WICHITA The Andover Trojans almost did the unthinkable on Thursday night. They almost took down the best rushing team in the state without half their starters. If it wasn’t for a kick off return that bounced around and caused some havoc, they would have.
Andover went for two with 5:12 remaining to go ahead 22-21. However, the ensuing kickoff bounced around, dying at the one. That’s when Heights sophomore John Randle Jr. Picked up, split the middle of the Andover return and was off to the races for the go ahead score.
"Andover didn’t lose this game," first year head coach Ken Dusenbury said. "Heights won this game."
A game that felt as if it was on the precipice of either being one for the ages or an Andover blow out was pushed one way at halftime. Heights (5-3) marched their first possession of the second half 68 yards in almost five minutes and finally getting into the end zone.
On the very next possession, Heights’s quarterback DJ Dingle found a wide open Adrian Patterson for a 45-yard touchdown pass to pull with seven late tie the game.
We had a ball game.
The Trojans (5-4) responded with their own big time drive. They went 75 yards in almost nine minutes. That’s when the Trojans opted for the two-point conversion.
"I thought we had the momentum and we had the right play call," Dusenbury said. "It worked out for us, so we aren’t left second guessing ourselves."
That’s when Randle responded.
The speedster had been kept his relative check all evening finally broke one loose and made it count.
Andover’s ensuing possession would be intercepted by Elijah Mosley.
"I told our guys how proud of them I am," Dusenbury said. "This summer they were a bunch of individuals. We’re a team that plays for one another."
Ngo finished with 109 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 36-yard reception that set up a his touchdown run.
After going 1-of-8 in the first half on third down, Heights capitalized on third down in the second half, going 4-of-4; including the game’s final drive.
Andover started the game out strong, scoring when Brady Strausz found Max Smith for the 61-yard touchdown pass to put the Trojans up 7-0 with 4:42 remaining in the first. Strausz then kept it on a fourth down play to give Andover the 14-0 lead at the break.
The final score of Friday night’s game matters only in the context of this year’s playoffs. What they Andover Trojans did on Friday night will live with those players for years to come.
With only 15 seniors on the roster, the future is bright for Andover. They return a bulk of their starters from a team that was picked to finish last in the AVCTL-II but finished second.
Andover – 7;7;0;8; - 22
Heights – 0;0;14;14; - 28
1Q (4:42) AND – 61-yard TD pass from Brady Strausz to Max Smith (Champlin kick).
2Q (3:21) AND – 1-yard TD run by Strausz (Champlin kick).
3Q (7:41) WH – 8-yard TD run by Lafayatte Washington (Claassen kick).
3Q (3:34) WH – 45-yard TD pass from DJ Dingle to Adrian Patterson (Claassan kick).
4Q (11:20) WH - 56-yard TD run by DJ Dingle (Claassan kick).
4Q (5:12) AND – 1-yard TD run by Ashton Ngo (Strausz to Ngo pass).
4Q (4:54) WH – 99-yard kickoff return for TD by John Randle (Claassan kick good).
RUSHING: ANDOVER – Ngo 18-109; Davis 14-39; Sparks 9-30; Strausz 7-21. HEIGHTS – Randle 17-110; Richard 7-16; Patterson 4-41; Dingle 7-53; Washington 2-17.
PASSING C-A-I-YDS: ANDOVER – Strausz 5-9-2-120. HEIGHTS – Dingle 2-4-0-65
RECEIVING: ANDOVER – Smith 4-84; Ngo 1-36. HEIGHTS – Patterson 1-45; Harris 1-20.