Beloit holds off Kingman to reach 2A title game

Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 1:28 AM CST
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BELOIT, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Beloit Trojans held on to defeat the Kingman Eagles 22-19 to win the Class 2A Sub-State Championship.

For Kingman, this was the first Sub-State game played by the Eagles in 49 years. Beloit entered the evening having lost the Sub-State game to Hoisington last year on their field.

Beloit won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball.

Benson Berndt rushed for 16 yards over three plays to give the Trojans a first down. The drive then stalled out and they were forced to punt the ball away.

Kingman took over and went three and out. On fourth down, Nolan Freund lined up in punt formation but the hike went over his head. At the end of the play, the Eagles lost 33-yards and turned the ball over on downs.

The Trojans started their second drive on a very short field of 16-yards from the end zone. They handed the ball off four consecutive times to Benson Berndt to put their first points on the board. Berndt again got the ball to score the two-point conversion.

Kingman went three and out on their next drive.

Beloit took over on their 20-yard line. They took the ball up to mid-field only to fumble it away.

Kingman earned two first downs and got the ball down to the Trojan 20-yard line. Nolan Freund tried to find open receivers on the next three plays but either he had to run away from a Trojan defender or the pass fell incomplete.

A fourth and ten from the 20-yard ended in a turn over on downs after Tristen Davidson could not pull in the pass from Freund.

Beloit again had the ball at their 20-yard line. Again they leaned heavily on Benson Berndt’s rushing ability. He ran on 10 of the 12 plays in the drive and accounted for 72 yards and a touchdown with a two-point conversion.

The Trojans took a 16-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Beloit’s defense bottled up Kingman’s offense holding them to only three completions for 60-yards in the first half.

Kingman took the opening kick-off but could not muster a first down.

Beloit lost the ball to a fumble on their third play of the second half.

Kingman took over on the Beloit 31-yard line.

Nolan Freund went to work and moved the ball down the field with a five-yard completion, six and four-yard rushes, and a 14-yard completion to set up first and goal from the two-yard line. Freund would call his number and run the ball in from two yards out. He also kicked in the point after touchdown to put the Eagles on the board down 16-7.

Both teams traded three-and-outs after the Eagle touchdown.

On the Trojans’ next possession they lost Benson Berndt to an ankle injury. He would not return to the game. Tate Kadel took over on the running back duty and scored a four-yard touchdown run to put his team up 22 to 7.

The Eagles took to a more balanced offense on the next drive. They used three passing and six rushing plays to cover 58-yards. Nolan Freund ended the drive with a one-yard touchdown run just after the start of the fourth quarter. Freund’s pass to Avery Albright fell incomplete on the two-point conversion.

Beloit now had most of the fourth quarter to expand their lead or at least hold off the Eagles.

Kingman’s defense stepped up and forced a Trojan punt. The Eagles then turned the ball over on downs on their next possession.

The teams traded three-and-outs back and forth until Beloit turned the ball over on downs at the Kingman 39-yard line.

With only a few minutes left in the game, Nolan Freund took over. He made completions for six, 11, and five yards to set up a 25-yard rush. During the play, a Trojan player was called for a personal foul face mask. The penalty put the ball on the seven-yard line with first and goal.

A quick six-yard pass set up Freund to run in from one-yard out and score the third Eagle touchdown of the night. Tommy Fenato came out to kick the PAT. The kick was blocked by a Trojan on the line of scrimmage.

Nolan Freund kicked an on-side kick, but the officials ruled it was touched early by an Eagle.

Beloit took over with 1:16 left on the clock and went into the victory formation.

The Trojans won the Sub-State Championship 22-19.

Even with the injury, Benson Berndt ended the night with 161 yards on 32 carries for two touchdowns. He also had two lost fumbles.

Tate Kadel scored one touchdown on 12 carries and 40-yards of rushing for the Trojans.

Nolan Freund scored all three of the Eagle touchdowns on the ground. Freund also threw for 148 yards with 13 receptions on 32 attempts.

“We were here last year and could not punch through with a really young team,” said Beloit Head Coach Brad Gober. “Our team battled and dealt with injuries. I’m really proud of our guys.”

Kingman ends their season with a 10-2 record.

Beloit now has another week of practice as they prepare for a matchup with the Rossville Bulldogs at Salina Stadium next Saturday.

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