Maize South, Kan. -—For the third year in a row, Maize South High School faced Mulvane in postseason football action. And, for the third consecutive time, Mulvane won the showdown.
The Wildcats traveled to Maize South on Saturday for a matchup of 9-1 teams. The squads were vying for a trip to Class 4A state quarterfinals.
Mulvane picked up a touchdown in the second quarter, and that was the only score of the night. The visitors prevailed 7-0.
Dave Fennewald, longtime Mulvane coach, credited Maize South for its “tremendous defense.”
“We knew we had a great offensive challenge,” he said. “That’s why points were at a premium that first half.
“We really had our backs to the wall that second half,” he added.
Mulvane edged Maize South 39-38 in 2010 and then won 43-13 last year. Maize South had a chance to score in the first quarter Saturday, when sophomore Andy Galliher attempted to kick a field goal but missed.
Mulvane’s senior quarterback, Ty Redington, completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to senior Alex Evans with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter. Junior punter Trevor Wayman secured the extra point for a 7-0 Mulvane lead. The margin proved to be enough.
Following another failed effort against Mulvane, Maize South coach Brent Pfeifer acknowledged the teams’ familiarity with each other.
“We knew who we were going to play against when we got here,” he said. “ … Redington’s always given us fits.”
The Wildcats feature 18 seniors, including 10 on defense. Although their personnel may be familiar to the Mavericks, Fennewald told his seniors before the game, “The one thing they don’t know about us is how competitive you guys are.”
Turnovers hurt the Mavericks, Pfeifer said, and they couldn’t get much momentum.
“We didn’t get inside the 20,” he remarked.
Every time Maize South was inside the 20 this season, he continued, it managed to score. The Mavericks earned a league title, district championship and playoff victory this fall. They advanced further in the playoffs than ever before.
“Hopefully we just keep building on that,” said Pfeifer.
Maize South, a young program, includes the first class that played for Pfeifer all four years. As the Mavericks lingered on their field and many became emotional Saturday, Pfeifer showed emotion when he discussed the boys who completed their four-year careers in 2012.
“I just love these kids so much,” he said. “They do so much for me all year long. I demand so much from them outside the program.”
The Class of 2012 includes standout athlete Wes Phillips, a significant contributor for the football team who was a first-team all-state shortstop in the spring.
“I don’t know if there’s anybody in the state I would choose to be on my team other than Wes. … He’s a kid you can build a program around,” said Pfeifer.
Like Maize South, Mulvane has advanced further in the playoffs than it did last season. The Wildcats also have a special senior class, including the coach’s son, Kolby Fennewald.
“I’m not looking forward to that last game with him,” said Dave Fennewald. “Hopefully it’ll be that last Saturday after Thanksgiving.”
The Wildcats (10-1) will take on Buhler (8-3) during state quarterfinals Friday, Nov. 9, at Mulvane. Mulvane beat Buhler 38-34 in September.