Buffs’ season ends in loss at Topeka

A stunning, Kansas high school football landscape shaking upset was not to be Friday night in Topeka. The Garden City Buffaloes — who dealt with attrition and injuries all season — ended their 2019 with a 48-14 loss to the Topeka Trojans in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

The Buffs end the year at 2-7, while Topeka (8-1) moves on to the second round, where the Trojans will face Junction City. 

Starting sophomore Zane Burns — who was injured for the final two games of the regular season — for the third time this season, the Buffs managed 273 yards of offense against the third-seed Trojans on Friday. After falling behind 21-0 after the first quarter, the Buffs got to within 21-6 midway through the second quarter on Josh Janas’ 2-yard run. But that was as close as they would get. 

Burns scored on a 35-yard run at the end of the fourth quarter to add the Buffs’ only other touchdown of the night. Janas ended with 113 rushing yards on 22 carries. Burns had 59 yards on 13 carries, but was 8 of 15 for for 56 yards and two picks through the air.

Topeka, meanwhile, got 190 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Ky Thomas, and quarterback Da’Vonshai Harden threw for a whopping 277 yards on just 12 passes, completing eight for four touchdowns. 

Receiver Geivonii Williams was the main target with 176 receiving yards and three touchdowns, and Kaden Smith added a 70-yard touchdown catch, as well. The Trojans had scores from 63 yards, 2 yards and 70 yards out in the first quarter, taking the commanding early lead. 

The Buffs responded by putting together a 12-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by Janas’ scamper on 4th-and-goal from the 2 for the score. But tOpeka immediately answered on a 35-yard touchdown pitch and catch to re-take the three-touchdown lead.

It looked like the lead would stay there going into the half, with Topeka at its own 40 with 30 seconds remaining in the half, but Harden hit Williams for the long score to push the lead up to 34-6 at the break.

The Trojans added two more scores in the third, before reserves hit the field.

The Buffs took third in the WAC this season at 2-2.

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