District play opened for some of the Heart of America football teams. Others continued to battle for a playoff berth.
With No. 3 Garden Plain sharing Class 3A, District 11, the Celtics needed to get off to a good start Friday in district play. They got the job done, scoring 19 unanswered points in the second half to down Kingman 24-20. Trinity is now 1-0 in district, 5-2 overall. The Celtics take on unbeaten Garden Plain on Friday.
Spencer Truman’s 27-yard field goal put the Celtics on the board first, and the defense added safety for a 5-0 lead. Kingman (2-5) would score the next 20 points before Trinity took over. The Celtics were able to use big drives in the second half. Early on, Elias Jasso-Cardenas went 55 yards for a score. Nathan Eisenbarth’s 20-yard run got the Celtics within two just three minutes into the third quarter. Midway through the fourth quarter, Jasso-Cardenas capped an 18-play drive, taking a third-and-22 run to the house for what would be the game winner. All the Trinity offense came on the ground with 41 carries for 314 yards. The sophomore Jasso-Cardenas finished with 167 yards on 16 carries. Truman added 58 yards on eight totes, and Eisenbarth ran for 47 yards on six tries.
The Cardinals are still sitting pretty in Class 2-1A, District 6 following a 47-0 win against Republic County on Friday. Ell-Saline now sits behind Smith Center (3-0) at 2-1 with plus-25 points. Bennington is also at 2-1, but plus-one point.
It took about five minutes, but after that, the points came quickly. The Cards put three touchdowns on the board in each of the first two quarters to lead 41-0 at the break. Toby Omli scored first from 16 yards out, then Justin Schmutz added scores from 56 and nine yards away. In the second quarter, Omli added a 12 yard score, LuizAntonio Arceo broke a 65-yard run, and Garrett Walker scored from a yard out. Arceo added the exclamation point in the third quarter with another big play, this time taking a punt return 68 yards to the house for the final score. The sophomore Arceo led the team with 105 yards on just six carries. Schmutz went 93 yards on five carries, and Omli finished with 76 yards on nine attempts. Ell-Saline needed just 24 carries to go 299 yards.
The Teutons were the odd-man out in district play this week. Instead, they headed to Herington to down the Railroaders 54-24. Inman improves to 5-2 overall, and jumps back into district play as a favorite to make the playoffs. They have yet to see Sterling (2-5) and Ellinwood (0-7).
The Teutons outscored Herington 34-12 in the first quarter to end any drama. Senior Josh Miller ran wild all night, scoring five times and taking 16 carries 285 yards. Junior Tyler Cottam also had a big night with three touchdowns and 143 yards on just seven carries. Overall, Inman ran for 455 yards on just 35 tries. Justin Friesen kept the defense honest with 86 yards on 3-of-4 passing. Treyton Devore had the big catch, taking his one reception 56 yards. Defensively, Cody Seiler led the way with eight tackles. Jared Friesen had two sacks in the win.
Don’t count the Bulldogs out. Not out of district play, where they now sit third at 2-1, nor on the gridiron. Friday night, Bennington (4-3 overall) used 22 fourth quarter points to squeak by Washington County 20-29.
Quarterback Zach Fief led the offense with 155 yards and a score on 12-of-22 passing. He also threw an interception. The senior ran for more than half the team’s 194 yards, taking 19 carries for 111 yards and two more scores. Jake Stewart added the other rushing touchdown, finishing with 51 yards on 14 attempts. Heath Thornhill had five receptions, including a touchdown, for 51 yards. Defensively, the Bulldogs shut down the Tiger offense that posted all 29 points in the first half. Fief again led the way with 11 tackles. Stewart and B.J. Glanton each recorded five tackles.
Halstead found out the hard way that records mean little in determining the winner of a football game. Marion took a 2-4 record into the Class 3A, District 12 opener against the 4-2 Dragons. The Warriors cruised to a 40-22 win to take a giant step toward a playoff berth.
Brody Carroll busted in from six yards out early on to put the Warriors on the board first. Marion has converted fourth downs all year, but an accidental conversion on a bad special teams play results in a long Kyle Palic run. Quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht quickly got the ball in the end zone for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Heidebrecht scored again midway through the second quarter and the route was on at 21-0. Jacob Harper intercepted a pass late in the first half to preserve the lead at the break. Marion eventually upped the lead to 33-0 before the Dragons found the end zone late in the third quarter. Halstead was able to take advantage of two Warrior fumbles, turning both into scores, for the more respectable score down the stretch.
With just one win on the year entering district play, it didn’t help the Wildcat cause to draw undefeated Hillsboro on the schedule. The Trojans scored early and often, leading 36-0 at the half en route to a 55-0 win. Moundridge falls to 1-6 on the year.
Hillsboro is known for its passing abilities, but the Trojans scored six rushing touchdowns and a special teams touchdown in the win. For Moundridge, Daniel Ratzlaff rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries. Colby Badman added 71 yards on 17 carries. Garrett Higgins completed 3-of-6 pass tries for four yards with an interception. Friday, the Wildcats will take on the other district foe with a winning record in Halstead (4-3 overall).