ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Three schools in the Free Press circulation area competed in the state high school playoffs last week.
Teams from Canton-Galva, Centre and Goessel won their opening playoff games last Tuesday, then lost in the second round on Saturday.
The No. 4 Eagles’ undefeated season ended on the road Saturday with a 54-0 loss to perennial power Pittsburg-Colgan, 54-0, in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Pittsburg-Colgan raced to a 33-0 lead by halftime and never let the Eagles back into the contest.
Quarterback Jeff Smith rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 75 yards and two additional scores to lead Pittsburg-Colgan.
After finishing 3-7 last season, Canton-Galva concluded this season with a remarkable 10-1 record under second-year coach Zac Hoppes.
Olpe-The Eagles made it to the second round by defeating Olpe on Tuesday, 39-21.
Two quick Olpe turnovers led to a 14-0 Canton-Galva lead that expanded to a 33-13 advantage by halftime.
Canton-Galva rolled up 207 rushing yards on 46 carries and completed 10 of 16 passes for 132 yards.
Seth Moddelmog rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries, Ted Regehr threw for 132 yards while Derek Bair had four receptions for 99 yards.
Centre’s season ended with the Cougars qualified for the state 46-12 loss Saturday to Waverly in the 8-man Division II playoffs.
Waverly jumped on top 14-0 after one quarter and 28-6 by halftime.
Centre’s lone first-half touchdown came when Lance Diepenbrock scored from three yards out with 5:02 left in the half.
Diepenbrock scored again in the fourth quarter, this time from four yards at the 11:42 mark, but it wasn’t enough.
Centre racked up 15 first downs compared to 10 for Waverly as the Cougars had 71 rushing yards and 186 through the air.
Quarterback Dustin Burnett completed 17 of 37 passing for 186 yards. Seth Jirak had five carries for 31 yards and Diepenbrock added 12 carries for 35 yards.
Bryant Gutsch led the Cougar receivers with five catches for 52 yards, Brent Potocnik had four for 47 yards and Thieen Antoszyk added three for 51 yards.
“We could not get our run game going, so we were in trouble,” coach Bud Peterson said. “We haven’t gone to our pass that much in recent games.”
Jirak led the defense with nine solo tackles and 10 assists, Tad Remy added five solos and 12 assists and Aaron Bowman and Diepenbrock each had five solos and five assists.
Centre finished its season with a record of 7-4.
Sylvan Grove- The Cougars traveled to north central Kansas to battle the Mustangs and came away with a gutsy 36-30 victory.
Centre jumped to a 28-0 lead by halftime as Seth Jirak scored on runs of nine and six yards, Dustin Burnett hooked up with Thieen Antoszyk from 11 yards out and Lance Diepenbrock scored on a one-yard run.
Centre’s only touchdown of the second half came from Jirak on a one-yard run.
Centre had 247 yards rushing on 57 carries; Bryant Gutsch rushed for 117 yards on 22 carries.
Burnett completed three of eight passes for 31 yards.
On defense, Centre was led by Antoszyk with 14 tackles and an interception, Jirak with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery and Aaron Bowman with 13 tackles.
The Bluebirds experienced heartbreak Saturday afternoon, losing in overtime to Pike Valley, 36-28, in the second round of the 8-man Division I playoffs.
Goessel took an early lead when Justin Fensky scored from 19 yards out. Following a 2-point conversion run by Garrett Hiebert, Goessel led 8-0.
The picture improved for the Bluebirds when Kurtis Duerksen recovered a fumble for a touchdown. Hiebert added another 2-point conversion and Goessel had undefeated Pike Valley on the ropes, 16-0.
Pike Valley cut into the Bluebird lead in the second period on a 46-yard touchdown run, but Goessel answered with a Fensky one-yard plunge to take a 22-8 lead into halftime.
Pike Valley scored on a 22-yard run and a 53-yard pass in the third period to momentarily catch the Bluebirds. But Fensky scored from three yards out to give Goessel a 28-22 lead after three quarters.
Pike Valley scored on a five-yard pass in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. The Bluebirds just missed a late field-goal attempt that would have won the game.
Once in overtime, Pike Valley scored on its possession to put the pressure on Goessel.
A first down run of nine yards had the Bluebird faithful confident, but successive incomplete passes brought up a fourth-and-one situation.
Goessel’s final effort fell short, however, giving Pike Valley the win and a 10-0 record.
Goessel amassed 16 first downs to five for Pike Valley as the Bluebirds had 183 yards on 55 carries while Pike Valley had 42 rushes for 215 yards.
Hiebert completed 11 of 20 passes for 109 yards while Pike Valley completed only three of seven for 54 yards.
Goessel concluded its season with a record of 8-3 under coach Justin Coup.
Southern Coffey County- Goessel defeated Southern Coffey County, 48-20, Tuesday night.
Goessel jumped on top early when Garrett Hiebert scored on a 10-yard run and later threw to Adam Goering nine-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Hiebert then connected with Chad Schrag from 32 yards out as the Bluebirds led 20-8 at halftime.
Hiebert continued to have the hot hand in the third quarter, hooking up with Brett Goerzen for a 14-yard touchdown. Justin Fensky’s three-yard run increased the lead to 34-14 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Goering scored on a 1-yard run and Travis Buller from a yard out for the 28-point win.
Goessel rolled up 307 rushing yards on 54 attempts. Fensky contributed 153 yards on 27 carries and Hiebert 92 yards on 13 carries. Hiebert completed eight of 12 passes for 100 yards and three scores.
The Goessel defense allowed only 130 yards, 119 of which came on the ground.
Fensky led the defense with seven tackles, including three for losses. Kyle Unruh added six tackles.