5 takeaways from high school football Sectionals

Nov, 9, 2018; Wichita, Kansas, USA; during a playoff matchup between the Bishop Carroll Golden Eagles and Northwest Grizzlies ©Kelly Ross
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1.Dighton wins game on remarkable catch – It’s hard to upstage Wichita Northwest’s remarkable 84-67 win versus Bishop Carroll, but Dighton had the quarterfinal’s biggest moment with a 44-36 home win versus Otis-Bison in Eight-Man, Division II. Dighton is 9-2 and has just nine players. David Cramer delivered an incredible 24-yard scoring grab on 4th-and-13 with 1:09 remaining. Dighton threw the ball in the end zone and Cramer contested with two other O-B players. The ball ricocheted off the Cougars, including a helmet. After it bounced off a helmet, Cramer, laying on the ground with a defender on top of him, caught the ball one-handed against the defender’s back. The catch has already gone viral. Then, Dighton held Otis-Bison with an game-clinching interception in the end zone.

2. Wichita Northwest wins in 5A – The Grizzlies averaged at least 50 points a game for the last three falls and defeated Carroll in another wild contest after a 23-22 season-opening win that came down to a last-second field goal. Northwest set a school record for points in a game. Breece Hall scored six touchdowns, and NW quarterback Reagan Jones set a school mark with 28 passing scores. Credit to Carroll, which posted another fine year despite massive injury problems. Third-string quarterback Aiden Niedens tossed seven touchdown passes.

3. Separation in 3A – Class 3A West featured a pair of quarterfinals matchups against teams that entered with perfect records – Scott City at Andale, and Pratt at Smoky Valley. Andale earned a 35-14 win versus Scott City, and Pratt beat Smoky Valley, 46-0. Mac Brand rushed for three touchdowns for Andale, and SC struggled with turnovers. Pratt quarterback Travis Theis delivered another huge game with six total TDs with 96 passing and 206 rushing yards.

4. Maize/McPherson with deep runs – Maize, in 5A, and McPherson, in 4A, moved into sub-state games and tied the best finish in school history. Neither team has reached a title contest in school annals. Maize came back to beat Great Bend, 28-21. Maize’s defense, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, continued with several trends. The Eagles allowed more plays and lost the turnover margin. However, Maize was key in third/fourth downs again. The Eagles limited GB to 6 of 19 on the key downs, and Maize’s offense was 6 of 13 on those downs. Caleb Grill passed for 273 yards and two scores. McPherson had no trouble with surprising Arkansas City, 62-28. McPherson led 41-7 early in the third quarter.

5. Whisennand injury – Plainville’s 29-13 win against Elkhart was marred in the final minutes when Elkhart quarterback Lane Whisennand was knocked unconscious on a blind side hit. He was put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital, and the game ended in virtual silence. Elkhart coach Chris Hattabaugh said Whisennand, one of the state’s top players, was moving and answering questions and was expected to be OK.