Saint Francis heads to state after 44-22 win over Victoria
VICTORIA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The St. Francis Indians booked a return trip to Newton after winning the Eight-Man Division II West Sub-State against the Victoria Knights by a score of 44 to 22.
Both St. Francis and Victoria moved down to Division II from Division I last year. The Indians lost the State Championship to Canton-Galva after giving up 66 unanswered points following a 36 to 0 lead.
The two teams entered the game with undefeated records.
St. Francis won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball.
They scored on the opening drive after Shadryon Blanka broke open for a 38-yard touchdown rush. Blanka also scored the two-point conversion to lead 8 to 0 early.
Victoria answered back when quarterback Grant Schoenrock faked a handoff and ran for 42-yards. The Knights failed to convert on the two-point play. They trailed St. Francis 8 to 6.
Shortly after the start of the second quarter, Carson Werth made a two-yard rush for the Knights to put them on top 12 to 8. Drayden Karlin caught a pass on the two-point conversion to make it 14 to 8.
St. Francis trailed for the first time this season.
Shadryon Blanka went down in the second quarter with an injury. A few plays after he left the field, Kobe Tice pulled in a 21-yard pass from Ben Busse. Tice would also catch the pass to convert on the two-point play. St. Francis regained the lead at 16 to 14.
Blanka returned to the game on the next Indian series.
With less than a minute to go, Shadryon caught a 10-yard pass from Busse to score another touchdown.
The Indians went to the locker room leading 22 to 14.
In the third quarter, Shadryon Blanka ran 12 yards to score another touchdown. The lead for St. Francis increased to 28 to 14.
Blanka added another touchdown and two two-point conversions in the fourth quarter.
Adam Krien added a 27-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 44 to 14.
Victoria scored a late touchdown with less than thirty seconds on the clock. Lucas Klein caught a 13-yard pass thrown by Grant Schoenrock. Schoenrock then threw a completed pass to Carson Werth for the last points of the game.
The final score read 44 to 22 Indians.
“Before the game we talked about mental toughness. We did not show a lot of that in the first quarter,” said St. Francis Head Coach Nick Fawcett. “We had to go in at halftime and regroup and remind them of mental toughness.”
“We felt pressure all year to make it back to State again. Hopefully we will win the big one. Our school has yet to win the big one.”
“We had some breaks that went against us and St. Francis capitalized. The play hard,” said Victoria Head Coach Doug Oberle. “I could not ask for anything else. We went toe to toe with them. I’m very proud of our guys.”
St. Francis had a combined 397 yards of offense. Shadryon Blanka accounted for 293 total yards, 257 on the ground and 36 passing. He scored three rushing touchdowns and one receiving.
The Indians return to Newton to face Hanover next Saturday.
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