Inman advances with 28-6 win over Smith Center

Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 11:16 PM CST
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INMAN, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The Inman Teutons advance to the Class 1A Sub-State game for the third year in a row after defeating the Smith Center Redmen 28-6.

Smith Center was on the road for the second straight game after defeating Sedgwick 28-0 in the Regional round.

Inman won the game and took the ball.

After the kickoff and a Kellen Schrag return, the Teutons started the game on their 41-yard line. On the third play, Tanner Heckel kept the ball and ran 44-yards down the field.

His run set up first and goal from the seven-yard line. Two plays later, Heckel ran it in from three yards out to score the night’s first touchdown. Josiah Brunk completed a pass to Eli Brunk to score the two-point conversion. The Teutons led 8-0.

Smith Center started their first possession with the ball at their 16-yard line. They went on a methodical 15-play drive to score their first touchdown. Bentley Montgomery dove across the goal line to cap the drive with a four-yard rush.

Tarek Koelsch tried to pass the ball back to Montgomery as part of the two-point conversion play. Bentley could not pull in the pass and the conversion failed.

The Redmen trailed 8-6.

Inman quickly responded. On the very first play of the second quarter, Tanner Heckel hit Harrison Brunk for a 55-yard completion and his first passing touchdown of the night. Felix Farnebo kicked the point after the touchdown to make the lead 15-6.

Smith Center started their next possession on their 23-yard line. They moved the ball with rushing play after rushing play. The Redmen made it to the Inman 39 when Bentley Montgomery fumbled the ball and the Teutons recovered it.

The Teutons took over on their 33-yard line. They moved the ball down the field and with 10 seconds to go in the first half, they faced first and goal from the seven-yard line. Tanner Heckel took the snap and rolled out of the pocket. He looked for an open teammate and found Eli Brunk in the back of the end zone. Brunk caught the pass for the third Inman score of the half.

After the catch, Brunk was called for unsportsmanlike conduct and the penalty was assessed on the conversion. Heckel did get a pass to Kellen Schrag, but he was tackled well short of the goal line.

Inman went to the locker room at halftime leading 21-6.

Smith Center received the ball to start the second half. They appeared to be stopped with fourth down and four to go from their 40-yard line. Luke Franklin took the handoff and found a hole to rush for 55-yards. He was forced out at the five-yard line.

The Inman defense held the Redmen away from the end zone and forced a turnover on downs.

Less than five minutes remained in the third quarter when the Teutons took over.

Inman would hold on to the ball through the rest of the quarter and for almost the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. The Teutons capped their 94-yard drive with a Tanner Heckel six-yard run. Farnebo kicked another PAT to make the score 28-6.

Smith Center took the ball again but their drive came to a halt just past the halfway point of the fourth quarter. They punted the ball away from almost mid-field. This was the first time any team had punted in the game.

Neither team would threaten to score for the rest of the game.

Tanner Heckel had a role in all four Teuton touchdowns. He passed for two touchdowns along with making 12 of 14 passes for 219 yards. He also ran for two touchdowns as part of his 12 carries for 100 yards.

Harrison Brunk led Inman in receiving with 111 yards on three catches and one touchdown. Eli Brunk caught six passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.

For Smith Center, Luke Franklin led the team in rushing with 119 yards on 17 carries. Bentley Montgomery scored the lone touchdown as part of his eight carries for 32 yards.

“It’s pretty awesome to make it three years in a row now,” said Inman Head Coach Lance Sawyer on reaching the State semi-finals. “I’m pretty proud of this program and where they have come from. We weren’t very good six years ago, so now to make it three years in a row is awesome.”

Smith Center sees their season come to a close with an 8-3 record.

Inman will travel to Conway Springs to face the only team to defeat them this year.

“We’re excited to get another chance,” said Coach Sawyer. “We don’t think we played our best game earlier this year. They are a heck of a team, well coached, and that Kunz kid is amazing.”