By Brennan Dial
Bishop Miege’s high-powered offense on Friday picked up right where it left off in its victory over Blue Valley Northwest, but the defense looked much sharper than it had in week one, propelling the Stags to a 29-0 victory over Gardner-Edgerton that moved the Stags to 2-0 on the year.
Quarterback Ryan Willis connected with receiver Jafar Armstrong for a 70-yard touchdown in the first quarter that set the tone for the night and Dawson Downing added two first half touchdowns to put the Stags up 22-0 at the half. Willis capped off the Stags scoring on the night wit a three-yard keeper in the second half. Downing ended the game with 161 yards off of 23 carries.
While the offense took advantage of opportunities throughout the night, Willis said a lot of the credit for the victory went to the defense, which shut out Gardner-Edgerton for the second week in a row. Senior defensive end Peter Smardo had seven tackles and also a crucial sack that knocked Gardner-Edgerton out of field goal range during a third-quarter drive.
[pullquote]Jon Holmes on Stags’ defense in Week 2
Click the arrow to hear Bishop Miege Head Coach Jon Holmes talk about his defense’s turnaround from week one to week two.
[/pullquote]”Our defense was challenged this week by the coaching staff, and I would say did a good job accepting that challenge,” said head coach Jon Holmes of the shutout performance. “They gave up a lot of yards last week and were not happy about it.”
Willis said that the strong defensive performance allowed the offense to play loose.
“It takes a lot of pressure off the offense when the defense is having a good game,” Willis said. “It makes it a lot easier on us.”
The Stags face a tough opponent next week in defending 5A state champion Blue Valley. Though Miege won last year’s match against the Tigers, Blue Valley has proved a stumbling block for the Stags in recent years. Miege is 1-4 against Blue Valley since 2010.
“You have to respect Blue Valley and what they have been able to do these past couple of years,” Smardo said. “They’re mentally and physically a tough team but we have a good group of guys on defense and we’ll accept the challenge.”
The stags face Blue Valley at 7 p.m. next Friday, Sept. 19 at Bishop Miege.