The Craw-Kan "Your Community Technology Partner" Team of the Week from the Southeast Kansas area goes to three teams this week as the Frontenac Raiders (4A-II), St. Mary's Colgan Panthers (2-1A) and St. Paul Indians (8M-I) all punched their tickets to the state title games in football with semifinal wins on Friday. All three semifinal games were also played at home.
The Raiders, led by head coach Mark Smith, knocked off Topeka-Hayden 37-21 on Friday in Frontenac behind a solid defensive performance that included two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns of 90-plus yards by Riley McDaniel and Brendan Ishimura. Jake Wilbert also had over 100 yards rushing in the contest. It sets up a 4A-II title game on Saturday in Salina at 1 p.m. against Holcomb. The Raiders last made the title game in 2000 in 3A. Frontenac is now 7-2 all-time in semifinal games with seven appearances at the state title game (1969, 1981, 1987, 1992, 1994, 2000, 2017). The Raiders are 1-5 in state title games with their only title coming in 1994 (2-1A). They have played for the state championship now in five different classes: 1A, 2A, 2-1A, 3A, 4A-II.
The Colgan Panthers punched their ticket to their first title game appearance since 2010 under first year head coach Shawn Seematter. Max Wilson and Bryce Hutchins each had rushing scores in the game for the Panthers to knock off the Olpe Eagles, 15-12, in Pittsburg on Friday night. The Panthers have seven state titles in school history (1974, 1975, 1984, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003). They are 7-7 all-time in title games and have lost their last four trips to the title game since 2004, when their 66-game state record winning streak was snapped by Smith Center who went on to set a state record of 79 straight from 2004-2009. They get Smith Center at 7 p.m. Saturday in Hays in the 2-1A final.
The St. Paul Indians make their first appearance in the state championship game since they won it back in 2002 with a 43-34 victory over #1 ranked Burlingame. St. Paul trailed 34-20 late in the third quarter but rallied to score the last 23 points of the ballgame. They also scored the final 27 points of the game against Osborne last week to pull off two of the biggest 8-man upsets we've seen in quite some time. The Indians have three state titles in school history (1986, 2000, 2002). Two of those have came in the 8-man ranks while the 1986 title was in 2-1A. It marks the first title appearance for head coach Keith Wiatrak who was an assistant on the state title teams in 2000, 2002 under Doug Tuck. He also played on a state-runner up team as the quarterback in the 1991 title game. The Indians are 3-3 all-time in state title games and will be making their seventh title game appearance on Saturday in Newton as they take on Hoxie for the 8M-I crown.
The last time these three teams went to the state title game in the same year was in 2000. That year Southeast Kansas was known as football capital of Kansas. Pittsburg took 5A runner-up, Fort Scott won the 4A state title, Frontenac took 3A runner-up, Colgan won the 2-1A title and St. Paul won the 8M-I title. This is the closest we have gotten to it with Frontenac, Colgan and St. Paul punching tickets. The last CNC team to play for a football state title before this year was Columbus taking runner-up in 4A-II in 2014. The last CNC team to win a state title in football was Colgan in 2003 with Frontenac head coach Mark Smith as the quarterback. The last SEK team to win a state title in football was the Fort Scott Tigers in 2000 and the last SEK team to play for a title was Coffeyville Field Kindley in 2013. The last current TRL team to win a state title in football was St. Paul in 2002 but they were then in the Mineral Belt League. We also have three Southwest Missouri teams nearby alive for state titles as Webb City (Class 4), Lamar (Class 2) and Mt. Vernon (Class 1) all play for state titles this coming weekend.
Craw-Kan would like to wish best of luck to the three teams as they try to bring home hardware on Saturday.
Craw-Kan “Your Technology Partner" and Sports in Kansas will once again be in partnership over the 2017-2018 school year to release a "Craw-Kan Team of the Week".
"I am looking forward to this partnership again for another year with Craw-Kan and highlighting teams from the SEK area to not only a local platform but also giving them statewide reach on our network, it's became quite the popular feature over the last three or four years," said Sports in Kansas Managing Partner, Chet Kuplen. "Not only does this help athletes and teams to be promoted for their achievements, it also lets the area know what all the new products that Craw-Kan has to offer, including new gigabit fiber now in the the area. Also that Craw-Kan is now in Frontenac and Pittsburg”
"Craw-Kan offers all your technology needs in the area from internet to web design and cell phones to security systems." said Craw-Kan Marketing Manager, Zach Adams. "We have a lot of new products including the fastest internet in the area in the new gigabit fiber, we are also in Frontenac and Pittsburg with our service. We are very excited with all the new products we have to offer to the area."
Nominations will be accepted from every Friday-Sunday, with the "Craw-Kan Team of the Week" being released every Monday on Sports in Kansas (Kansas-Sports.com). Teams must be nominated via email or twitter.
Teams must be from the following leagues in the Southeast Kansas area to be eligible: SEK, CNC, TRL
Craw-Kan and Sports in Kansas will also partner in releasing a "All Craw-Kan Team" for the Southeast Kansas area after postseason play has wrapped up.
How to nominate?
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