The Kiowa County Maverick Football team finished their season last week in Solomon, after a first round playoff loss to the Gorillas. Rightfully, fan hopes were high. The Mavericks entered the season with lots of question marks about offense and defense, but answered them with an six game mid-season win streak. Offensive output was consistent and a young defense found its form against a barrage of tough opponents.
The season opened with a tough 40-20 loss against the Minneola Wildcats.
Matt McClaren led the Wildcats in the double-digit win with a stellar performance. The 6’1” QB finished his senior season ranked number 12 in Kansas with more than 2,000 yards rushing, 37 touchdowns and a .618 pass completion rate (34-55), so his performance in Greensburg (134 yards rushing, .722 pass completion and 3 TD’s) was a warm up for his strong season.
“I think [our offense] is kind of going to evolve,” said Young after the game. “We try to involve as many of our backs as we can, so one guy isn’t carrying the ball 40 times in one game.”
It was a precursor of what was to come from the Mavericks as Trever Powell, Creighton McDonald and Keenan Behee would all share rushing duties over the course of the season.
With a limited passing game (although Trevor Tyree, McDonald, Powell and Dylan Jacks combined for about 200 yards on the season), the trio made up the bulk of the Mavs offense, which relied heavily on the ground game.
The Mavericks averaged nearly 300 yards per game, out rushing Macksville (169 yards per game), Solomon (259 yards per game) and South Central (278 yards per game).
KC finished #2 in the division with nearly 3,000 total rushing yards, behind McLaren’s Wildcats who topped the list with 3,102 season yards.
The Mavs also averaged nearly 40 points per game, ranked third in overall division points (406 total points) behind Minneola (470 total points) and Fowler (413).
Powell and McDonald would account for about 81 percent of the total offense (2,432 of 2,999 rushing yards).
It was quite a change from last year’s offense, which saw a lone player, Ross Binford, account for a majority of Kiowa County's offensive output (2,047 of 3,438 rushing yards).
As the season rolled into week two and three, which saw a 40-14 blow out win against South Gray and a 28-24 loss against Macksville, it seemed like the team was settling in.
Powell and McDonald were finding a rhythm and the defense, which Young had said would be the key to the season, began to take shape.
The Mavs looked almost unstoppable from week four to week eight.
They averaged nearly 50 points per game during the five-week stretch, which included a 50-point half game in week six against Skyline and a 60-point half game in week eight against Attica.
Page 2 of 2 - The KC offense had their way, running an average of 325 yards per game. While it was a softer part of the schedule, and the two half games might skew the statistics, the Maverick faithful saw a confident team, with a fluid offense and a defense finding its way.
“I think we’re going to be a lot more defensive minded,” said coach Young in early weeks. “Our goals are going to revolve around the defensive side of the ball. We’re going to let the offense take care of itself and hopefully score some points here and there. Really, we want to be more solid on the defensive side.”
It was no coincidence that as the defense found ways to halt opponents on key downs and limit extra points, Kiowa County started finding success.
KC was second in the division with 594 total season tackles behind South Central (662). But the Mavericks ranked last in sacks with only 10.
Opponents averaged only 28 points per game against KC, and 23 points per game average during their five game winning streak.
Kiowa County topped the division with 14 interceptions, beating out Fowler (13) and Ingalls (10) for the top spot. Powell had eight of the 14 and McDonald had five.
Rustin Ardery, a top Kiowa County basketball player who wasn’t sure if he would play football this year, beat out Colby Lindsey of South Central (113) and Ty Clark of Fowler (113) for the division leader in tackles (114). Powell was only one behind with 113 total tackles on the season.
But the final weeks of the season proved challenging. An always tough St. John Tigers team, who finished 8-2 with a 16th state ranking, and a on-the-road loss to the Solomon Gorillas (10-1) in the first round of the playoffs ended a strong season by a KC squad who many might have written off in early weeks.
The Kiowa County Mavericks finished their 2012-2013 season 6-4 with a 2-1 league record. Until next year.
Next Week: Season MVP Awards
By The Numbers
2,999 Total Rushing Yards
594 Total Season Tackles
406 Total Season Points
300 Average Rushing Yards Per Game
28 Opponents average points per game
14 Total Sacks