The Blue Jays Clinch the #2 Seed in the Playoffs!


The Blue Jays’ offense plays against Wichita North’s defense.

Jayden Davis, Staff Writer

The Junction City Blue Jays had clinched the second seed in the playoffs last Friday night with a 44-6 victory over Wichita North.

It was “pink out” night at Junction City where all fans were encouraged to wear pink to the game to show support for breast cancer awareness.

Junction City came into this game off a 53-0 road victory over Wichita East. This made another stretch of consecutive weeks that JC held their opponents to zero points. JC also came into this game with another key injury on the defensive side of the ball. Aryus Jones suffered a broken leg during practice after school. Jones’ injury came with very bad timing as he is a big part of this Junction City defense heading into the playoffs.

Wichita North came into the game off a loss to Wichita Southeast being shutout 18-0 after their first win the week before to Wichita East 22-5.

In the first quarter the Blue Jays began with a mixed style of play on offense throwing more passes early in the game than their usual ground and pound play style.

The Blue Jays failed to score on their first drive of the game after Raye Wilson dropped a wide open pass twice in the drive both on same plays and same routs.

While on defense the Blue Jays, without two key players, forced a safety putting them up 2-0 setting them up with a possession that put JC in position for a deep bomb to Jovon Baldwin making the score 8-0 after a missed PAT kick.

Blue Jays defense face off with the Wichita North offense.
Blue Jays defense face off with the Wichita North offense.

From a fan’s point of view, the running game of Junction City was unexpectedly failing. Despite this, the greatness of Coach Zimmerman was being shown by the play calling and play style to recognize this beforehand and putting JC in a pass attack that was showing extreme efficiency. This was just in time for the playoffs giving opponents’ defenses more trouble.

In the beginning of the 2nd quarter Jovon Baldwin had exploded off for a 74 yard TD lighting up the crowd. After a two point conversion the score was pushed to 16-0.

The following drive, after the Blue Jays defense forced enough stops to give JC the ball who on the first play called, Raye Wilson breaks free of multiple tackles scoring on a season-long 97 yard touchdown run along with the 2 point conversion upping the lead to 24-0.

Throughout the game, Wichita North’s Special Teams played great. On every kick return they were able to return the ball out passed the 25 yard line and majority of the time, passed the 30 showing great blocking skills. The Punter for WN had a lot of power in his punts with great accuracy. Also they were able to block a PAT in the first quarter.

After a very good punt by Wichita, putting JC in some uncomfortable starting field position down inside the five yard line, the Blue Jays started off slow moving up the field until Raye Wilson found a clear path down the sideline for a 61 yard touchdown run; and on the following drive scored again making the score 38-0 at the half.

Raye Wilson finishes the half with three touchdowns all in the second quarter including his season-high 97 yard TD run down field and Jovon Baldwin finishes with two touchdowns of his own, one in each quarter, racking up a total of 36 points offensively plus a safety making the score at halftime 38-0.

After the JC defense forces a fumble and recovers the ball giving the possession back to JC on the following drive. JC used this opportunity to run the rest if the clock out of the 3rd quarter.

Both teams were slow in the 4th quarter as well, with the JC defense giving up its first score at home since week one against Highland Park, making the score 44-6. JC would then run the clock out and hold off Wichita closing out the game finishing 44-6.

This victory gives JC the number to seed in the playoffs where they play the 7-3 Hutchinson Salt Hawks in the first round. Although it’s the first round, JC will play the toughest team this season yet, even with Hutchinson’s 3 losses they’re strength of schedule was by far tougher than JC’s. This will be a very difficult journey for the Blue Jays after losing two very good players on defense in Aryus Jones and Bradley Breckenridge, who isn’t very far from a possible return to the football field.

The journey of the playoffs will be very tough for the Blue Jays even though the road to the state championship game will have to go through Junction City as they hold home field advantage against every team except for #1 seed Wichita Southeast. The playoffs begin this upcoming Friday when your Junction City Blue Jays look to knock off the Hutchinson Salt Hawks.