DODGE CITY, Kan. Scoring 13 points in the first 24 seconds of a prep football game is no easy feat. Doing it three hours from home against an unbeaten opponent in round two of the Class 6A playoffs - that's unheard of. Junction City did just that Friday night, carrying that early momentum to an easy 54-7 win over the Red Demons.
"We expected to come in here and compete really well against Dodge City," said Bluejay coach Randall Zimmerman. "They're a good team and we've very proud of our kids."
Junction City senior Chris Randolph took the opening play from scrimmage 80 yards down his own sideline for the first points of the night. The Jays recovered a short ensuing kick, then quarterback Andrew Khoury found senior Qua'Vez Humphrey for a 36-yard strike. Just two plays from scrimmage and 24 seconds in, Junction City led 13-0.
Dodge City had to work for its lone touchdown of the night. Senior quarterback Beau Foster ran the ball 24 times in the first half. Many of those carries came on a pair of long drives, extended with several third and fourth-down conversions. Foster ran 18 yards on one fourth-down play, then punched it in from two yards out for a 13-7 score with 4:50 to play in the half.
It was all Jays from there. On the very next play from scrimmage, Khoury found a wide-open Russell Wilkey streaking down the Junction City sideline. Wilkey ran 67 yards unimpeded to the house. Another big Wilkey completion late in the half set up Randolph's 1-yard touchdown run. The Jays led 27-7 at the half.
The Red Demons, in one final effort to keep the season alive, opened the second half with a nice drive. Bluejay senior Kazerick Smith ended that by picking off a Foster pass. Just a few plays later, Khoury and Wilkey hooked up again, this time for a 23-yard score.
Khoury was huge on the night, throwing for 204 yards in the first half. He finished an abbreviated evening with 255 yards and three scores on 8-of-12 passing. Wilkey caught four balls for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
"They played a lot of zero cover," Zimmerman said. "We knew they were going to put tremendous pressure on us, zero cover. We just tried to get the ball over the top."
Randolph was not finished either. He ran 64 yards but just missed another long touchdown. He finished with 150 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries. Junior Qua'Shone Page found the end zone twice on a short run and a 4-yard completion from Dawson Kratzer to keep the clock running for good at the 7:23 mark of the fourth quarter.
Dodge City running back Alden Knedler ran the ball 10 times for 43 yards before going down with an injury late in the first half. Foster added 118 yards on 27 attempts before also leaving the game early.
Dodge City ends its season at 9-1. Junction City moves to 8-2 and stays closer to home next week against either Topeka (8-1) or Lawrence (8-1).