It has been almost ten years, but Wichita East is headed back to the 6A State playoffs after beating Wichita Southeast 24-0.
“We set out to make this our goal from the start,” East Head Coach Brian Byers said. “We struggled here and there but we made it.”
In order to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, East would have to take down Southeast, who was also a win away from a playoff spot.
The Blue Aces would jump out to an early 14-0 lead, thanks to two first quarter passing touchdowns from senior quarterback Dominic Webb, highlighted by a 17 yard throw to his big tight end Xavier Kelly.
Then things went quiet.
The game quickly turned into a battle in the trenches, with both teams fighting for control of the line of scrimmage, and neither would give in. Tre Thomas would make a 32 yard field goal for East early in the second quarter, but that would be the last score by either team until late in the fourth.
“We got out of rhythm offensively,” said Byers. “The second half we tried to run the ball a bit more and we tried a few more things that we had worked on at practice.”
The East offense may have gone cold, but the defense would continue its dominance all game. The Southeast offense made it within the red zone once all game, and only made it into East territory a handful of times.
“We thought we knew what they were going to do offensively,” said Byers. “But we worked hard all week and they ran at our weaknesses but our kids worked hard and played well tonight.”
East would tack on one more touchdown late thanks to Webb’s third touchdown pass of the night on a 22 yard pass to senior tight end David Kaufman with less than four minutes remaining.