Week five was an important one on the gridiron. Several HOA teams either began district play or matched-up against HOA teams in the hunt for a league title.
Sophomore quarterback Brylie Ware and senior Logan Thompson have haunted defenses all year. Friday, the duo did not combine for a touchdown, but Thompson did plenty to get past Trinity 31-14. Sedgwick now sits atop the league at 3-0, 4-1 overall.
Ware scored from a yard out to start the scoring, but Thompson had the exclamation point with an eight-yard score and a 49-yard run to give the Cardinals a 19-0 lead. Trinity scored before the half, and returned a fumble in the fourth quarter to cut the gap to 19-14. From there, it was Thompson again, this time from 74-yards out. Dalton Brandt added a six-yard score for the final touchdown of the game. Thompson did a little of everything, leading the defense with seven tackles. The senior also led the ground game with 185 yards on 21 carries, threw for 69 yards and two interceptions on 6-of-10 passing, and caught a 37-yard pass from Ware. The sophomore quarterback also had a nice night with 85 rushing yards on nine carries and 46 yards and a pick on 3-of-5 passing. Brandt carried the ball 24 times for 117 yards, and Nic Johnson showed off his hands with five catches for 55 yards on offense and an interception on defense.
A battle of the Cardinals kicked-off Class 2-1A, District 6 play on Friday. Ell-Saline took down last year’s power Plainville 22-0 to take control of a relatively weak district. Ell-Saline now sits at 4-1 overall, and Bennington is the only other team in District 6 with a winning record at 3-2.
Points were hard to come by for either side. Still knotted at zero in the second quarter, Ell-Saline finally got on the board with four minutes to play on a 21-yard pass from Garrett Walker to Keegan Hays. Midway through the third quarter, the duo again struck, this time for 34-yards and a 14-0 lead. Just a few minutes later, Justin Schmutz ran in from a yard out for the final score of the game. Walker finished his night with 141 yards, two scores, and an interception on 7-of-12 passing. Hays had the two catches for scores, and Kaleb Whitehair caught three passes for 59 yards. Schmutz led the rushing attack with 81 yards on 18 carries, and Toby Omli added 78 yards on 14 attempts.
The Bulldogs are one of three 1-0 teams in Class 2-1A, District 6 after a 42-6 victory over winless Republic County on Friday. Bennington (3-2 overall) scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters before Republic County scored in the final quarter.
The Bulldogs did most of their damage on the ground, using nine players to amass 318 yards on 47 carries. Senior Jake Stewart led the way with 160 yards on 12 carries, including a 78-yard touchdown. B.J. Glanton added two scores and 74 yards on nine carries, and Zach Fief scored twice and ran for 70 yards on seven carries. Freshman T.J. Ragnoni scored the other Bulldog touchdown on a 60-yard kick return. Defensively, Weston Lampe led the team with seven tackles. Cameron Stanley had an interception in the win.
The Warrior football team doubled its win total on Friday in front of a Homecoming crowd with a 54-10 thrashing of Sunrise Christian. Marion (2-3) led only 7-3 after one quarter, but pushed the lead to 27-10 by halftime.
Quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht’s nine-yard run put the Warriors on the board less than four minutes into the contest. Brody Carroll broke a big run early on in the second quarter to boost the lead to 14-3. Heidebrecht added two more rushing touchdowns later in the quarter for the sizable halftime lead. Carroll scored the next Warrior touchdown in the third quarter, then Caleb Williams ran in from 15 yards out for a 41-10 lead with 10 minutes to play in the game. Reserve quarterback Zach Robson got in the books on an eight-yard carry later in the fourth quarter, then intercepted a pass to help set up an Adam Janzen touchdown with three minutes to play. Grif Case knocked through five-of-six PAT tries on the night.
Medicine Lodge had only scored one touchdown heading into Friday’s Class 2-1A, District 5 opener against Inman. The Indians managed 22 points, but the Teutons prevailed, moving to 4-1 overall, 1-0 in district play with a 35-22 win.
The score did not represent Inman’s dominance early in the game as the Teutons jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Medicine Lodge (0-5) scored 16 of its 22 points in the second half. Josh Miller was the man of the night for Inman rushing for 169 yards and a score, and returning a kick 72 yards for another touchdown. The senior also picked off a pass and converted 3-of-4 PATs. Quarterback Justin Friesen completed 6-of-10 pass tries for 137 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Hank Thiessen took his one catch 53 yards for a score, and Tyler Cottam had three receptions for 44 yards and a score. Defensively, Cody Seiler paced the Teutons with 11 tackles, also intercepting an Indian pass. Inman will get its biggest test of the year next week against unbeaten LaCrosse.
The Celtic football team had a chance to climb to the top of the HOA Friday night. Instead, Sedgwick came to town and handed Trinity a 31-14 loss to stay unbeaten in the league. Trinity drops to 3-1 in the HOA, 3-2 overall.
The Cardinals (4-1, 3-0) led 19-0 before Bryce Strecker completed his one pass of the game, a 70-yard strike to Christian Christenson in the second quarter. After a scoreless third quarter, Nathan Eisenbarth returned a fumble recovery 78 yards for a 19-14 score. Sedgwick had the final say with two more touchdowns to halt the comeback bid. Trinity finished with just 225 yards of total offense. Elias Jasso-Cardenas rushed for 104 yards on 15 carries. Six other Celtics added just 39 more yards on 23 carries. Christenson had both catches for Trinity, accounting for all 82 passing yards. Eisenbarth led the team with 12 tackles, including a sack, and Chad Pauly, CJ Watson, and Spencer Truman each had interceptions.
The Eagles looked like the favorite to come out of Friday’s district-opener. Canton took a 3-1 into the game to face-off against a struggling Central Plains team that had lost three straight. The Eagles led 6-0 after one quarter, and staying within striking distance but trailing 24-12 after three quarters. The Oilers piled on four touchdowns in the final 12 minutes to win 56-12.
The Eagles were most effective in the air with 161 yards versus a meager 55 yards on the ground. Late in the first quarter, Cody Savage found Travis Unruh for a 34-yard strike and a 6-0 lead. Central Plains scored the next three touchdowns before Savage ran in from five yards out late in the fourth quarter. Special teams hurt the Eagles down the stretch as the Oilers scored their final two touchdowns on a blocked punt return and a 54-yard punt return.
The Warriors hosted a cross country meet on Thursday. The girls finished second with 50 points, well-ahead of the next two teams (Hesston and Flint Hills with 99 points), but behind Trinity’s 41 points. Mulvane dominated the boys’ race with 18 points, followed by Hesston with 61. Berean finished fourth with 116 points.
Wendy Busenitz paced the Lady Warriors in fourth place in 16:13, 14 seconds behind the bronze and 43 seconds behind the winner from Hillsboro. Emily Wiebe finished 11th in 16:57, missing the top 10 by just a second, and Tiffany Wiebe finished behind her in 17:16. Janet Busenitz placed 14th in 17:22, and Carissa Slabach rounded out team scoring with a time of 17:42 in 18th place. Matthew Wine led the boys in 10th place with a time of 17:21, nearly two minutes behind the winner from Mulvane. Micah Klassen finished 16th in 17:45, and Harrison Briscoe ran a 17:59 for 21st place, coming up two seconds shy of a top 20 finish.