Olpe tops Oakley for 1A title
Oakley’s great run ends in Hays
HAYS, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Olpe Eagles completed a perfect season by shutting out the Oakley Plainsmen 14-0 to win the Class 1A State Football Championship.
Both teams met at Lewis Field Stadium on the campus of Fort Hays State University on a clear, mild late November afternoon.
Olpe entered the contest a perfect 12 and 0. Oakley carried two losses. The Plainsmen avenged both losses in the playoffs defeating Smith Center and Inman on the way to the State Championship game.
Each team came in with a defensive reputation. Oakley gave up 147 points all season and tallied three shutout victories. Olpe played six shutouts and allowed only 35 points thru 12 weeks of football.
The game started with Olpe taking the ball first. They went three and out.
Oakley received the ball and went three and out too. The defenses were already making their presence known.
Midway through the first quarter, Olpe took over after a Plainsmen punt to the Eagle 45-yard line.
The Eagles then recorded the first first down of the game. Seven plays later, quarterback Damon Redeker found a wide-open Kynden Robert for the first points of the game on a two-yard pass. Gabriel Castillo added a point after touchdown to give Olpe a 7 to 0 lead.
With under nine minutes to go in the first half, Redeker made another touchdown pass. This time to Gabriel Castillo on a second and eight play from the thirteen-yard line. Castillo then went and kicked a successful PAT to make it 14 to 0 Eagles.
With under two minutes to go, Oakley found some life after blocking a punt and downing it at the Olpe 45-yard line. They moved down to the 12-yard line. An errant snap caused a five-yard loss. The Plainsmen then went incomplete on two passes and turned the ball over with 15 seconds remaining.
Olpe took a knee and went to the locker room up by two touchdowns.
The second half was a defensive back and forth.
Both teams would build a drive, only to see it stall out.
Oakley intercepted Redeker in the third quarter only to see the drive stall after a sack on the first play.
Olpe managed to get within field goal range twice only to see both attempts go wide from 31 and 29 yards out.
At the final whistle, the Eagles earned their seventh shutout of the year to claim the state title.
“We talk about defenses if they don’t score, we will win eventually,” said Olpe Head Coach Chris Schmidt after the game. “Our defense has been great all year. We usually are outsized up front, like today. Those kids up front do the job, stay low, and tire out their line.”
Damon Redeker led all players with 118 rushing yards on 22 carries. He also went 7 of 16 in passing for 85 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Derek Hoelting totaled 73 receiving yards for the Eagles on four receptions.
Oakley’s Eric Cain completed five passes on 12 attempts for 80 yards and had one interception.
Ethan Abell led the Plainsmen rushing attack with 63 yards on 23 carries. Will Schmidt led the Plainsmen with 61 yards of receiving on a pair of catches.
“No one gave us a chance from the start,” said Oakley Head Coach Jeff Hennick. “These kids went to work in the playoffs and brought some pride to the community of Oakley, and I hope that pride stays there.”
Oakley finished the year with a 10 and 3 record.
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