State semi­fi­nals are set; Wi­chita is on the map

The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - Sports - BY HAY­DEN BAR­BER

With the wind chill dip­ping into the low-teens, Kansas high school foot­ball had ar­guably its most en­ter­tain­ing night.

From of­fen­sive show­cases to last-sec­ond fin­ishes, here are 10 take­aways from the sec­tional round of the 2018 play­offs on Fri­day.

1. 151 POINTS

Wi­chita North­west and Bishop Car­roll com­bined for 151 points Fri­day in the Griz­zlies’ 84-67 win over the de­fend­ing Class 5A cham­pion Golden Ea­gles. It was the most points scored in a state quar­ter­fi­nal or later in any Kansas clas­si­fi­ca­tion at least within the past half decade.

Fri­day’s shootout set mul­ti­ple records and had loads of stand­outs, in­clud­ing North­west Al­lAmer­i­can run­ning back Breece Hall, who fin­ished with six touch­downs but lost count af­ter four. Car­roll sopho­more quar­ter­back Ai­den Niedens was out­stand­ing, too, throw­ing for seven touch­downs in a loss.

The Bishop Car­roll bas­ket­ball team has al­lowed 84 points once in the past 15 years, and that game went into quadru­ple over-

time. Af­ter the game, North­west coach Steve Martin and Car­roll coach Dusty Trail couldn’t help but laugh.

“When we get rolling with our tempo, you have to line up and get smacked,” Martin said. “And then line up as fast as you can and get smacked again.”

2. ON THE GRILL

Af­ter giv­ing up a fum­ble to start the sec­ond half, Maize quar­ter­back Caleb Grill made up for it quickly.

The fum­ble put the Ea­gles down a score, but fewer than 10 min­utes later, Grill hit ju­nior re­ceiver KJ Hamp­ton for his sec­ond score of the night af­ter an 80-yard touch­down to open the game.

And about 10 min­utes af­ter that, Grill gave the Ea­gles a 28-21 they wouldn’t give up with a 1-yard touch­down run. With the win, the No. 2 Ea­gles will travel to No. 1 North­west for an all-Wi­chita semi­fi­nal in Class 5A on Fri­day.

3. ‘PUNCHED IN THE MOUTH’

For the first time in 2018, Derby trailed af­ter 12 min­utes.

Derby coach Bran­don Clark said his Pan­thers got “punched in the mouth” to open their Class 6A quar­ter­fi­nal. But the Pan­thers re­sponded ex­actly as Clark hoped, go­ing on a 38-point run to win 38-7 and ad­vance to play Man­hat­tan in the state semi­fi­nals.

Topeka had a chance to go up 10-0 on a field goal at­tempt, but se­nior safety Migc Aiyanyor blocked the kick and helped give the Pan­thers life on both sides of the ball.

Se­nior quar­ter­back Hunter Igo ac­counted for three touch­downs. Ju­nior run­ning back Tre Wash­ing­ton added a cou­ple, in­clud­ing one on a one-handed catch.

And se­nior cor­ner­back Dax Ben­way put the game on ice with a pair of in­ter­cep­tions.

4. END OF AN ERA AT FREE STATE

Derby and Lawrence Free State have met in each of the past three Kansas state play­offs, but that streak ends in 2018 and it isn’t the only thing end­ing.

The Pan­thers will play Man­hat­tan for the right to go to the Class 6A ti­tle game af­ter Free State was up­set at home 41-19. Af­ter the loss, Free State coach Bob Lisher told the Lawrence Jour­nal-World he plans to re­tire.

5. ‘I don’t think we could have played much bet­ter’

Some pegged An­dale and Scott City as the two most tal­ented teams in a loaded Class 3A, and if that was true, the In­di­ans proved to be in a league their own.

An­dale beat Scott City 35-19 in the state quar­ter­fi­nals, a matchup of two un­de­feated teams. Coach Dy­lan Sch­midt said his de­fense was phe­nom­e­nal, forc­ing four turnovers.

“I don’t think we could have played much bet­ter,” Sch­midt said. “I think our de­fense gave up 120 or 130 yards for the game . ... I just felt like ev­ery­thing went our way.”

The road gets no eas­ier for the In­di­ans. They will go on the road against an­other un­de­feated team, Pratt, for a chance to reach a state cham­pi­onship game for the sec­ond straight year.

6. ‘Tears in his eyes’ For the sec­ond straight year, God­dard used its backup quar­ter­back to get a state quar­ter­fi­nal win.

Last year, Blake Sul­li­van, one of the state’s best, was forced out with an in­jury. That opened the door for then-fresh­man Kyler Sem­rad, who has taken over the start­ing job for God­dard in 2018.

On Fri­day, the Lions pulled out a 28-14 come­back road win over Welling­ton, and it was be­cause of Jared Mo­caby. Coach Tom Bea­son went with Mo­caby to start the sec­ond half af­ter Welling­ton’s de­fense pinched down on the Lions’ pass­ing at­tack. Bea­son said Sem­rad wasn’t play­ing poorly; Mo­caby’s run­ning abil­ity was just per­fect for what the Crusaders showed.

It worked as Mo­caby led the Lions on three straight scor­ing drives and capped the win with a 57-yard touch­down pass to run­ning back Ben Ban­nis­ter.

“Jared at the end of the night had tears in his eyes be­cause he had just helped us win a 14-0 come­back vic­tory in the state quar­ter­fi­nals,” Bea­son said. “It was awe­some. It was an awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence for that kid.”

7. ‘GLAD WE WERE DOWN’

McPher­son hit a first Fri­day.

In a sea­son head­lined by records and wins over in­fe­rior op­po­nents, the Bullpups trailed for the first time against Arkansas City. The Bulldogs scored on their open­ing pos­ses­sion, but McPher­son coach Jace Pavlovich said that didn’t faze his group a bit as they went on to earn a 62-28 win.

“We scored right away af­ter two plays and just never re­ally looked back,” Pavlovich said. “It was great to see us down. It was great to see how our side­line re­acted. There was no panic. There was no worry. There was no neg­a­tiv­ity.”

With the win, No. 1 McPher­son will host No. 2 God­dard in the Class 4A West cham­pi­onship. The win­ner will face ei­ther Bishop Miege or Base­horLin­wood for the state ti­tle.

8. TI­TLE-GAME FEEL

On the cold­est night of the sea­son, Con­way

Springs and Phillips­burg pro­vided one of the hottest games.

The pair of Class 2A un­de­feated teams fought to a 25-24 re­sult with Con­way Springs suf­fer­ing its first loss since the 2017 re­gional cham­pi­onship.

With the win, Phillips­burg will go on to host Hois­ing­ton, who knocked off Hutchin­son-Trin­ity 30-0, in the state semi­fi­nals.

9. KILLING A CAR­DI­NAL

Sedg­wick’s run and eye­pop­ping of­fense has been put in park. The Cardinals lost 61-27 at home to Smith Cen­ter, one of the fa­vorites to win the Class 1A ti­tle. The Red­men pulled away late af­ter lead­ing by just 13 in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Al­though Sedg­wick’s run is over, the Cardinals put up out­stand­ing stats in 2018.

Se­nior quar­ter­back Hooper Schroeder fin­ished the sea­son as one of the top passers in Kansas with 2,378 yards. He be­came one of five play­ers in Kansas high school foot­ball his­tory to throw for more than 7,000 yards in a ca­reer.

10. A real hoot

In Olathe West’s first sea­son of var­sity foot­ball, the Owls are one of four teams left in Kansas’ sec­ond-high­est clas­si­fi­ca­tion. Olathe West beat DeSoto 24-7 on Fri­day. The No. 11 Owls (5-6) are the low­est­seeded team still alive in all of Kansas high school foot­ball.

With the win, the Owls next play one of the fa­vorites to win the 5A ti­tle: un­de­feated St. Thomas Aquinas.

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