Tuesday, 20 August 2019
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Jackson Heights at Pitt Colgan -1A Playoff Preview
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

It’s a pair of power rushing attacks that collide tonight at Hutchison Field in Pittsburg as Jackson Heights travels to face the Colgan Panthers in the Class 1A Quarterfinals.  It’s the first football meeting between the schools since 2002 when Colgan won versus the Cobras in the state semifinals. However, Jackson Heights won the previous meeting in 1983 on way to the state championship.

This year, Colgan is 8-2 with back-to-back losses against Centralia (20-0) and Abilene (22-20) in weeks four and five. Jackson Heights is 9-1 with a 22-20 setback in week four against Olpe. Both defenses have been phenomenal and are both allowing only 10 points per game. Colgan beat Bluestem (68-8) and Hillsboro (45-20) in the playoffs the last two weeks while Jackson Heights has posted post season wins against Northern Heights (36-28) and Valley Heights (35-20).

Colgan is coached by Shawn Seematter, who took over for legendary coach Chuck Smith two years ago and is trying to get the Panthers to the state semifinals for a third straight season. Seematter is from Jackson County and was a 2009 graduate of Royal Valley, one year behind Ashley (Chance) Wick, who is the wife of seventh year Jackson Heights coach Caleb Wick, with several connections between the two families. Both coaches are in their first head coaching jobs, Wick is from Smith Center and Seematter previously was as assistant for his former Royal Valley Coach Jason Grider at Halstead.

Colgan averages nearly 350 yards per game with 272 on the ground. Quarterback, Cade Simmons has 731 passing yards to complement his team-high 867 yards rushing. Fellow senior, Kash Marietta has 731 yards on the ground. Cal Marquardt leads the receivers with 19 catches for 491 yards and six scores this season while yet another senior, Luke Orender leads the Panther defense in tackles.

Colgan has been banged up with four or five key players missing the past few weeks, but they expect to have all but one starter healthy for tonight. Jackson Heights lost defensive backs Levi Olberding and Grant Amon to injuries, but last week had senior Kolby Rethman return to health after missing three games.

Jackson Heights is paced by Cooper Williams on the ground, now with more than 1,550 yards rushing after adding 130 last week and a couple more scores to bring his touchdown total to 17 for the year. Conlan Bruggeman has over 700 yards and leads the Cobra defense with well over 100 tackles. Cable Wareham has come on as the quarterback and tossed a trio of touchdowns last week to help the offense. The Cobras are in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs for the first time since 2015 and have a record of 33-8 the past four years after repeating as Northeast Kansas League champs.

The is the first game that Jackson Heights has played on turf since Wick arrived and they have been practicing at Jeff West this week to get ready for the different playing surface.  Kickoff is at 6:00 PM with live coverage on the Holton Channel at www.mscsports.net and 103.9 FM radio KNZA. The winner will face the winner of Centralia and Olpe in Sub-State next week.

©2019 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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