4A : Aquinas powers past Andover Central for 2nd title

Photo by Justin Flor, courtesy of PrepsKC
By: Joe Caronia of PrepsKC
Nov 26, 2023

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St Thomas Aquinas would not let the snow, slow them down. They dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage, as they cruised to a 35-7, victory, over Andover Central, in the Kansas 4A Class Championship game.

Before the game, Andover head coach, Derek Tuttle, expressed his concerns with the speed of the Saints defense:

“We are going to face a really tough defense this afternoon,” Tuttle said. “They have some guys at different positions, that will really surprise you, with the way they can break on the ball, and make plays."

 The Saints defense forced a three and out and turned the ball, over to their offense. Aquinas ran their flex-bone offense to perfection. They moved the ball 61 yards, with quarterback Aiden Skinner, crossing the goal line from 1 yard out. Max Doerfler converted the kick.

Andover moved the ball, to the plus side of the field, but on 4th down, their punter, pinned the Saints, at their own 1-yard line. The Saints methodically moved the ball down the field, on the ground. On the Jaguars 14, Skinner, faked the dive, to Gianni Rizzi, and then pitched to Will Callahan, who took it 14 yards for the score. The point after, was no good, due to a low snap.

Andover got on the board, on the next drive. Maddox Archibald scored on a brilliant, 14-yard touchdown. Archibald started up the middle, and then broke to the left side, finding the front corner of the end zone. Drew Wilborn, converted the kick, making the score, 13-7.

St. Thomas was driving but fumbled, deep in Jaguar territory. Andover was moving the ball, but the Saints defense caused their first turnover of the game. Blake Burke intercepted a pass, setting his offense up at the Jag 11-yard line. Gianni Rizzi, scored from 5 yards out. Rizzi, was not done on this drive, he also scored the 2-point conversion, running through the Jags defense.

The Saints forced their second turnover of the quarter. This time it was, Wyatt Lewis making a sliding interception. Again Rizzi, turned the interception, into points. This run was from 8 yards out. Doerfler,’s kick was the final point of the half. The Saints led 28-7.

The Saints received the opening kickoff, of the half. They held the ball, for just under, seven minutes, however they turned the ball over on downs, to the Jags. The Saints defense, forced another, “3 & out”, giving their offense a short field. Callahan scored his second touchdown of the game, again on an option. This time, it was from 7 yards out. After Doerfler’s kick, the Saints turned the game over to the defense. Twice more the Saints forced two more three and outs and forced one more interception. The Saints defense held the Jaguars, to Zero first downs in the second half.

Before the game, Saints, head coach Randy Dreiling, talked about his flex-bone offense, “There are three parts to this offense. First, the power game, then, the play action pass, game, and the option game. I've always said you have to have two of those three to have success.

Andover Central finishes the season with a record of 9-4. St. Thomas Aquinas finishes the season 10-3, but most importantly, their students and cheerleaders were singing, “We are the Champions” after the game.


St. Thomas Aquinas 35, Andover Central 7

Aquinas (10-3):     13 – 15 – 7 – 0 | 35

ACHS (9-4):   0 -- 7 – 0 – 0 | 7


Scoring Summary:

First quarter:

7:27 | Aquinas – Aiden Skinner 1-yard run (Max Doerfler kick), STA 7-0

:56 | Aquinas – Will Callahan 15-yard run (conversion failed), STA 13-0

Second quarter:

10:16 | ACHS – Maddox Archibald 14-yard run (Drew Wilborn kick), STA 13-7

5:47 | Aquinas – Gianni Rizzi 5-yard run (Rizzi run), STA 21-7

1:22 | Aquinas – Gianni Rizzi 8-yard run (Max Doerfler kick), STA 28-7

Fourth quarter:

:37 | Aquinas – Will Callahan 7-yard run (Max Doerfler kick), STA 35-7



      STA                         ACHS

Rushing                                           61-367                 15-51

Passing (Comp-Att-INT)                  2-5-0                     6-18-3

Passing Yards                                      31                           70

Total yards                                          397                        125

First Downs                                        20                           4

Turnovers                                            2                             3

Punts-Avg                                           0-0                         6-26.0 



Aquinas – Rizzi 24-171; Skinner 4-4; Slaughter 8-85; Callahan 9-59; Richardson 8-23; Middendorf 5-12; Walker 3-13
ACHS – Archibald 11-43; Jefferson 3-7; Adler 1-1

Aquinas – Skinner 2-5-0-30
ACHS – Jefferson 6-18-3-74;

Aquinas – Rizzi 1-24; Slaughter 1-6
ACHS – Adler 3-38; Stupka 1-8; Archibald 1-28




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