Once gain, the Andover Trojans defeated their opponent, continuing their winning streak they’ve had since the beginning of the season.
The Trojans defeated the Valley Center Hornets 42-17 Friday at District Stadium.
The game started slow, with neither team scoring in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, though, Andover scored their first touchdown, with senior Miles Starks running 39 yards and scoring. The Trojans led the Hornets 6-0, but only for a few seconds.
Shortly after, the Hornets ran almost across the whole field and, on the next play, scored a touchdown. With the extra point good, the Hornets briefly overtook the Trojans by a point.
Moments later, junior Kenton Criser caught a long pass and scored for the Trojans. A two-point conversion pass was good, brining the score to 14-7, where it stayed until the end of the first half, when a last-second field goal by the Hornets brought the score to 14-10.
At 8:53 in the third quarter, Valley Center junior Caleb Claussen scored for the Hornets, letting his team pull ahead of the Trojans at 17-14.
Andover didn’t let the Hornets stay ahead for long though, as junior Coen Rasmussen soon ran 53 yards and scored another Trojan touchdown, putting the Trojans ahead of the Hornets 22-17.
With 2:23 left in the third, junior Cole VanEpps ran 30 yards and scored another touchdown, extending the score to 29-17. VanEpps scored a five-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 35-7.
Late in the fourth quarter, senior Cooper Nichols caught a 16-yard pass and scored the final touchdown of the game, bringing the score to 42-17, which led to yet another Trojan victory.
Head coach Mike Lee was happy with the game, but said his team needs to start playing better early in the game.
“We gotta start better,” Lee said after the game. “We came out in the second half and played better, but we gotta start better than this. We did a lot of good things in the second half. But, we have to start better.”
Lee said that his team’s focus, which has been a problem for the team all year, is still an issue.
“It’s something we never stop working on,” he said. “If you can’t get focused this coming week when Emporia’s in town, you don’t have a heartbeat, you don’t have a brain. We’re gonna have to be focused. From here on out, we’re not gonna be able to get away with it. There’s no way.”
However, Lee said, the game did meet some of the team’s expectations.
Page 2 of 2 - “We knew what we had to do,” he said. “We knew we wanted to get a win. We knew we wanted to win by 21 for the district point difference.”
The Trojan victory makes the team league champions and also helped them move up in the district.
For now, Lee said, he wants his team to play a full game, and not just come back in the second half and play hard.
“I thought we came out in the second half and really played like we’re capable of playing,” Lee said. “We need to do it for a full game. There were a number of guys who played real well, especially in the second half.”