Shell-shocked. Unraveled. Reacted poorly. Those were just a few of the words Andover coach Mike Lee used to describe his team's effort in a 52-27 thumping at the hands of the Buhler Crusaders.
"It's game one," Lee said. "We've got a lot to work on."
The Trojans' defense gets the first look, as it surrendered 649 yards total offense, 581 of it on the ground and 330 from Jorden Oden, who also scored on runs of 69, 38 and 11 yards on just 22 carries.
"I've never seen anything like it," Lee said. "They came after us, they were more physical than us and we reacted poorly. Everything we've been working on since June went out the window."
Oden, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards last year despite missing three games, was a known commodity.
But it was Buhler senior quarterback Jake Reffner, a first-year starter, who dazzled the Trojans with near-perfect decision making out of the option, sticking the ball in Oden's stomach at the last possible second for big gains up the middle, or rolling to the outside to either keep it or pitching it to a teammate. He ran for 137 yards and three scores (31, 39 and 6 yards) and threw for two touchdowns.
"Jake's been waiting in the wings to play quarterback," Buhler coach Steve Warner said. "His leadership, the way he ran the option, the way he threw the ball... he did a phenomenal job."