5A: Mill Valley tops Kapaun to win 5th consecutive title

Mill Valley QB Daniel Blaine looks for a receiver in Saturday's title game. (by Lori Wood Habiger)
By: Jason Lamb, courtesy of PrepsKC
Nov 26, 2023

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Mill Valley's "Drive For Five" ended at Pitt State's Carnie Smith Stadium with the Jaguars hoisting their fifth straight Kansas Class 5A state championship trophy. Mill Valley dominated the second half and ditched Kapaun Mt. Carmel 62-37.

With his fifth straight state championship and seven of the last nine in Class 5A, Joel Applebee becomes the first head coach in state history to go 7-0 in state title games.

"I love these kids, and I'm so happy for them. I mean, it's unbelievable that they worked so hard, and I'm just very, very proud of them," said Applebee moments after accepting the championship trophy and handing it over to the team.

Mill Valley (11-2) had a few question marks this season and suffered a pair of losses to two very good football teams (including Class 6A state champion Gardner-Edgerton). They beat Blue Valley Southwest in the semifinals on the final play of the game. They also lost leading rusher Tristan Baker last week to a broken foot.

If anyone thought the Jaguars might be vulnerable, they answered any and all questions on Saturday.

"Well, you know, every year's a new year, and there's really not one that I would rank out of any of these. I'm just happy for these kids," said Applebee. "They work so hard, like I said. They're so consistent with what they do, and they understand the value of hard work. And they just fight and fight and fight. It's a new year. They had a chance to write their own story. That's what we talked about all year long, and they definitely wrote their own story."

After one half of football, it appeared this championship would be a back-and-forth affair. There were four lead changes in the first half.

The last lead change occurred with three seconds left before halftime. Mill Valley quarterback Daniel Blaine found Davion Harris in the endzone from 18 yards out, and the Jags went into the locker room leading 34-30

Kapaun Mt. Carmel (11-2) received the second half kickoff, but Mill Valley's defense came up with an interception deep in Crusaders' territory. The Jaguars covered 19 yards in two plays, with Jaden Scobee rushing for a 12-yard touchdown.

KMC was forced to punt on its next possession. The Jags moved the ball 62 yards in seven plays. Blaine scored on a keeper from three yards out.

After the Crusaders turned it over on downs, Mill Valley went 35 yards on eight plays, capped by Scobee's third touchdown of the afternoon. Just like that, Mill Valley led 48-30.

"Going into the half, we came up and took the lead and came out after halftime and took control of that game," said Blaine.

Scobee rushed 26 times for 300 yards and four touchdowns. His fourth score pushed the Mill Valley lead to 55-30.

Blaine carried the ball 21 times for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His second score in the 4th quarter made it 62-37.

"If we didn't come out hot in that second half, it would have been a different ballgame. We got the offense going. The defense got going. We were able to stop no. 45. We had one of our best halves of the season right there," added Blaine.

No. 45 is the Crusaders' Omari Elias. The senior and Air Force commit rushed for 280 yards and touchdowns of 67, 58, and one yard. He finishes his senior season with 3,100 yards and 40 touchdowns.

"It was a challenge, but we got it done. We were just trying to close up those gaps to stop him from running downhill, and I think we did a good job of that in the second half," said Mill Valley sophomore defensive tackle Hayden Heller.

Elias ran for 68 yards in the second half as the Crusaders were trying to chase down the Jags.

Mill Valley opened the game with a 13-0 lead. Blaine connected with Harris for the game's first touchdown, then on the Jags' next possession, Scobee scooted 51 yards for a touchdown.

Kapaun Mt. Carmel answered with a 67-yard burst by Elias. The Crusaders added a safety, and Dylan Hamilton threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Henry Chrisman. After a 58-yard touchdown run by Elias, KMC led by 10, 23-13.

Then Scobee scored on a 45-yard run for Mill Valley, and Reginald Reece rammed one on from a yard out, and the Jags regained the lead 27-23.

In the end, it's Mill Valley returning to Shawnee with another state championship trophy.

"It's awesome. We just pounded away. Waking up every morning at 6:30. It's just awesome. And it's an exhilarating feeling. I just love it," said Jags wide receiver Harris.

"I mean it feels great. We had a lot of people step up today. A lot of people were putting in the hard work, and it just feels great to have that reward," said Heller.

"It feels pretty good. Like I said, I'm just happy for these kids, for this school and community," said Applebee. "You know, everybody has a part in it, and everybody works really, really hard. It's pretty special."


Mill Valley 62, Kapaun Mt. Carmel 37

Mill Valley (11-2):  13 – 21 – 21 – 7 | 62

KMC (11-2):   16 –14 – 0 – 7 | 37


Scoring Summary:

First quarter:

9:31 | Mill Valley – Davion Harris 31-yard pass from Daniel Blaine (Kenton Laughman kick), MV 7-0

7:47 | Mill Valley – Jaden Scobee 51-yard run (kick failed), MV 13-0

6:11 | Kapaun – Omari Elias 67-yard run (Chase DuPont kick), MV 13-7

5:17 | Kapaun – Mill Valley backwards pass through end zone (safety), MV 13-9

2:59 | Kapaun – Henry Chrisman 11-yard pass from Dylan Hamilton (Chase DuPont kick), KMC 16-13

Second quarter:

10:03 | Kapaun – Omari Elias 58-yard run (Chase DuPont kick), KMC 23-13

7:09 | Mill Valley – Jaden Scobee 45-yard run (Kenton Laughman kick), KMC 23-20

3:31 | Mill Valley – Reggie Reece 1-yard run (Kenton Laughman kick), MV 27-23

1:03| Kapaun – Omari Elias 1-yard run (Chase DuPont kick), KMC 30-27

:03 | Mill Valley – Davion Harris 18-yard pass from Daniel Blaine (Kenton Laughman kick), MV 34-30

Third quarter:

10:37 | Mill Valley – Jaden Scobee 11-yard run (Kenton Laughman kick), MV 41-30

5:26 | Mill Valley – Daniel Blaine 3-yard run (Kenton Laughman kick), MV 48-30

:57 | Mill Valley – Jaden Scobee 5-yard run (Kenton Laughman kick), MV 55-30

Fourth quarter:

9:22| Kapaun – Charlie Chrisman 5-yard run (Chase DuPont kick), MV 55-37

7:11 | Mill Valley – Daniel Blaine 2-yard run (Kenton Laughman kick), MV 62-37




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