LISTEN as Matt Gilmore of Kpreps and Chet Kuplen of Sports In Kansas go through the brackets and recap a wild night of quarterfinal playoff action.
On this Friday Playoff edition of the Subway Fresh Take, we’ll recap quarterfinal playoff action from the 11-Man and 8-Man classifications.
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Blue Valley North 45, Shawnee Mission East 10 – Blue Valley North quarterback Graham Mertz tossed two touchdown passes in the first quarter as the Mustangs seemed to overwhelm No. 2 Shawnee Mission East during a 45-10 blowout on Friday night. The Mustangs led 21-3 after one quarter and scored twice more in the second quarter to lead 35-10 at halftime. Mertz had a hand in five Blue Valley North touchdowns as the Mustangs took down the Lancers.
Blue Valley 48, Olathe North 21 – Blue Valley held a slim 17-14 lead in the locker room at halftime, but exploded for 31-point points in the second half in beating Olathe North, 48-21. The Tigers found themselves trailing in the second quarter after a pair of Daymonn Sanchez touchdown runs for Olathe North. Luke Bernard then hit Ben DeZube on an 80-yard touchdown pass to go up 17-14. Alex Totta scored early in the third quarter to expand the lead to 24-14, and after Walker Kinney’s scoring pass to Cameron Green it was 38-14 after three quarters. The Tigers will no host Blue Valley North in the semifinals. Blue Valley rallied to beat the Mustangs, 34-33, earlier this season by scoring 10 points in the game’s final 1:06.
Derby 55, Free State 49, OT – On a night where there were so many great games, maybe this one was the best. Derby scored on a 10-yard touchdown run by Brody Kooser in overtime to knock off top-ranked Lawrence Free State, 55-49. It was a wild shootout that saw the two teams combine for 104 points and 1,119 total yards. Free State raced out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before Derby scored twice to tie it. After that, neither team led by more than a touchdown. Derby had the one-score lead in the fourth quarter when Free State freshman Tyler Bowden broke an 18-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 49 with 5:39 remaining. Derby turned the ball over on downs at midfield, and Free State drove deep into Panther territory late the game before a fumble derailed a potential game-winning field goal attempt. Derby drove past midfield before the two headed to overtime. On the Firebirds possession, Free State failed to connect on a 4th-down pass from the 3-yard line meaning any Derby points would win the game. Kooser took care of that sifting his way through Firebird defenders for the winning score. Kooser led Derby with 197 rushing yards and two scores, while Hunter Igo added 167 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Igo also passed for 150 and a score. Gage Foster led Free State with 178 yards and two scores. Free State played without star running back Jax Dineen for much of the game after he was injured in the first quarter. Dineen finished with 70 yards on three carries. It was the third consecutive season that Derby has ended Free State’s season.
Wichita Northwest 49, Garden City 6 – Garden City had ridden its defense to a pair of playoff wins over Washburn Rural and Topeka High, but the Buffs did not have an answer for Wichita Northwest in the first half of Friday’s quarterfinal. The Grizzlies built a 35-0 halftime lead en route to a 49-6 trouncing of Garden City to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 1996. Northwest rushed for more than 500 yards in the game and totaled 653 yards of total offense with the bulk of that coming before halftime. Breece Hall rushed for 222 yards and Roy Johnson added 142 yards.
Mill Valley 21, St. James Academy 14 – Two-time defending champion Mill Valley stayed alive with a 21-14 victory over St. James Academy to move back into the semifinal round. The Jags led for much of the first half, but still found themselves trailing 14-13 entering the fourth quarter after a Jack Petz touchdown run put the Thunder on top. Brody Flaming then hit Evan Rice on a 25-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to take the lead. Flaming’s two-point conversion gave the Jaguars a touchdown lead, 21-14. St. James would reach midfield before stalling out on downs, but get the ball back again on a Mill Valley fumble. The Thunder would reach the Jaguar 15-yard line, but come up empty on a 4th-&-12 play giving the ball back to Mill Valley.
St. Thomas Aquinas 42, Pittsburg 21 – Aquinas raced out to a 28-0 lead in cruising past Pittsburg, 42-21. The Saints got touchdowns from Will Swanson and Cameron Jackson before a Pittsburg turnover set up Jackson’s second score giving Aquinas a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Swanson added another touchdown in the second before the Purple Dragons would score on a Chase Curtis to Corbin Jefferson pass to make it 28-7. That score would hold until mid-3Q when Adam Davis broke along run to make it 35-7. Pittsburg would answer as Curtis hit Dylan White for 66 yards, but Aquinas came right back before the quarter ended to push the lead to four touchdowns.
Goddard 28, Goddard-Eisenhower 13 – Despite Blake Sullivan exiting the game with a shoulder injury in the first half, top-ranked Goddard still had enough to get by rival Eisenhower, 28-13. The Tigers scored first on a Justis Moore run to lead 7-0. Goddard answered with a defensive score on a Cole Caraway fumble recovery to tie the game in the second quarter. The Lions would eventually get a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Kyler Semrad to Owen Beason to lead 21-7 at halftime. Semrad and Beason hooked up again in the third quarter to push the Lion lead to 28-7.
Bishop Carroll 26, Maize 14 – Bishop Carroll jumped on Maize early and held on for a 26-14 victory to move into a semifinal showdown with Goddard. The Golden Eagles scored on their first play from scrimmage as Braden Howell hit Thomas Helton on a 60-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead. After a field goal the lead ballooned to 17-0 as Howell hit Jackson Nichols on a short scoring strike to lead 17-0 early second quarter. Maize cut the lead to 17-7 before halftime on a Caleb Grill pass to Camden Jurgensen. Grill then hit Prevon Christon to pull Maize within 17-14 midway through the third quarter. But that’s as close as the Eagles would get. Zachary Roth broke a 41-yard touchdown run with under six minutes remaining to lift Carroll to the 24-14 lead, and a late safety made it 26-14.
Class 4A, Division I
De Soto 49, Fort Scott 13 – De Soto raced out to a 21-0 lead after one quarter and cruised to a 49-13 victory over Fort Scott. The Wildcats actually led 49-0 after three quarters. Quarterback Bryce Mohl passed for 180 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Fort Scott committed three turnovers in the game. Zarek Fewell led the Tigers with 80 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Bishop Miege 69, Labette County 23 – Bishop Miege scored after an early blocked punt and pick-6 in rolling past Labette County, 69-23. The Stags led 29-0 after the first quarter and 69-7 at halftime. Carter Putz threw five touchdown passes, including three to sophomore wideout Daniel Jackson.
Andale 40, Andover Central 10 – After pulling out a 28-21 victory when these two teams met to open the season, Andale jumped out to a big lead on Friday night to advance to the state semifinals. The Indians led 25-0 at halftime and 40-0 in the fourth quarter before the Jaguars broke through with a field goal and a touchdown with under a minute to go. Ethan Baalman threw a pair of touchdown passes and Sawyer Simon rushed for two scores and caught another.
McPherson 28, Maize South 7 – McPherson turned the tide on Maize South with a 28-7 victory to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 2008 when they were defeated by Hutchinson in the Class 5A semis. The Mavericks had defeated McPherson 9-0 back in Week 2 of the regular season, and 35-27 in this very quarterfinal round a season ago. An early errant snap gave McPherson the ball inside the Maverick 5-yard line and led to a 7-0 lead. Maize South tied the game on a Max Dominick run late in the second quarter, but a long kickoff return by Ben Nikkel set up Jace Kinnamon’s short scoring ru and put the Bullpups up 14-7. After another Maize South turnover, Kyler Hoppes hit Chandler Wiard on a touchdown pass for a 21-7 lead. Another touchdown in the fourth quarter proved plenty for the McPherson defense.
Class 4A, Division II
Topeka Hayden 30, Burlington 24 – Hayden built a 30-8 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but had to withstand a late Burlington rally to win 30-24. Hayden led the battle of “Wildcats” 27-8 at halftime, but could only manage a field goal after the break. Connor Jeffers threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes and, coupled with successful two-point conversion attempts, trimmed Hayden’s lead to six. Jeffers rushed for 150 yards for Burlington, while Brent Peavler rushed for two scores for the Hayden Wildcats.
Frontenac 55, Holton 21 – Frontenac outscored Holton 28-0 in the second quarter to hammer the Wildcats, 55-21. The Raiders took advantage of Holton turnovers to turn a 13-6 first-quarter deficit into a 34-13 halftime lead. Quarterback Peyton Brown threw three touchdown passes and Jake Wilbert rushed for 106 yards and three scores. The Raider offense accounted for 377 total yards including 256 on the ground. Holton rushed for 228 yards, but came in averaging 325 rushing yards per game.
Scott City 21, Clay Center 13 – Scott City held on for a 21-13 road win at Clay Center. The Beavers led 21-0, but like last week, Clay Center made a late charge. Last week’s clutch late-game connection between Peyton Lane and Connor Last worked twice in the fourth quarter to pull the Tigers within 8 points. Scott City rushed for more than 285 yards led by Jarret Jurgens’ 129 yards and two touchdowns on 21 attempts.
Holcomb 26, Smoky Valley 6 – Holcomb proved the old adage that “defense travels” as the Longhorns shut down Smoky Valley en route to a 26-6 quarterfinal victory. Trey Gilbert passed for 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Holcomb built a 20-0 halftime lead. The Longhorn defense held Smoky Valley to 154 yards of total offense.
Silver Lake 13, Galena 6 – Silver Lake scored two first-quarter touchdowns and made them stand up in a 13-6 win at Abbey Field in Galena. Josh Boyd scored on a 1-yard run and Mason Griffin tossed a touchdown pass to Keenan Baird for a 13-0 lead. Galena scored on the final play of the first half on a touchdown pass from JC Shelton to Garrett Hall.
Sabetha 56, Osage City 13 – Sabetha rushed for more than 600 yards in rolling into the state semifinals with a 56-13 victory over Osage City. The Blue Jays forced five Osage City turnovers and pulled away with a 35-0 stretch in the second and third quarters to lead 42-7. Gabe Garber rushed for two scores and threw a touchdown pass to Brandon Brownlee. Joe Gruber led the Blue Jays with 164 rushing yards.
Cheney (9-2) at Marysville (10-1) – Saturday at 4:00 pm
Phillipsburg 47, Hesston 7 – John Gower capped Phillipsburg’s first three drives with short touchdown runs as the Panthers took control early in blowing out Hesston, 47-7. Gower rushed for 116 yards to go with his three scores, while Treylan Gross and Kirk Coomes also topped the 100-yard mark. Gross led Phillipsburg with 152 yards and Coomes contributed 103 yards on 16 attempts. The Panthers rushed for more than 430 yards in the win. Freshman Ty Sides, filling in for his injured older btother Trey, completed both of his passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. The Swathers ended Phillipsburg’s season 38-26 last year.
Olpe 7, Jefferson Co. North 0 – Blaine Hinrichs scored the game’s only touchdown on a short run in the third quarter as Olpe bested No. 2 Jefferson Co. North, 7-0. The Chargers came in as the only undefeated team in Class 2-1A, but were unable to convert trips deep into Olpe territory into points in the first half. Olpe’s defense limited the Chargers offense to very little production in the second half and sealed the game with an interception by Damon Schmidt.
St. Mary’s Colgan 25, Centralia 18 – Colgan quarterback Bryce Hutchins scored on a 1-yard sneak with 31 seconds remaining to lift the Panthers to a 25-18 win at Centralia. Max Wilson returned the opening kickoff 81 yards for a 7-0 Colgan lead, but a bad pitch resulted in a safety and Centralia scored to lead 8-7. Colgan added a Luke Orender field goal and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hutchins to Jeremiah Buche before halftime to lead 17-8. Colgan seemed to take control in the third quarter as Buch returned a punt for a TD, but it was called back by penalty. A Colgan fumble led to Issac Gore’s second touchdown to pull Centralia within 17-15. A roughing-the-passer penalty extended a Centralia drive and resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Kenton Talley and an 18-17 lead. After a long Max Wilson touchdown run was called back by penalty, Colgan would drive to the Centralia 2-yard line with under three minutes remaining. They would settle for a field goal attempt, but Orender’s field goal missed wide left and he was knocked down after the kick. Colgan called its three timeouts and forced a Centralia punt with a good return by Buche to midfield. After three incompletions, Centralia was whistled for pass interference on fourth down. The next play, Hutchins scrambled for 32 yards to the Centralia 1-yard line. After spiking the ball, Hutchins pushed across the winning score.
Plainville 27, Ell-Saline 20, 2 OT – Plainville survived Ell-Saline 27-20 in double overtime to advance to the state semifinals for the second consecutive season. Plainville scored 20 consecutive points after Ell-Saline scored the game’s first 10 points. The visiting Cardinals led 20-10 at halftime. Ell-Saline would pull within 20-17 late in the third quarter, and tie the game with a field goal in the fourth quarter. Neither team scored in the first overtime, but Jordan Finnesy put Plainville ahead in the second overtime with a 10-yard touchdown run. A fourth-down pass interference call moved the ball half-the-distance to the goal, and the Plainville defense stuffed Ell-Saline on 4th-&-goal from the 3-yard line to secure the win.
Smith Center 64, Elkhart 7 – Smith Center trailed 7-6 in the first quarter after Elkhart struck on a touchdown pass. But that would soon be a distant memory as the Redmen rolled to a 64-7 win to earn a home game against Plainville in next week’s sub-state semifinal.
8-Man, Division I
Burlingame 63, West Elk 42 – Seth Greenwood rushed for 200 yards and scored five touchdowns as Burlingame outscored West Elk, 63-42. The Bearcats led 41-20 at the break before the two teams played even in the second half. Montana Giffin, playing in place of injured starter Dalton Sporing, passed for nearly 200 yards and two scores. West Elk’s Cade Miller rushed for 93 yards, passed for 235 yards, and had a hand in all six Patriot touchdowns.
St. Paul 35, Osborne 24 – St. Paul scored the game’s final 27 points in rallying from a 24-8 third-quarter deficit to knock out the defending Eight-Man, Division I champions. Osborne converted a pair of Indian first-half turnovers into touchdowns and expanded its lead in the third quarter on a Darnell Holloway touchdown pass to Denton Schurr. The Indians answered with a 40-yard pass from Braven Born to Caleb Pecha to pull within 24-14. Born then hit Collin Carlson on a short touchdown pass to open the fourth quarter and pull St. Paul to within 24-22. The Indians took the lead mid-way through the fourth quarter when Born hit Pecha again to go on top 30-24. After a bad snap forced an Osborne safety, Alejandro Mate connected on a 22-yard field goal to put St. Paul up two scores with just over two minutes remaining.
Spearville 32, Central Plains 28 – Waylon Strecker took a pass from Kolby Stein 8-yards for a score with 1-second remaining to lift No. 2 Spearville over No. 5 Central Plains, 32-28. The Lancers drove 65 yards in 1:02 without a timeout after Central Plains had taken a 28-26 lead on an Alex Hickel touchdown run and Myles Menges’ two-point conversion. Spearville faced 4th-&-7 from their own 18-yard line, but completed three passes to get to the Oiler 8-yard line with 7 seconds remaining. After spiking the ball on first down, Stein looked left and hit Strecker at the back of a bunch formation. Strecker then followed his blockers into the end zone to propel the Royal Lancers to the state semifinals.
Hoxie 30, South Central 25 – Latham Schwarz’s 30-yard touchdown run with 3:27 remaining propelled the Hoxie Indians into the state semifinal round with a 30-25 victory over South Central. The Timberwolves shocked Hoxie with a 13-0 lead mid-way through the second quarter before Hoxie would respond. The Indians scored on a long touchdown pass from Lathan Schwarz to Troyal Burris to pull within 13-6, but South Central would lead 19-6 at halftime. Hoxie wouldn’t take its first lead, 22-19, until Schwarz scored from 35-yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter. South Central would answer to lead 25-222 with 6 minutes remaining before Schwarz’s winning score.
8-Man, Division II
Hanover 58, Caldwell 12 – Hanover got a challenge from Caldwell in the first half, but eventually pulled away for a 58-12 win. The two teams were tied at 6-6 much of the first half before Caldwell took a 12-6 lead with under five minutes to go before halftime. Hanover took a 14-12 lead and eventually pulled away in the second half for their 23rd consecutive victory. Daiken Stallbaumer and Carter Bruna each scored a pair of touchdowns for the Wildcats.
Pike Valley 52, Hutchinson Central Christian 0 – For the second consecutive season, Central Christian entered the quarterfinals as one of the state’s top scoring teams. The Cougars were, in fact, the top scoring team in the state at 70.4 points per game with a season-low 60 coming against Norwich in Week 5. For the second consecutive season, the Cougars were shut down in the quarterfinals. Cole Strickler and Davante Hammer combined for six touchdowns to lead Pike Valley.
Hodgeman County 52, South Barber 6 – Hodgeman County raced out to a 30-0 first-quarter lead to put away South Barber en route to a 52-6 halftime victory. Jacob Salmans, Eli Salmans, and Trevor Morgan each rushed for two touchdowns to lead the Longhorns. Aaron Sherrill had two interceptions including one returned for a touchdown.
Otis-Bison 60, Ingalls 14 – Otis-Bison exploded on offense and rolled past Ingalls. The Cougars built a 20-0 first quarter lead after two Anton Foust touchdown passes to Maitland Wiltse and Bevan Gradig. Foust added a touchdown run and another scoring connection with Wiltse. Daniel Scott led the Cougars with 221 rushing yards and four scores.