Kapaun stuns Northwest in second half comeback
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Kapaun erased an 18-point deficit in the second half to advance to the 5A semifinals with a 38-35 in over Northwest.
It’s a comeback Crusaders Head Coach and City League Legend Weston Schartz called one of the best performances of his career.
In just his second season as head coach at Kapaun, Schartz has led the Crusaders to a 10-2 record and its first sub-state appearance since 2013.
“I’ve been proud of these guys since June. They’ve worked hard, we lost a lot of starters from last years and no one picked us to go this far,” Schartz said. “They gutted it out and played a great game and refused to quit.”
Northwest looked like it was in control of the game, as Geremiah Moore’s three rushing touchdowns gave Northwest a 21-10 at the half.
The Grizzlies would continue to roll after the break, taking a 35-17 lead late into the third quarter.
But the Crusaders would finally find an answer, scoring 21 unanswered, with its first lead of the night coming off of a 50-yard touchdown run from Omari Elais to give Kapaun a 36-35 lead in the final minutes of the game.
“I was so happy, they really pursued hard to the right,” Elais said. “I don’t get those long runs often so when I do, sometimes I have trouble finishing them, but that one I just saw the end zone and went for it.”
Kapaun would convert on the two-point attempt, with Dylan Hamilton connecting with Will Anciaux to put the Crusaders up 38-35.
A tipped interception in the end zone by Austin Ruda would seal the deal for the Crusaders, ending the Grizzlies season at 8-3.
“The first time we played Northwest we were down seven half and I told the kids be patient, we’re going to wear them down,” Schartz said. “That’s just what we did. Our run game finally started to pop a little bit and we didn’t quit we just kept playing hard and I am very proud of them.”
Kapaun will host Maize next Friday with a trip to the 5A Championship on the line.
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