Nov 12, 2022

Wamego dismantles Jaguars to advance to second-ever semifinal

Posted Nov 12, 2022 5:06 PM

Little Apple Post contributor

After being blown out by Andover Central in last year’s quarterfinal, the Wamego Red Raiders got their revenge on Friday night in a 42-7 dismantling of the Jaguars, to advance to their first state semifinal since 1975.

“I’m not going to lie, this was a matchup we circled and this was a rematch that we wanted from the get-go,” Raider head coach Weston Moody said. “It was nice to get back at them but after the game, it didn’t feel like we had peaked. Our guys are still hungry and they’re not satisfied with being sectional champs, they want to be state champs.”

Things got off to a rocky start in Wamego, where the Raiders allowed a long touchdown drive to start the game, immediately gave the ball back to the Jaguars, and found themselves backed up to their own end zone down seven in the first quarter.

Under the most pressure they’ve faced all season, the Raider defense stood tall, holding Andover Central out of the end zone not just for that drive, but for the rest of regulation.

“Our defense has been huge all year and those guys have really bought into being 11 as 1,” Moody said. “There’s not a single guy that makes plays individually, they really do play as one.”

That stop lit a fire under the Wamego offense who wasted no time getting to work tying the game on a Hayden Oviatt rush, and taking the lead in the second quarter on another of the same.

Defensively the Raiders turned Andover Central over four times before the final whistle, completely neutralizing a Jaguar offense that hadn’t been held to under 14 points all year.

“Our defense is on another level right now,” he said. “Going against them in practice they’re definitely the best team that we’ve faced all year. It’s demoralizing to try to run plays against them.”

While the offense spread the wealth once again, it was wideout Hagan Johnson who had the most awe-inspiring stat line, carrying the ball on three jet sweeps for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

Wamego will compete in just their second semifinal in school history next week when the Raiders welcome in 10-1 McPherson, looking to become the first Red Raider team in program history to play for a state title.

“This team is playing at a very high level but that’s all been up until now,” Moody said. “We earned the right to play this week but we haven’t earned the right to play for a state title yet. Are we playing at a state championship level? I guess we’ll find out this Friday.”

For continuing coverage of Wamego’s historic playoff run stay tuned to the Little Apple Post.