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Class 5A championship: Carroll vs. Blue Valley

1:13 — WOW! Carroll gets the ball right back as Blue Valley fumbles on its first play. Looks like we’re in for a crazy one. Beau Bell made the recovery.

1:12 — Carroll QB Tyler Nance throws an interception on his first pass of the game. Blue Valley has the ball on Carroll’s 15.

1:10 — We’re underway. Carroll starts with the ball on its 13-yard line after a 7-yard kickoff return by Max Martinez.

1:02 p.m. — What will take longer today, the introductions of more than 200 players, coaches and administrators, or the game itself? The intros are into their eighth minute and we’re only in the 40s for Carroll. Still a ways to go. By the way, Blue Valley isn’t wearing all white unis, but it has white jerseys and pants with a black helmet. So I can’t pick them to lose because they’re just short of the “pansy” look Bob Lutz defined on his blog. Carroll, if you’re wondering, is rolling with yellow helmets and pants and green jerseys.

Hey there — it’s Jeffrey Lutz, making my 2010 debut (for the football season, at least) on the VK blog. I’ll be providing more thorough updates here on the Class 5A championship game between Bishop Carroll and Blue Valley while Chris Elliott keeps you posted on the important plays on Twitter. You can follow him here.

It’s 25 minutes before game time and the stands on both sides are fairly full. Welch Stadium in Emporia is pretty spacious, so it’d be difficult to pack it, but the fans for both teams are well represented. The student sections are currently engaged in some kind of can-you-top-THIS chanting at one another. It seems friendly, but I don’t expect the positive vibes to last long.

I don’t know who to pick to win this game. If it’s decided by two scores or more, I think Blue Valley wins. But even as I typed that I was second-guessing myself. Carroll’s defense has the ability to put up points in a hurry, and the Eagles are capable of big plays via running back Brandon Weber and quarterback Tyler Nance.

If Blue Valley quarterback Kyle Zimmerman has time to throw, he and BV’s talented crop of receivers can hurt the Eagles. The best passing quarterback Carroll has faced this season was McPherson’s Tyler Matthews, who did damage against Carroll when he was protected. But that game turned on Carroll’s ability to rush Matthews, and Zimmerman should see similar pressure today. Carroll defensive back Max Martinez could be busy today.

So that’s my analysis. As far as a prediction, my gut instinct was Carroll 24, Blue Valley 14. But in no way am I making that pick official. It’s out there for public consumption now, I suppose, but I definitely do NOT stand by that pick, and I reserve the right to change it throughout the game. Speaking of throughout the game, keep checking back for the next few hours. I’ll be here all day. Try the veal.

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