CONWAY SPRINGS, Kan. The opening game of 2A district play for Hutchinson Trinity and Conway Springs turned into a defensive stalemate for most of the night.
The Cardinals used a 14 point burst in a 4 minute span late
in the third quarter to secure a 22-8 victory over the Celtics.
Heading into the showdown of unbeatens Conway Springs was averaging 38 points a game, while the Celtics were averaging 24 points.
But contrary to those numbers this game was a defensive highlight
reel for both teams.
Early in the first quarter the Celtics were on the verge of a quick touchdown lead, but were stonewalled by the Cardinals defense on fourth down just inches away from the goal line.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Celtics managed to break on top with one of the few big offensive plays by either team. Kaleb Hammeke connected with Isaac Miller for a 65 yard touchdown pass, and
the two point conversion gave Hutch Trinity an 8-0 lead.
Conway Springs answered with a blue-collar type drive that culminated with a 1 yard touchdown run from Collin Koester.
With less than a minute before halftime the Celtics were driving deep into Cardinals territory for a potential go-ahead score. But Zachary Mercer came up with a clutch interception in the end-zone to keep the score knotted up at 8 at the break.
Neither team budged defensively in the third quarter until Conway Springs opened up the play book and started to air it out. On a critical third and long Koester connected with Chase Ast for a big 33 yard
pass play to keep the drive alive. With just 2 minutes to go in the third quarter Peyton Winter gave the Cardinals the lead with a two yard touchdown run. The two point conversion made it 16-8 in favor of
On the following kickoff the Celtics fumbled the ball and the Cardinals recovered deep in Trinity territory. Conway Springs wasted little time punching the ball in for a 22-8 lead they would never give up.