The BVNW football team ended their season Friday after losing the regional game against Shawnee Mission East. SME, the defending state champion in the 6A category, defeated BVNW with a final score of 13-49, making BVNW’s final record for the season 2-8.
Two minutes into the first quarter, senior Cooper Trusdale caught a pass for a touchdown, giving BVNW an early 7-0 lead over SME. However, with 7:35 left in the first quarter, SME had a 51-yard run, and they scored their first touchdown of the night with 6:35 left in the quarter. The first quarter ended with a tie at 7-7.
“I was really proud of the way our kids came out in the very beginning; they fought real hard, and we knew we had a tough opponent: defending state champs,” head football coach Mike Zegunis said. “[SME has] won a lot of games this year, so we knew we had to come out and play great and be perfect.”
In the second quarter, SME scored a touchdown with 4:28 remaining in the quarter, giving them the lead they maintained for the rest of the game. With 3:16 left in the quarter, senior Conner Hall caught a pass and scored a touchdown, but BVNW missed the extra point, which made the score 13-14. With eight seconds left in the quarter, SME scored another touchdown, increasing their lead to 13-21.
“Our game plan was to offensively try and go ahead and control the football: keep it out of their hands, execute on offense, move the ball down the field and score touchdowns,” Zegunis said. “Defensively we knew that their offense is really powerful, and we were trying to make them have to keep snapping [the ball]. You just keep making life difficult for your opponent, and that’s what we were trying to do, and I thought our kids did a good job of that first half.”
The third quarter began with SME having a 42-yard gain, which allowed them to score a touchdown with 11:05 left in the quarter. SME scored another touchdown with 4:35 left in the quarter, making the score 13-35. Trusdale said that while BVNW played well in the first half of the game, the team let the game get away from them in the second half.
“We let up a lot of points on defense, and our offense couldn’t put points on the board in the second half, so they just didn’t come out as well in the second half,” Trusdale said.
In the fourth quarter, SME scored a touchdown within two minutes, increasing their lead to 13-42. With 5:55 left in the quarter, SME scored again, making the score 13-49, which was the final score of the game.
Trusdale said it was disappointing to end the season with a loss; however, Zegunis said the team played hard for each other, and they welcomed the challenge of playing the defending state champions.
Zegunis said the players wanted to show they were better than a two-win team, and he said the thinks they were successful in displaying that in the first half of the game.
“I thought they played hard until the end,” Zegunis said. “I feel bad that the result wasn’t what we all wanted, especially for our seniors. That ends up being their last football game wearing a husky uniform. But I think they can be proud of the fact that they played really hard, and they played together.”
Zegunis said the the team had a difficult schedule this season, and he said he thinks their record does not accurately show how dedicated the players were or how hard they worked.
“You don’t always get what you want, and sometimes things don’t work to your favor, but you have to keep trying, you have to keep working hard, and our boys did that,” Zegunis said.