Augusta Orioles offense flies high in playoff win over rival El Dorado

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Augusta's Sebastian Flower (6) and Marcus McClanahan (7) jump and celebrate after Flower scores a touchdown in the first quarter. The Orioles would win 33-25 on Friday, Oct. 29 in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs over El Dorado.

AUGUSTA, Kansas — Gavin Kiser threw for 173 yards and the Augusta Orioles once again topped their county rival, 33-25, in the first ever playoff meeting between El Dorado and Augusta on Friday night inside Hillier Stadium.

"Last year really still stings us a little bit," Augusta head coach Jason Filbeck said. 

Last season, El Dorado went into Augusta and beat the Orioles, 14-7. This season, Augusta returned the favor by going to El Dorado and leaving with the 21-14 win. Though, the memory of how El Dorado was the tougher of the two teams stands out to Augusta. 

"They out toughed us last year," Filbeck said. "We didn't today."

Augusta seemingly did whatever they wanted on offense when they weren't making their own mistakes. They drove down the field and scored on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Kiser to senior Sebastian Flower. The two would later connect on another touchdown pass, this time from 24 yards. 

"That's something we worked on in practice," Kiser said. "We had a game plan of what we wanted to do and we came out and executed."

Augusta attacked the man coverage of El Dorado time and time again. They finished with 173 yards and two touchdowns, both to Flower. Kiser was 9 of 15 on the night. 

"We have good players all around us," Kiser said. "Like Seabass [Sebastian Flower] always there it makes it easy for me."

Kiser, who is only a sophomore, is one of the reasons why Augusta has improved since the first meeting. El Dorado head coach Wes Bell agrees to the improvement.

"They're good," Bell said. "They're a heck of a lot better than the first time we played them."

Both teams had their moments where you thought they were going to make a breakthrough stride. Whether it was Augusta scoring on right after forcing a turnover on downs in the El Dorado territory right before half or Jaydon Sundgren rumbling down field on a fumble recovery to bring the Wildcats within a single score. Each team had their opportunities.

Augusta was able to make more plays at the right time and not punish themselves. El Dorado on the other hand turned the ball over three times and two of those turnovers, fumbles, came as the worst time as the Wildcats had drives moving into August territory. It's a haunting nightmare of what had become a pattern all season. 

"We just had untimely mistakes," Bell said. "When you don't have it, you can't score and you lose time of possession when you don't have the ball and that makes it tough.

"Look at last year and our time of possession and how we dominated. We didn't do that this year."

After Augusta (6-3) led 26-11 at the break, the Orioles muffed a punt after holding the Wildcats (3-6) on third down on the first drive out of halftime. El Dorado recovered and punched it in three players later with Drew Veatch to pull the Wildcats within 26-19 with 8:56 remaining in the third. 

Then, Flower happened. 

As he's done all year long, the senior has made big play after big play. In the fourth quarter, he did it again. This time, he bobbed and weaved his way down the field for a 61-yard touchdown run that if there was a list of plays that would go down into the record books of Augusta lore, this would be one of them. 

"Sam Price, who doesn't get the ball much, was just down field and he waylaid and that sprung him," Filbeck said. 

"I saw a cut back lane and said 'I'm off," Flower said. "I juked a couple of guys and made a play."

The touchdown put the Orioles up by 14 with less than 10 minutes remaining and almost a nail in the coffin. 

For Kiser, who's only a sophomore, advancing in the playoffs and now going on the road is a large moment. While he saw time against Ulysses and McPherson last year, starting quarterback will be a different type of moment. 

"I remember that last final game being on McPherson's field and seeing all the seniors just like down inside because I was our last game," Kiser said. "I know our boys will show up and I don't think it's gonna be our last game. I'm ready to go attack Wamego and hopefully get the win."

Flower finished with 120 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. He finished with 201 all-purpose yards, including the receiving yards, for three total touchdowns on the night. 

Jacob Barnett had 104 total yards on the night. 

The Orioles will now turn their attention to Wamego (8-1), 4A West's No. 2 seed. They beat up on Great Bend, 42-21. 

"Winning this round is great," Filbeck said. "Call me greedy, I want to win next week, too."

Augusta 33, El Dorado 25

El Dorado;0;11;8;6—25

Augusta;6;20;0;7—33

A - 42-yard TD pass from Gavin Kiser to Sebastian Flower (kick blocked)

E - 29-yard FG by Trip Baker

A - 24-yard TD pass from Kiser to Flower (run fail)

E - 13-yard TD run by Barry Summers (Rice run)

A - 1-yard TD run by Kiser (Jeremiah Schaefer kick)

A - 1-yard TD run by Jacob Barnett (Schaefer kick)

E - 3-yard TD run by Drew Veatch (Summer run)

A - 61-yard TD run by Flower (Schaefer kick)

E - 63-yard fumble return for TD by Jaydon Sundgren (run fail)

RUSHING: El Dorado - Sundgren 18-68; Veatch 11-77; Summers 9-38; Cavallaro 2-21; White 8-2; Rice 3-0. TOTALS: 47-206. Augusta - Flower 13-120; Barnett 13-44; Kiser 13-7; Williams 2-7; McClanahan 2-5. TOTALS: 46-187.

PASSING (C-A-I-YDS): El Dorado - White 0-4-1-0. Augusta - Kiser 9-15-0-173

RECEIVING: El Dorado - None. Augusta - Flower 4-81; Barnett 2-60; McClanahan 1-13; McDaniel 1-12; Price 1-9. 

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.