Andover Central Jaguars football makes statement in shutout of Wamego Red Raiders

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette

WAMEGO, Kansas — Before Wamego could even gain a yard, the Andover Central Jaguars had built a three-score lead. 

That would be more than enough for the Jaguars on Friday night.

Andover Central shut out the second-seeded Wamego Red Raiders, 48-0, on Friday night in a sectional final. The 9-1 records both teams came in with is the only thing that kept the two teams in the same class. 

Central improves to 10-1 and Wamego's season ends 9-2. 

The Jaguars used eight plays to get senior running back Ashton Barkdull into the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown run for the game's first score. He'd get his second on minutes later. 

Cooper Tabor picked off junior Wamego quarterback Hayden Oviatt on their first play, returning it for the 23-yard touchdown. Then, Andover Central forced a turnover on the kick off with Mason Sanchez recovering and giving the Jags fantastic field position. 

Less than five minutes in the game were gone as Barkdull scored his second touchdown, this time from 18 yards out, to make it 21-0 with 7:51 remaining in the first quarter. 

The Jaguars defense showed why they've been one of the best defenses in Class 4A all season long. They ended the regular season fourth and if you would tack on the playoffs, they may be the No. 1 defense. They took the second-ranked offense and shut it down. Oviatt couldn't do anything, going 10 of 23 passing for 51 yards and two interceptions. 

The defense only let the Red Raiders into Jaguar territory twice. Neither drive went farther than the Central 49. 

Central had been ready for this game. They felt they should have been ranked higher than Wamego but with the easier schedule, the Red Raiders went 9-1, while Central had the same record but did it against mainly top-ranked teams such as Buhler and other 5A teams. They only played two 4A teams heading into the playoffs (Buhler and Arkansas City).

senior Kai Kunz finished the night 8 of 8 passing for 136 yard and a touchdown. He also had 90 yards rushing, including a 71-yard scamper that put Central up 34-0 in the third quarter. 

Barkdull had 146 yards on 21 carries for four touchdowns in the win. He's six yards away from 1,000 on the season. 

The Central defense has allowed only one touchdown in the last 16 quarters. That touchdown came with the starters resting against Circle. They've allowed only 336 total yards over those four games; that's 84.0 yards per game. 

With one game away from state, the Jaguars will travel to Buhler on Friday, Nov. 19 to play the top-seeded Crusaders. Central already beat Buhler once on Sept. 10, a 21-19 decision that saw Barkdull take a screen pass to the house late for the win.

Kick off is schedule for 7 p.m at Buhler High. 

No. 3 Andover Central 48, No. 2 Wamego 0

Central;21;20;7;0—48

Wamego;0;0;0;0—0

A - Ashton Barkdull 14-yard TD run (Cooper to Frank pass)

A - 23-yard interception return for TD (Isaac Saye kick)

A - Barkdull 18-yard TD run (kick no good)

A - 31-yard TD pass from Kai Kunz to Cooper Tabor (kick no good)

A - Kunz 71-yard TD run (Saye kick)

A - Barkdull 2-yard TD run (Saye kick)

A - Barkdull 6-yard TD run (Saye kick)

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.