It’s been a minute since Blue Valley’s been to the Kansas state-title game for high school football, but here come the Tigers, just one win away from playing for the Kansas Class 6A championship.
Blue Valley has surged in recent weeks during the playoffs to reach the 6A semifinals for the first time since 2019. The Tigers will face last year’s state runner-up, Gardner Edgerton, in the semifinals on Friday.
The Tigers entered the playoffs as the No. 6 seed with a 4-4 record. They opened their postseason run with a 40-28 victory in the first round over Olathe West. K-State commit John Price had 233 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
In the second round, Blue Valley clamped down on defense. That, plus two more touchdowns from Price, paved the way to a 17-0 shutout of Olathe East.
Among the Tigers’ defensive leaders are junior linebacker Maguire Richman (118 tackles) and senior safety Martell Buchanan (113), as well as junior defensive end Lincoln Stueve (84 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, seven sacks).
In the quarterfinals, Blue Valley faced No. 2-seeded Olathe North and capitalized off big plays and turnovers for a 24-7 halftime lead. From there, the onslaught continued for a 42-21 win.
Quarterback Christoper Aiello threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wideout Grady Westphal hauled in 129 yards receiving, giving him 270 this postseason.
“People didn’t expect us to go far in the playoffs,” Aiello said. “From day one, we knew we were going to go this far. We expect a ring at the end of the season and that’s what we’re chasing. ... Our best is yet to come.”
The Tigers have won six state football championships in their history, albeit all in Class 5A. Blue Valley last reached the Class 6A state-title game in 2015 and 2016, losing to Derby each time.
Blue Valley returns to Class 5A in 2024.