4A-I: Miege dominates Andover Central to defend title

Bishop Miege QB Carter Putz dives for a touchdown in the 4A-I title game. (by David Jackson)
By: Sean Kosednar courtesy of PrepsKC
Nov 28, 2015

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TOPEKA -- Not even rain or a frozen field could cool off Bishop Miege’s offense as they faced off against the Jaguars of Andover Central in the Kansas 4A Division I State Championship Saturday at Hummer Sports Park. 

The weather was the story prior to kick off. Temperatures hovered around freezing all afternoon, and participants endured a steady rain and an ice-covered field. After kick-off, however, the story was all Miege.

The first quarter was dominated by the Stags’ star running back Dawson Downing. Miege took the opening kickoff and started feeding the senior immediately. Downing capped off the opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown, his first of three in the quarter and six on the day.

“All week long we have been hearing about how good Birch is, but we think Downing is one of the best running backs in the state,” Bishop Miege head coach Jon Holmes said. “He was lights out for us today. It was obviously pretty tough for us to throw, so we went to Dawson pre-game and asked him if he was ready to go and he said ‘he was.’”

The highlight of the quarter was Downing’s third touchdown. On the first play following a punt Downing took the handoff on a simple draw and burst through the line and was met by a trio of Jaguar defenders. Each one got a hand on Downing, but none were able to bring him down. After breaking free, Downing raced 79 yards to put his team up 21-0 near the end of the first quarter.

“We knew [Downing] was going to be pretty good,” Andover Central head coach Tom Audley said. “We actually thought they were going to feed their wide receiver [Armstrong] more. But Downing can really stay on his feet, and anyone who can do that in conditions like today was going to be tough to stop.”

If the first quarter was about the Stags’ running attack, then the second stanza was all about their defense.  The Stags sacked Andover Central on fourth-and-goal and sophomore quarterback Carter Putz finished off a long drive, which included a fake punt, with a seven-yard touchdown.

Bishop Miege then added two consecutive defensive touchdowns in less than 30 seconds. The first came on the ensuing kickoff as Central’s Darraja Parnell fumbled and senior safety Ray Vaca scooped up the loose ball and ran into the end zone raising a hand over his head as he crossed the goal line. 

“We heard how good their defense was all week,” Holmes said, “and I think our defense took offense to that. We only give up 16 points a game, and they were really able to step up today.”

Things went from bad to worse for the Jags on their next possession. Jordan Birch fumbled two plays later and Vaca was again in the right place at the right time to pick up the ball up and race 20 yards for his second straight touchdown.

“I just pick the ball up,” Vaca said. “I don’t hit anyone. That’s what we have big guys for. The coaches always put us in good positions and we know that if we execute it will work.”

The lone bright spot for Andover Central came near the end of the half. Senior quarterback Peyton Huslig dropped back, surveyed the field, and launched a high-arching pass to the back corner of the end zone to Parnell who had gotten two steps behind the defender for the touchdown. After a missed extra point the halftime score was 48-6 Bishop Miege.

After the intermission, the Stags’ defense picked up right where they left off. Miege picked off Andover Central on their first drive, then held on fourth-and-goal for the second time.

Putz led his team on a 94-yard touchdown drive spurred by big plays from Cameron Clark and Jafar Armstrong. Putz threw his only touchdown pass of the day on a nine-yard strike to senior wideout Danny Murphy.

With nine minutes left in the game Bishop Miege started subbing its seniors out one-by-one allowing each of them to receive a standing ovation from the crowd.

“These seniors were freshman my first year here,” Holmes said. “It was important to me to get those guys that recognition after what they have been through. We were runners-up their first year. Now we are back-to-back champions. It couldn’t be any sweeter for those guys.”

Andover Central’s Jordan Birch punched in a touchdown late in the game making the final score 68-12.


Miege           21-27-14-6 – 68
ACHS    0-6-0-6 – 12

M — Dawson Downing 20 run (Heyen kick)

M — Downing 22 run (kick failed)

M — Downing 79 run (run good)

M — Putz 4 run (Heyen kick)

M — Vaca 20 fumble return (kick failed)

M — Vaca 26 fumble return (Heyen kick)

M — Downing 16 run (Heyen kick)

AC — Parnell 17 pass from Huslig (kick failed)

M — Murphy 8 pass from Putz (Heyen kick)

M — Dawson 3 run (Heyen kick)

M — Dawson 1 run (run failed)

AC — Birch 17 run (run failed)

Individual Statistics

Rushing — Miege, Dawson Downing 26-231, Clark 10-64, Putz 7-36, Dylan Downing 1-30, Gray 1-0, Armstrong 1-(-1). Andover Central, Birch 23-136, G. Schoonover 1-7, C. Schoonover 1-1, Huslig 8-(-4).

Passing — Miege, Putz 11-16-127-0, Gray 1-1-27-0, Armstrong 1-1-17-0. Andover Central, Huslig 8-28-132-2, C. Schoonover 1-1-4-0.

Receiving — Miege, Murphy 3-46, Armstrong 3-30, Da. Downing 2-27, Gray 2-26, Schultz 1-27, Gleason 1-9, Winklhofer 1-6. Andover Central, Anthemides 3-67, Parnell 3-44, Taylor 1-14, Birch 1-7, Huslig 1-4.



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