Maize football season comes to a close, finishing second in 5A this past Saturday

The Eagles round off their season with multiple records broken including twelve straight wins and numerous individual player awards.


Sierra Tinsley

Senior Cooper Forrest celebrates a stop by the Eagles defense on the Jaguars offense. “I was so excited,” said Forrest. “It was a chance to turn the game around and a huge momentum shift.”

Sierra Tinsley and Carter Smith

In 2022, Maize High football set an all-time record of twelve wins on the season. The Eagles also had an All-AVCTL MVP and seven first team All AVCTL League players. 

This past Saturday, Maize came up short in the 5A state championship game against four-time champion Shawnee Mill Valley Jaguars, 28-14, at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg.  

“With the exception of a couple of big plays right before halftime, I thought our defense played very well and gave our offense multiple opportunities by coming up with some big plays of their own,” said head coach Gary Guzman. 

Mill Valley scored first in the game.

Mill Valley’s defense stifled the Eagles, not allowing a first down until five minutes before the end of the first quarter. Senior quarterback Avery Johnson was first on the board for the Eagles with a rushing touchdown in the second quarter, which tied up the game. Mill Valley scored two more touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead into halftime.

With a steady rain coming down, Blue Valley went up 28-7 in the third quarter. Maize scored in the third quarter with a touchdown from senior Tayveon Williams to make it 28-14; but, the Eagles did not score again for the remainder of the game. 

“That game doesn’t define this team, this school, this community. It is bigger than just football,” said senior Justin Stephens. “This program has done more for me in the past four years than I would have ever imagined.” 

Wrapping up a record-breaking season, Guzman was quick to thank his seniors for their time in the program.

“Thank you for your role in changing the culture of our football program. Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for trusting the process. Thank you for your exceptional leadership. Thank you for all your sacrifice. And thank you for an incredible ride and the two trips to the state championship game.”