SEDGWICK, Kan. In a battle of two undefeated teams, this one lived up to the billing as Smith Center advanced to the state semifinals with a 21-10 win on the road in Sedgwick.
Smith Center defeated Plainville 40-14 on Friday, September 27, 2019. (Photo: Everett Royer, www.ksportsimages.com)
The Cardinals got on the board first with a field goal from Connor Tillman, but the Sedgwick defense couldn’t hold the shutout until halftime.
Smith Center used its wishbone offense to trudge down the field and Nate Hendrich punched it in from a few yards out to put the Redmen up 7-3 with just seven seconds left in the half.
Then midway through the third quarter, Smith Center faced fourth down and two in Sedgwick territory. Hendrich got the call again and converted. The conversion took the wind off the Cardinals’ wings. A few plays later, Hendrich scored again to put his team ahead 14-3
But just because of the 11-point differential, Sedgwick would not go down easy. Quarterback Lance Hoffsommer completed a few passes to set his team up inside Smith Center territory and launched a ball high into the air for Ryan Stucky downfield, who was covered by two defenders.
Stucky leaped into the air between both defenders, stuck his hand up and cradled the ball into his body to put Sedgwick inside the 15 yard line.
As great of a catch it was, the Cardinals couldn’t score after a few dropped passes and another batted at the line of scrimmage.
After a long, methodical Smith Center drive, the Redmen were able to seal it with another score and held on for the win.
Smith Center’s perfect record remains intact at 11-0 and will face Plainville (10-1) in the state semifinals. The winner of that game will take on either Jackson Heights (9-2) or Centralia (10-1) for the 1A state championship.
Sedgwick’s season ends with a record of 10-1.