Olpe goes back-to-back with state title win over Inman
HAYS, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Olpe Eagles defeated the Inman Teutons 35-6 to win their second Class 1A State Championship in a row.
The Eagles traveled to Hays to play in the Class 1A State Championship game for the third time in four seasons. They won the 1A title over Oakley in 2020 while going undefeated and only allowing 35 points all season.
This season they stepped onto the turf of Lewis Field Stadium having allowed only 18 points and not losing a game.
Their opponent, the Inman Teutons, also came to Hays with an undefeated record after staging a comeback against Sedgwick in the Sub-State game.
Inman won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball. Olpe elected to kick with the 20 miles per hour plus north wind to their backs.
The Olpe defense made their presence known by forcing the Teutons to a three and out on their first possession.
The Eagles took over on their 37-yard line. They took 4:44 off the clock in a methodical nine-play drive capped by a Garret Cole four-yard rush to score the first touchdown of the day.Braydon Fowler added a point after touchdown to give Olpe a 7-0 lead.
Inman made a first down on their next possession but could not get past their 34-yard line. The two teams would trade possessions back and forth with no scores or significant yards gained. On Inman’s first possession in the second quarter, they started on their 29-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Dawson Mannebach carried the ball to past mid-field but then fumbled it. Teammate Harrison Brunk recovered it on the Olpe 35-yard line.
Teuton quarterback Jace Doerksen struck immediately finding Elijah Brunk with a pass a few yards from the end zone. Brunk carried the ball across the goal line for Inman’s first touchdown. Doerksen tried to throw a pass to Dawson McConnell but it was broken up in the end zone. The Teutons trailed 7-6.
Olpe quickly responded with quarterback Damon Redeker rushing for 53 yards on their first play. Redeker would score three plays later from one yard out. Braydon Fowler’s extra point made the score 14-6 Eagles.
Inman turned the ball over on downs on their next possession. Olpe took over on the Teuton 44-yard line. The Eagles only used five plays to set up a Garret Cole 20-yard rush to secure his second touchdown of the day. Braydon Fowler added another extra point to make it 21-6.
Jace Doerksen returned the ensuing kickoff for 63 yards to set up the Teutons at the Olpe 20-yard line. Inman would battle down to the one-yard line, but they could not get across the goal line. They turned the ball over on downs with seconds left in the first half.
Olpe took a 21-6 lead into the locker room for halftime. Olpe received the opening kickoff for the second half. They would take seven minutes off the clock and get as close as the Teuton six-yard line, but they could not score. Inman went three and out on their next possession. On Olpe’s second play of their next possession, they fumbled the ball and Inman recovered on the 19-yard line. Inman would move the ball to the six-yard line, yet not find the end zone and turned the ball over on downs.
Olpe took the ball 93-yards in ten plays to score their next touchdown. Garret Cole scored his third touchdown of the day on a three-yard rush. Braydon Fowler added the extra point to make the Eagle lead 28-6.
Olpe scored their last touchdown on a Derek Hoelting 57-yard run. Braydon Fowler kicked his fifth point after touchdown to make the score 35-6.
The Eagles amassed 380 total yards including 332 rushing yards. Derek Hoelting gained 153 yards on 16 carries while quarterback Damon Redeker ran for 152 yards on 22 carries. Each player scored a touchdown. Garret Cole only gained 35 yards but scored three touchdowns on the ground.
Inman only earned 168 total yards with 126 coming through the air. Jace Doerksen completed 11 passes on 27 attempts and one touchdown. The Olpe defense continued their dominance with Ted Skalsky leading the team with 11 tackles. Defensive coordinator Terry Smith has led the Eagles to only allowing 69 points over two seasons.
”This is a tremendous group of kids who work hard every day,” said Olpe Head Coach Chris Schmidt. “We had a motto at the beginning of the year, be better than we were last year. The nine seniors took this to heart.”
Coach Schmidt also celebrated his 53rd birthday along with his second state title.
”I told the guys they need to be proud of what they accomplished,” said Inman Head Coach Lance Sawyer. “This was the first time ever for Inman to play in the state title game. I’m proud of each and every one of those games. The seniors have gone from 0-9 to now this.”
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