TSN-gold-partner-envista2.png

Welcome to Top Sports News

Topeka West runs past Highland Park for second win, 80-48

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Topeka West junior quarterback Malachi Berg is regarded as a very capable passer and he did throw for a pair of touchdowns and a 2-point conversion Friday night against Highland Park.

But Berg and his Charger teammates did a lot more damage with their legs against the Scots, rushing for 517 yards and nine touchdowns in Topeka West's 80-48 Centennial League win at Hummer Sports Park.

Berg rushed for a career-high 238 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Chargers' potent ground attack while senior JaVion Lee added 179 yards and two TDs on just nine carries.

"Our game plan was just to shove it down their throat,'' Berg said. "They couldn't stop it, so that was our game plan.''

MalachiBerg1Topeka West junior quarterback Malachi Berg had a huge night for the Chargers in Friday's 80-48 win over Highland Park. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

West coach Ryan Kelly agreed with his QB that Friday was all about the power game.

"We made a couple of changes in how we play up front and it's starting to benefit us,'' Kelly said. "We just felt like we could move the ball on the ground tonight.

"It's a ground and pound philosophy. I know it's a little more play in the phone booth-type offense, but it does open up some opportunties.''

And on the few occasions West did go to the air the Chargers were successful, with two of Berg's three completions going for TDs and the other setting up a score.

"Once we shoved it down their throat it was way easier for me to pass,'' Berg said. "We only threw the ball four times, but when we did we connected on them.''

Junior fullback Xavier Alexander had a productive night for West, running for an 8-yard touchdown and three 2-point conversion runs and scoring on 12 and 47-yard passes from Berg as the Chargers improved to 2-4 overall and in the Centennial League.

Highland Park, which fell to 0-6 with its 62nd straight loss dating back to 2014, drew first blood with 1:54 left in the first quarter on a 15-yard TD pass from senior Kellan Spruce to junior A'Ydren Drew-Gregory and a 2-point conversion run from former Charger Tyrell Reed.

Topeka West rallied for a 22-14 halftime advantage, but Highland Park tied the game at 22 with 9:46 left in the third on a 46-yard pass from Spruce to Richardson (Reed conversion run), before West took control with a 30-point third quarter.

The Chargers scored 24 straight points to take a 46-22 lead with 2:24 left in the third quarter and took a 60-34 lead early in the fourth quarter and went up 80-40 with 3:04 remaining.

Reed, a junior, rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries while junior Tre Richardson rushed for 87 yards and a TD on seven carries and caught six passes for 99 yards and three touchdowns.

TOPEKA WEST 80, HIGHLAND PARK 48

Topeka West (2-4, 2-4) 0 22 30 28 -- 80

Highland Park (0-6, 0-5) 8 6 20 14 -- 48

First quarter

Highland Park -- A'Ydren Drew-Gregory 15 pass from Kellan Spruce (Tyrell Reed run)

Second quarter

Topeka West -- Xavier Alexander 12 pass from Malachi Berg (run failed)

Topeka West -- Xavier Alexander 8 run (Xavier Alexander run)

Highland Park -- Tyrell Reed 6 run (run failed)

Topeka West -- Malachi Berg 77 run (Xavier Alexander run) 

Third quarter

Highland Park -- Tre Richardson 46-yard pass from Kellan Spruce (Tyrell Reed run)

Topeka West -- Malachi Berg 2 run (Xavier Alexander run)

Topeka West -- Xavier Alexander 47 pass from Malachi Berg (Malachi Berg run)

Topeka West -- Malachi Berg 7 run (Javion Lee run)

Highland Park -- Kellan Spruce 7 run (run failed)

Topeka West -- JaVion Lee 39 run (run failed)

Highland Park -- Tre Richardson 19 pass from Kellan Spruce (run failed)

Fourth quarter

Topeka West -- Malachi Berg 43 run (Malachi Berg run)

Highland Park -- Tre Richardson 40 run (run failed)

Topeka West -- JaVion Lee 60 run (Elliott Cooper pass from Malachi Berg)

Topeka West -- Malachi Berg 17 run (run failed)

Topeka West -- Damarien Henderson 31 run (run failed)

Highland Park -- Tre Richardson 8 pass from Kellan Spruce (Chase James run)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing -- Topeka West: Malachi Berg 15-238, JaVion Lee 9-179, Xavier Alexander 6-27, Damarien Henderson 3-48, Zach Hulse 3-12, Treyvion Barr 3-10, Jacob Shadduck 2-3. Highland Park: Tyrell Reed 18-158, Tre Richardson 7-87, Kellan Spruce 10-18, Kei'Juan Johnson 1-10, Mackey James 1-9. 

Passing -- Topeka West: Malachi Berg 3-4-0, 95 yards. Highland Park: Kellan Spruce 10-16-1, 153; Kei'Juan Johnson 0-1-0, 0.

Receiving -- Topeka West: Xavier Alexander 2-59, Elliott Cooper 1-36. Highland Park: Tre Richardson 6-99, A'Ydren Drew-Gregory 3-45, Tyrell Reed 1-9. 

Punting -- Topeka West: Xavier Alexander 1-31.0.