By PAT SANGIMINO
Special to The Telegram
BUHLER - Don't let the final score fool you. Buhler's 55-21 victory over visiting Hugoton Tuesday was never close.
The Eagles scored three second-half touchdowns against the unbeaten Crusaders' junior varsity team. And by that point, the starters were already on the sideline, thinking of Saturday's Kansas Class 4A second-round opponent — Abilene.
"They're unbeaten, too," said Buhler coach Steve Warner. "This is going to be a good test for us."
The Cowboys will come to town for a 7 p.m. game with the Crusaders, who are 10-0 for the first time in the program's 94-year history.
The Eagles pulled some razzle dazzle out of their playbook and completed a 41-yard halfback pass that Warner called "embarrassing." In reality, it just served to tick off the Crusaders.
"It made us angry," said junior J.P. Lohrentz, who caught two touchdown passes from sophomore Chandler Schantz on the night. "There was no way we were going to let them score after that."
The Crusaders saw to that immediately. On the next play the Eagles fumbled, the Crusaders recovered and — in reality — the rout was on.
It took Buhler all of seven plays to go 68 yards and score the game's first points. A bubble screen from Schantz to Lohrentz took care of the final 17 yards and put Buhler on the scoreboard in fewer than four minutes.
Two drives later, Tanner Fisher scored from 19 yards out to make it 14-0 after one quarter.
And then Joe Schmidt jumped an out pattern and picked off a pass in the first minute of the second quarter. He returned it 45 yards for a score that made it 21-0.
A Jordan Stiles touchdown made it 35-0 before the Crusaders began working on their two-minute offense at the end of the first half. They got two possessions and scored two more touchdowns.
Fisher had a 6-yard touchdown run with 1 minute, 44 seconds to play in the half. The Crusaders used their timeouts on defense, forced a punt and then scored again when Schantz and Lohrentz hooked up for a 58-yard touchdown that made it a 49-0 game at the break.
Hugoton 0 0 7 14 -- 21
Buhler 14 35 6 0 -- 55
B--Lohrentz 17 pass from Schantz (Heide kick), 8:50
B--Fisher 19 run (Heide kick), 1:28
B--Schmidt 45 interception return (Heide kick), 11:09
B--Fisher 25 run (Heide kick), 9:31
B--Stiles 7 run (Heide kick), 4:49
B--Fisher 6 run (Heide kick), 1:44
B--Lohrentz 58 pass from (Heide kick), :54
B--Allen 9 run (pass failed), 5:23
H--Mora 44 pass from Frederick (Figueroa kick), 2:41
H--Camacho 1 run (Figueroa kick), 7:26
H--Frederick 2 run (Figueroa kick), 1:14
Rushing — Hugoton, Frederick 23-67. Taylor 6-9, Degollado 7(-17), Davis 8-14, Camacho 5-29, Barnes 4-57. Buhler, Stiles 4-35, Fisher 8-99, Schantz 4-32, Heide 1-46, Martens 1-1, Allen 10-51, Berblinger 4-8, Perry 6-26.
Passing — Hugoton, Frederick 1-4-1, 44 yards, 1 TD; Haller 1-1-0, 41 yards. Buhler, Schantz 5-9-0, 145 yards, 2 TDs; Berblinger 0-1-0.
Receiving — Hugoton, Rodriguez 1-41, Mora 1-44. Buhler, Lohrentz 4-128, Massey 1-17.