GREENWOOD VILLAGE – In a postseason edition of Aurora’s Wagon Wheel rivalry, No. 11 Smoky Hill won in convincing fashion, defeating No 22. Overland 48-6 in the opening round of the Class 5A state football playoffs.
Smoky Hill entered the game having won the previous meeting, a 48-26 win in the regular-season opener, but in Friday night’s rematch, the Buffaloes were even better.
“What we didn’t know a year ago that we knew tonight is you have to take your opponent seriously,” Smoky Hill head coach Tom Thenell said. “We practiced hard all week long, prepared and gave Overland the respect they deserved. We just came out and had a will about us.”
Behind the hard running of senior tailback Obasanjo Sanni, who rumbled in for five rushing touchdowns on the night, the Buffaloes led early and didn’t look back.
“He’s the best back in the state,” said Thenell. “We know that. Other people would probably argue with that, but I’m not. No. 44 is pretty special. When you feed him, you saw what happened.”
Sanni found the end zone on three consecutive drives to open the game as Smoky Hill built an early 21-0 lead.
“Coach told me I would have to run the ball and I just tried to do what I can for my team,” he said.
Overland struggled offensively, but the Trailblazers were briefly injected with life in the second quarter with a special teams touchdown. The previously sure-handed Sanni muffed a punt, which was returned by Cam Harris 60 yards for Overland’s only score of the first half. The play cut Smoky Hill’s lead to 21-6 following a failed two-point conversion attempt.
Sanni would redeem himself with his fourth rushing touchdown on the following drive, extending the lead to 28-6.