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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Jayhawks shut out resilient Central Heights team, 34-0

Updated: Oct 18, 2023


Jayhawk quarterback Nathan Johnson takes a snap early in the game agains Central Heights. Johnson was injured later in the game and may not return to field to play this season. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)



Coming into Friday’s Homecoming game, the Central Heights football team looked like they had a chance of breaking the Jayhawk’s streak of running over opponents.


The Vikings, like Jayhawk-Linn, had blanked both Southeast and Uniontown but had come up short against West Franklin (24-13) and had lost to Council Grove (26-7).

But the Jayhawks used passing and rushing to rack up nearly 400 yards of offense. And the defense held the Vikings too about 120 yards of total offense. The Jayhawks extended their perfect season to 5-0 with a 34-0 win over Central Heights.

The Vikings made a game of it in the first quarter, and both teams remained scoreless going into the second quarter. But about two minutes into the second quarter the Jayhawks scored on four plays with a 66 yard pass from junior quarterback Nathan Johnson to senior wide receiver Gus Grote. Johnson kept the ball on the extra-point attempt and the Jayhawks were up 8-0.

Jayhawk safety Brayden Johnson intercepts a pass at the same time as the Central Heights receiver. The officials ruled it a completed pass.


The Vikings could not get any traction on their next possession, and a blocked punt gave the Jayhawks the ball on the Viking 41. Johnson passed to Grote again for a 27 yard gain. A screen pass to running back Trevor Brownback moved the Jayhawks within 9 yards of a touchdown, but a broken play that saw Johnson cross the goal line was called back on an unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Jayhawks.

Two plays later, Brownback carried the ball from the 5 into the end zone. With the two-point extra attempt good, the Jayhawks were up 16-0 with six minutes left in the half.


Jayhawk quarterback Nathan Johnson suffered an injury and was relegated to the sidelines as his brother, freshman Brayden Johnson moved into the quarterback slot.


The Vikings couldn’t convert the third down on their next possession, and the Jayhawks took the punt to their own 30 yard line.The Jayhawks used 12 plays and the almost all of the time left on the clock to score on a 15-yard pass to Grote for a touchdown. The two-point attempt failed but the Jayhawk were on top 22-0 going into the locker room.

Wide receiver Gus Grote move toward the sideline to outflank the Viking defense.


The third quarter became a defensive duel as the both teams held their opponents scoreless. The Jayhawks turned the ball over twice in the quarter, once on a fumble and a second time when a Brayden Johnson pass was picked off.


Both teams put together the longest drives of the game in the fourth quarter. The Jayhawks end a 66-yard,14-play drive on the Viking 1 yard line following an unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Vikings.


Brownback got the handoff and scored the touchdown with almost 9:00 left in the game. The point-after try was no good, but the Jayhawks were up 28-0.


Taking the kickoff on their own 20, the Vikings put together a drive that had them on the Jayhawk 10-yard line. But a holding call and three incomplete passes allowed the Jayhawks to take over on their own 15.


Braeden Nation, Tucker Hall and Reed Krull bring down the Viking ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage.


With a holding call and a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, the Jayhawk drive sputtered on their own 8 and it was punted away to Central Heights on the Jayhawk 45 yard line.


The Vikings moved quickly to the Jayhawk 15 with :02 on the clock, one chance for a pass to get on the scoreboard. But a pass toward the end zone was picked off by junior cornerback Trent Broyles on the 2 yard line, and Broyles ran 98 yards for a touchdown as the clock ran out.


After taking a knee on the extra point, the Jayhawks walked away with a 34-0 win.


The Jayhawks will face cross-county rival Pleasanton on Friday at home. Pleasanton comes into the matchup with a 4-1 record, their only loss being to Olpe in mid-September.

Running back Trevor Brownback looks for an opening in the Viking defense.


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