Wednesday, 22 May 2019
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Local Sports News
Sabetha Runs Past Jeff West 32-7 to Open Title Defense
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports Photo Cred: Scott Brownlee - Frozen Moments Photography

Sabetha 32, Jeff West 7

Sabetha began their 3A State Title defense with an impressive 32-7 win against Big 7 foe Jeff West on Friday night as the Bluejays scored on five of their first six possessions. They then controlled the ball and clock with an 18-play drive that consumed 11 minutes and 30 second, taking up nearly all the fourth quarter to seal the opening round playoff victory.  Sabetha ran 75 plays, all but five were rushes as the team racked up 369 yards on the ground and Gabe Garber was 3-5 passing for another 34 yards. 

Sabetha was also a perfect 6-6 on fourth down plays as the Tiger defense forced only one punt.  Garber led the rushing attack with 182 yards on 30 carries while Joe Gruber added 100 yards on 20 totes and Tristan Edelman added 13 carries for 38 yards.  Garber opened the scoring with a one-yard sneak that capped a 14-play, 65 yard opening Bluejay drive and then after a high PAT snap, he tossed a two-point conversion to Drew Schmelzle to make it 8-0.  Joel Hackney broke free for an 18-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to make it 15-0 as Jeff West went three-and-out on their opening three possessions.   

The Tigers best drive on the game came in the second quarter as they went 80 yards on 10 plays and Jacob Hamon ran in from 11 yards out to pull within 15-7, but it turned out to be the only redzone opportunity for the Tigers all night.  Hamon filled in at runningback after Jeff West lost leading rusher Bryce Clements with an ankle injury early in the first quarter and didn’t return on offense.  Quinn Neuenswander was 17 of 28 passing for 118 yards and hit six receivers while also rushing for 88 yards on 10 carries.  Joe Anderson led the receivers with 42 yards on five catches while Pene Saili also had four grabs and Zeth Unruh hauled in a pair of passes for 30 yards.  Unruh is one of only two starters that Jeff West will lose as seniors after starting the year 4-0 and finishing this season 5-4.

Cauy Rockey was the Denison State Bank “Lineman of the Game” while Garber earned “Player to Bank on” honors from the Citizens State Bank and Trust Company.  Braedon Cox kicked his third field goal of the season from 37 yards out in the final minute of the first half to make the score 18-7 and Gruber scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter as Sabetha methodically marched 68 yards and 75 plays to go ahead 32-7. 

Sabetha improves to 9-0 with their 16th straight win and will get a rematch against Perry Lecompton next Friday.  The Jays will host the Kaws for the fourth time in the past two years and the 35-33 win in week three was Sabetha’s only game decided by less than 24 points this season. 

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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