• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Blu-Jays use balanced attack to down Erie 40-12

Blu-Jay quarterback Kam Staton threw for 209 yards against Erie in the first round of the playoffs. Staton, a freshman, and his teammates will face Olpe for the second time this year on Friday, Nov. 4. (Journal file photo)

The Pleasanton Blu-Jays will travel to face Olpe for a second time this season on Friday, Nov. 4, as they hope to survive and advance to the next level of the Class 1A playoffs.

The Blu-Jays (7-2) lost to Olpe (7-2) earlier in the season, 27-0. But Pleasanton head coach Caleb Hendricks said that, if the Blu-Jays avoid mistakes that cost them the earlier game, they could very well leave Eagle stadium with a win.

Entering into the game with no injuries, including a healthy defensive line, Hendricks noted that in the earlier game this year, his defense allowed only one touchdown.

The Blu-Jays’ first round playoff game against Erie (3-5) didn’t present much of a challenge. With about 200 yards on the ground and more than 200 yards in the air, the Blu-Jays easily won, 40-12.

The game did give Hendricks the opportunity to use the weapons he has before taking on a team that will surely be a challenge.

“We really had a balanced attack,” the coach said, noting that despite the loss, Erie fielded a team that was big and strong. Because of that, the game got off to a slow start as the Blu-Jay offense sought out weaknesses to exploit.

Senior running back Karsten McKee put up about a 100 yards of rushing in the first half including running for a touchdown. But with a nagging injury bothering McKee, Hendricks went with sophomore Eli McGinnis and senior Dale Gillespie on the ground in the second half, and each of them scored a touchdown.

McGinnis gained 57 yards on the ground, and Dale Gillespie had 23 yards.

Freshman quarterback Kam Stanton threw for 207 yards, hitting both Dale Gillespie and junior Tony Gillespie for one touchdown apiece. Tony Gillespie had 124 yards on eight catches, and Dale Gillespie racked up 45 yards on three catches.

Freshman Mario O’Neal snagged a pass for 35 yards and junior Jeffry Cayton caught two passes for 23 yards.

McKee was also point man on defense, getting five tackles and eight assists. Dale Gillespie had four tackles and two assists and sophomore Hayden Johnson had four tackles and four assists.

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