By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural's football team did exactly what heavy favorites are supposed to do Friday night at Bowen-Glaze Stadium, never giving underdog Wichita West the slightest hint of hope that the Pioneers could pull off an upset.
The Junior Blues. the No. 4 seed in the Class 6A West playoff bracket, built a commanding 21-0 lead in less than seven minutes of work and went on to take a commanding 49-0 halftime lead on the way to a 52-7 romp.
"I was really happy with the intensity,'' Washburn Rural coach Steve Buhler said. "We came out and focused. We talked all week about making sure we got off to a good start in the playoffs and do all things that we've been doing up to this point in the season and I thought the kids did a nice job of carrying everything over.''
Now 8-1 on the season, Washburn Rural will be at home again next Friday, hosting a 7-2 Free State team which rolled to a 49-22 win over Wichita South Friday night.
Rural set the tone for the night when it needed just four plays and 1:10 to score its first touchdown, a 14-yard run from sophomore JC Heim (Giles Frederickson kick).
The Junior Blues went up 14-0 at the 8:01 mark on a 31-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Branton DeWeese to senior Robby Bolin (Frederickson kick) and senior Austin Fager put Rural up 21-0 at the 5:09 mark of the opening quarter on a 6-yard run (Frederickson kick).
The second quarter was more of the same, with Rural scoring TDs on a 1-yard run from junior Kason Williams, a 12-yard pass from DeWeese to Heim, a 45-yard run from Williams and a 34-yard pass from DeWeese to junior Amr Sabbarini. Frederickson converted all four extra points to go 7 of 7 on the night.
"We looked sharp on offense and the defense played really well,'' Buhler said. "From a head coaching standpoint, everything was really clean and really crisp. There was a good rhythm to the game and that's how you want to start the playoffs.''
The pace slowed considerably in the second half, with Buhler emptying his bench, but junior Dayten Smoot scored Rural's final points on a 33-yard field goal with 11:13 to play.
Wichita West (2-7) scored its only points of the night on a 10-yard run from junior Kobey Figuers with 3:13 remaining.
DeWeese completed nine of 11 pass attempts for 187 yards and three touchdowns while Bolin caught three passes for 78 yards and a TD.
Williams led Rural with 59 yards and two TDs on just six carries while Heim had 48 yards on five totes and scored two touchdowns.
WASHBURN RURAL 52, WICHITA WEST 7
Wichita West (2-7) 0 0 0 7 -- 7
Washburn Rural (8-1) 21 28 0 3 -- 52
Washburn Rural -- JC Heim 14 run (Giles Frederickson kick)
Washburn Rural -- Robby Bolin 31 pass from Branton DeWeese (Giles Frederickson kick)
Washburn Rural -- Austin Fager 33 run (Giles Frederickson kick)
Washburn Rural -- Kason Williams 2 run (Giles Frederickson kick)
Washburn Rural -- JC Heim 12 pass from Branton DeWeese (Giles Frederickson kick)
Washburn Rural -- Kason Williams (Giles Frederickson kick)
Washburn Rural -- Amr Sabbarini 34 pass from Branton DeWeese (Giles Frederickson kick)
Washburn Rural -- Dayten Smoot 33 FG
Wichita West -- Kobey Figuers 10 run (Matt Killian kick)
Rushing -- Wichita West: Zavion Parkes-Clarke 25-133, Kobey Figuers 18-70, Ry'chous Richards 1-5, Team 1-(minus)-5. Washburn Rural: Kason Williams 6-59, JC Heim 5-48, Austin Fager 2-23, Branton DeWeese 1-20, Kingston Leonard 9-5, Aiden Boleski 1-(minus)-4, Matt Hartter 3-(minus)-8, Team 1-(minus)-37.
Passing -- Wichita West: Kobey Figuers 5-13-1, 44 yards. Washburn Rural: Branton DeWeese 9-11-0, 187; Aiden Boleski 4-4-0, 53.
Receiving -- Wichita West: Zavion Parkes-Clarke 3-38, Ry'chous Richards 1-5, Trayshun Higgins1-1. Washburn Rural: Robby Bolin 3-74, Lukas Hanks 3-48, Amr Sabbarini 2-53, Kingston Leonard 1-26, JC Heim 1-17, Matt Hartter 1-11, Dayten Smoot 1-10, Calvin Hayes 1-7,
Punting -- Wichita West: Ry'chous Richards 2-22. Washburn Rural: Dayten Smoot 1-30.0.