July 15, 2024

Massive Second Quarter Propels Junction City Past Dodge

DODGE CITY, Kan. – Junction City’s Michael Boganowski and Malaki Daniels each tallied three touchdowns as the Blue Jays flew past Dodge City in the Demons’ home opener at Memorial Stadium.

It almost felt like a repeat of the matchup between these two teams last season. After a tightly contested first half, Junction City used a big third quarter to pull away and win 42-21. 

Revenge seemed to be on the Dodge’s mind in the early part of the game as Tochi Okoro returned the opening kickoff to the Junction 31-yard line which immediately fired up the Memorial Stadium crowd. Okoro gave them another reason to cheer a short time later when he hauled in an 18-yard touchdown from junior quarterback Alan Flores. 

The Blue Jays seemed like they would be in real trouble after they tallied negative yards on their first series and couldn’t even get a punt off after the snap sailed over the head of Andreyus Smith. That immediately put the Demons in the red zone and they cashed in shortly after on a Ryan Gonzalez 3-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 midway through the opening quarter. 

Everything changed for the Blue Jays though on their next offensive play. Receiver Michael Boganowski lined up as the quarterback and took a designed run 69 yards to the end zone. That play gave Junction an opening to get back in the game and they shot through it. Boganowski got his second touchdown early in the second quarter on a pass from senior quarterback Brock Bazan which tied the game at 14.

Dodge City couldn’t seem to recover after losing their early 14 point lead. Junction City senior running back Malaki Daniels put the visitors on top with a six-yard touchdown run with under six minutes to play in the half and the momentum just kept snowballing for the Blue Jays. The Demons fumbled on a pitch play on their next series which set up Boganowski for another touchdown run, this time from 16 yards out. 

A miscommunication on the ensuing kick return forced Dodge City to start their drive from the one-yard line. After three incomplete passes they were forced to punt and Boganowski had a strong return which set the Blue Jays up in the red zone again. Malaki Daniels plunged in from eight yards out to get his second touchdown of the game and all of the sudden Dodge trailed 35-14 after it had been tied just three minutes earlier. Junction added a field goal before the half to put Dodge City in a 24 point hole at halftime.

The Blue Jays offense made it 45 unanswered points after Noah Maldonado hauled in a 34-yard touchdown from Bazan with just over five minutes to play in the third which dashed any hopes of a comeback. The Demons did tally three touchdowns in the last 16 minutes of the game, including another touchdown reception for Okoro and two rushing touchdowns from Flores, but it was too late to change the outcome of this game as the Demons fell 52-35.

“It’s learning how to deal with adversity…mistimed snaps, missing blocking assignments, dropping balls…it’s all stuff we are capable of learning from and that’s a good thing,” assistant coach Marcos Gutierres said following the game.

Dodge City drops to 1-1 with the loss. They are back on the road next week against Wichita-South at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Z98 with pregame coverage starting at 6:30.