Jasper did what the number one seeded team in a tournament is supposed to do and routed an over-matched Liberal Bulldog football team 35-0 in the first round of the state football playoffs in Jasper on Thursday.
Senior Quarterback Logan Johnston carried the ball six times for 94 yards and a touchdown and connected on both the passes he attempted in the game for another 54 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Colton Sweeney.
Payton Smith, who topped 1,000 yards for the season last week, carried the ball 11 times for 98 yards and scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
It was a workman-like game for the Eagles (10-0) who dominated the Bulldogs (2-8) defensively on a a Jasper High School football field made extremely sloppy and muddy by two daysof storms that dumped an inch and a half of rain.
“We talked about doing that all week, coming, showing up, do what we do,” said Jasper Head Coach Rich Adkins. “We knew them being the eighth seed, they could throw anything at us. We had already played them and we said we're going to do what we do and we're going to come out and establish our running game and I think we were able to do that. The kids stayed focused even though it was the second time around and I was just proud of how they prepared all week.”
Jasper's defense throttled Liberal's offense, limiting them to a total of 116 yards.
The Eagles also scored on defense when Jerron Helms intercepted a Tucker Dermott plass and ran it back 52 yards for Jasper's fourth touchdown of the game.
T.K. Rober, a freshman for the Eagles, also had an interception that ended the Bulldogs' final drive of the game.
“It was great seeing one of our young kids, a freshman, T.K Rober, he made a huge play down there and that's just exciting when those kids get in and make plays,” Adkin said. “Those make us happy because they're here every day too. They don't get all the accolades, but they're here every day so it was nice to see.”
Liberal Coach Jason Ramirez said the field conditions limited his team's ability to run the ball outside.
“With the conditions the way they were, it was hard to move the ball outside the tackles,” Ramirez said. “We're pretty good outside the tackles running the ball and with the conditions they way they were, that's kind of hard.”
Jasper scored twice in the first quarter, twice in the second and once in the third to seal the win.