Statistically, Sedgwick's defense was pummeled by Chaparral. The Roadrunners' 31 points nearly tripled the season average given up by Sedgwick.
So the Cardinals must have lost their 3A bi-district playoff match with Chaparral, right?
No, not when the offense drops 70.
Sedgwick quarterback Logan Thompson smashed Chaparral for five rushing touchdowns, while his partner-in-crime Dalton Brandt pounded in four of his own as the Cardinals routed the Roadrunners 70-31.
“Our offense blocked really well. They executed,” Brandt said. “The yards just racked up for us.”
But even in a game with 101 combined points, the turning point was made on defense.
Down 24-12 in the second quarter, Chaparral's offense was slugging forward, trying to keep pace. The march abruptly ended when Thompson snared Zach Duwe's pass from the air for an interception.
Preparation early in the week led to a critical play come game time.
“All week, we've been doing all these plays, and the third receiver inside's usual route was an out,” Thompson said. “I was just used to it and jumped it.”
Soon after, Thompson dragged two defenders with him as he rumbled into the end zone to push Sedgwick's halftime edge to 32-12.
“If they went down and scored, it was a shootout,” said Sedgwick head coach Jeff Werner. “That was a huge play, that interception. We haven't played him a lot on defense, because he's so valuable to us on offense, but he started defensively and played the whole game.”
In just over four minutes of play in the third quarter, both squads exchanged touchdowns, vaulting the score to 46-25 when Duwe struck Trevor Copenhaver with a 71-yard touchdown pass.
Chaparral never inched closer.
Brandt added touchdown runs of 19 and 46 yards, the latter pumping the score to 70-25.
“It's great to have him back there,” Thompson said. “He's really fast and tough. He loves to run people over, just like me.”
Thompson produced scores on the ground of 63, 5, 15, 12 and 3 yards.
Duwe kept Chaparral's offense on the attack, but could not match Sedgwick's efficiency. Duwe tossed three touchdowns, including two to Copenhaver, and ran for two more.
The Roadrunners finished the season 4-6, a stark improvement over an 1-8 mark the previous year.
Sedgwick (9-1) will face Hillsboro (10-0) on Saturday. The Cardinals were knocked out in the district round a year ago by state champion Conway Springs, but beat Hillsboro in the first round to get there.
Werner said Chaparral was a good primer for Hillsboro.
“Hillsboro's an explosive, spread offense as well,” he said.