When Maize South drove to the Mulvane 8-yard line after taking the opening kickoff, it looked as if the Mavericks were going to dominate Saturday’s Class 4A regional final.
But a field-goal try sailed wide left, and visiting Mulvane rode a second-quarter score to a 7-0 victory Saturday night. The Wildcats (10-1) will face Buhler next Friday.
Earlier this season, the Wildcats edged the Crusaders, 38-34.
“The thing that sets our bunch apart, I think, is how competitive these kids are,” Mulvane coach Dave Fennewald said. “They are super competitors; I don’t think there were a lot of people who thought we were going to win. But nobody knows how hard we love to compete, and I think they showed that.”
After the scoreless first quarter, Mulvane took advantage of Kolby Fennewald’s interception of Mavericks’quarterback Chase Bell, starting at the Maize South 23. From there, senior Ty Redington completed three successive passes, the final one going 14 yards to tight end Alex Evans for a score.
For all his heroics, Redington — who completed 13 of 20 passes for 141 yards and the lone touchdown — said defense was the key.
“I’ve got to give all the credit to our defense,” Redington said. “We got that touchdown in the first half, and I guess that’s all we needed because of our defense.”
Evans was Redington’s target of choice, making six receptions for 77 yards.
The Mavericks (8-2) fumbled the ball away on their next possession, but the Wildcats gave it right back four plays later when Wesley Phillips intercepted Redington and returned it to the Mavericks 30.
Senior running back Jesse Rogers IV keyed the opening drive, gaining 53 yards on nine carries on a 13-play drive that began at the Maize South 38. But the drive stalled, and Andy Galliher’s field-goal try was wide left.
On their subsequent first-half drives, the Mavericks started deep in their territory each time and couldn’t muster much of an attack. It didn’t get much better after halftime, as Rogers was held to just 19 rushing yards after the opening drive, finishing with 72 for the game.
“We feel we have a great defense,” Fennewald said. “We have 10 seniors from last year, and we wanted to prove we had the best defense on the field (Saturday).”
Turnovers and Mulvane’s defense stifled the Mavericks, Maize South coach Brent Pfeifer said.
“We’d get some momentum going, and it just seemed like we shot ourselves in the foot,” he said. “We’ve been telling the kids for a while that in a game like this, turnovers can hurt you, and we had two of them that were pretty big. Every time we had the momentum, it seemed like something would set us back.”
M—Evans 14 pass from Redington (Wayman kick)
Rushing—Mulvane, Mason 15-45, Redington 13-7, Evans 1-6, Williams 1-1. Maize South, Rogers 18-72, Phillips 4-27, Orth 8-58, Koehn 1-2, C. Bell 9-(-14).
Passing—Mulvane, Redington 13-20-1-141. Maize South, C. Bell 4-10-1-56.
Receiving—Mulvane, Evans 6-77, Smith 3-35, Dempsey 3-14, Mason 1-9, A. Bell 1-6. Maize South, Phillips 2-17, Rogers 1-33, McDonald 1-6.