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Back to Back for Mill Valley

By Sam McDowell, KC Star, 11/26/16, 5:00PM CST


Jags win second straight 5A title - in 2OT

Mill Valley Tops Goddard in Dramatic Fashion

A football state championship last fall was the first in Mill Valley school history, a victory the Jaguars described as 15 years in the making.

On Saturday, Mill Valley turned a program first into a trend.

In rather dramatic fashion.

The Jaguars repeated as the Kansas Class 5A state champions Saturday with a 35-34 victory against Goddard that required two overtimes on the Pittsburg State campus.

The game-winning play came off the foot of Mill Valley sophomore Jaccard Matchette, who split the uprights with an extra point in the second overtime.

Goddard possessed the ball first in the second overtime, and senior Jordan Cooke caught a touchdown pass on third down, but Goddard missed the ensuing extra point.

Mill Valley answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brody Flaming to Evan Rice on the first play. Matchette nailed the extra point — a moment of redemption after he missed a field goal in the first overtime.

In that initial overtime, Mill Valley took the ball first and missed a field goal, but as Goddard halfback Kody Gonzalez leaped into the end zone for the potential game-winning score, he lost the football. Mill Valley recovered, pushing the game to a second overtime.

Mill Valley led for the entire second half until Goddard pulled even with 4:10 left in the game. Quarterback Blake Sullivan capped a 95-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run and then used his legs once more for the game-tying 2-point conversion. Neither team scored on its final possession.

With the victory, Mill Valley, 9-4, completed an unlikely season-long turnaround. The Jaguars endured a four-game losing streak that started in September and didn't conclude until three weeks into October — a product of a difficult schedule coupled with defensive mishaps. They allowed 50.3 points per game over the skid.

A resurgence in defense halted the streak and ignited the playoff winning streak. Mill Valley gave up just 12.8 points per game on its way to a second straight appearance in the Kansas Class 5A championship game.

The Jaguars trailed for only 77 seconds Saturday.

Goddard, 12-1, altered the scoreboard only four plays into the game, when Kody Gonzalez ran up the gut of the defense for a 37-yard touchdown. But Mill Valley needed only 77 seconds to respond. Brody Flaming connected with Ben Hartman for a 19-yard score, and the ensuing extra point provided Mill Valley a one-point lead.