt return by Xavier Bell. The Jags then moved up field to score a 10 yard touchdown pass with 4:50 left. Then it was the Jags turn to kickoff. Kicker Blake Robison kicked the ball so it would hit the ground before a player, therefore a squib kick. Trey DeGarmo caused a fumble while the returner was trying to get the ball.
“Blake [Robison] made a perfect kick and I knew we would have a chance to get the ball. The returner jumped in the air to get the ball and I knew I could knock the ball out of him,” DeGarmo said. “I started to celebrate because I saw how many white jerseys were on the ball and thought we had secured the game.”
Maize South was given possession.
“I was never given an explanation on why it was their ball, and I didn’t have time to ask for one,” DeGarmo said.
Maize South had momentum. They had started with the ball on their own 19 yard line. 4:32 left to play. For the Jags to force overtime or win, they would need to get the ball back. They made a crucial stop and received the ball on their own 32 yard line with 2:32 left. The Jags made it up to the 50 yard line and had to convert on fourth down. With 44 seconds remaining Shomari Parnell through the ball out of bounds, Maize South wins.
“We completed that route a couple times. I think the ball slipped on that and we didn’t get it completed. It didn’t come down to that play. It was a combination of getting behind on the scoreboard throughout the course of the game,” Tuttle said. “The ball didn’t bounce our way that night.”
Both teams look to finish out their regular season with three more games.