CANEY — Jumping out to a 17-point halftime lead, the Caney Valley Bullpups went on to post a 24-0 shutout win over Baxter Springs to clinch a postseason appearance for a ninth straight season.

“This is really satisfying,” said CVHS coach Criss Davis. “All credit to the kids. There were not a lot of people giving us a chance to get in the playoffs out of this district. So we put ourselves in a position to win and get in. Now that we’re in, anything can happen. We’re glad we get to play again.”

The ‘Pups landed the fourth playoff spot out of Class 3A-District 1, finishing with a 3-2 district mark. At 6-2 overall, Caney Valley — qualifying for the postseason for the 13th time in 15 years — will hit the road for the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs as it takes on District 2 champion Prairie View next week. The Buffalos finished the regular season at 7-1 overall and 5-0 in district play following a 42-14 victory over Iola on Friday.

Meanwhile, Baxter Springs dropped to 1-7 overall while finishing district play at 0-5. The Lions will close out their season next week when they take on District 2’s Osawatomie in a crossover matchup of teams that took sixth place in their respective district. The Trojans closed out a winless regular season at 0-8 following a 43-0 road loss at Girard.

Caney Valley dominated all aspects of Friday night’s contest, finishing with a 403-108 advantage in total yardage. The Bullpups racked up 355 yards on the ground by way of 53 carries, with two individuals surpassing the century mark — Matthew Simpson with 19 rushes for 124 yards and Ben Nunneley with 14 attempts for 118.

CVHS jumped ahead with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. Simpson got things started with a seven-yard scamper into the end zone. Nunneley followed that with just 13 seconds left in the period on a 25-yard run for six to give the Bullpups a 14-0 lead.

The ‘Pups extended their advantage before halftime on Eryk Kyser’s 27-yard field goal to push the margin up to 17-0 at the break.

Both teams stepped up defensively in the second half until Caney Valley tacked on one last score late in the contest. Cole Ellis, who was returning from a knee injury earlier in the season, ran in from two yards out to put the finishing touch on the victory.

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