Pleasanton shocks Jayhawk-Linn in renewed rivalry

PLEASANTON — Separated by just eight-miles, Pleasanton and Jayhawk-Linn have not met on the football field in over a decade. With the Blu-Jays stepping into the 8-man division and the Jayhawks staying in the 11-man division, a match-up between the two schools has not been possible since the 2007 season. However, with Pleasanton once again reentering the Three Rivers 11-man division, their rivalry was set to finally be renewed.

Both teams entered Friday night’s contest with perfect 2-0 records adding to the already high stakes of the game. On top of that, a win for either the Blu-Jays or Jayhawks would put them in the driver’s seat to a TRL title. Jayhawk-Linn had won back-to-back-to-back TRL championships, could Pleasanton, new comers to the 11-man division, unseat them in their first year back?

Close to two thousand fans gathered at Blu-Jay Nation Stadium to watch the highly anticipated week three TRL contest. In a very physical game Pleasanton used a second-half surge to defeat the reigning TRL champions, Jayhawk-Linn, 36-12.

With the win Pleasanton stays a perfect 3-0 in 2018. Jayhawk-Linn’s 12 game winning streak over TRL opponents was snapped as they fell to 2-1 on the year.

With a max capacity crowd on hand, the home town Blu-Jays were able to strike first. The Pleasanton offense led by quarterback Kaden McKee marched down the field scoring the first quarter’s only touchdown. While the 2-point try was no good, the Blu-Jays had already put the Jayhawks on notice by taking a 6-0 lead.

A little over half-way through the second quarter the Jayhawks would add a score of their own, tying the contest up at 6-6 heading into the half-time break. The freshly renewed rivalry had lived up to its hype thus far, providing fans with exciting plays on offense and big hits on defense.

Pleasanton opened the second half with possession of the football and looked to be rolling on offense. A Kaden McKee pass was caught for a long gain, but was fumbled into the arms of a Jayhawk defender. Looking to capitalize on the turnover, Treyton Compton and Hayden Broyles led the Jayhawk offense down the field for a touchdown. Jayhawk-Linn had seized the momentum and the lead, up 12-6 early in the third quarter.

With a sense of urgency the Blu-Jays offense responded well, scoring on their next possession. Quarterback Kaden McKee found his brother Kasen McKee in the endzone and the 2-point conversion was successful, giving Pleasanton a slim 14-12 edge. Kaden McKee led another Blu-Jays touchdown drive with his arm to end the third quarter.

Heading into the fourth and final quarter, Pleasanton led Jayhawk-Linn 20-12.

The atmosphere was electric as the two teams went toe-to-toe in the late stages of the game. Jayhawk-Linn fans hoped their team could complete a comeback, while Pleasanton supporters cheered for their team to hold the lead.

Pleasanton’s Air Raid offense was again able to march the ball on the Jayhawk defense in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Kaden McKee and head coach Dustin Johnson engineered a gusty drive that ended with another touchdown and a successful 2-point conversion. The Blu-Jays led 28-12 over the defending TRL champions.

Jayhawk-Linn attempted to mount a late comeback, but with just under two minutes remaining in the game quarterback Treyton Compton’s pass was intercepted by fellow Blu-Jays quarterback Kaden McKee. McKee returned the interception all the way to the endzone for a game sealing pick-six, sending the Blu-Jay fans into a frenzy. Pleasanton’s lead ballooned to 36-12.

As the game clock hit all zeros, the celebration by the Blu-Jay coaches, players, and fans ensued.

The win over the Jayhawks has the Blu-Jays sitting atop the TRL standings and in the drivers seat to a league championship. Pleasanton controls its own destiny, as wins over Yates Center and Uniontown will guarantee an outright league title. Even more impressive is that the Blu-Jays are doing this in their first year back from 8-man football.

Looking ahead, Pleasanton (3-0, 3-0 TRL) plays host to Leon-Bluestem while Jayhawk-Linn (2-1, 2-1 TRL) will host the Humboldt Cubs as district play begins.

I would like to say and give a huge thanks to Danny Looney for the game updates throughout the night as well as his quick recap of the game.

PLEASANTON    6  0  14  16  =  36

JAYHAWK-LINN   0  6  6  0  =  12